JENGA is actively investing in the lives of vulnerable children and young people across some of the poorest communities in and around Mbale. Each week approximately 3,000 children and young people of all tribes, religions and backgrounds meet in various JENGA supported clubs. These clubs provide the rare freedom and opportunity to play, have fun with other children, learn life-skills, and receive guidance and teaching from experienced community mentors. In providing a safe, loving, and fun atmosphere, JENGA helps to offer an opportunity for these children to gain a sense of worth and significance in a culture where this is not always the case. This space for positive role-modelling and guidance is helping to shape the way these children engage in their homes and in their communities.
JENGA has come alongside local government institutions, as well as a number of private Christian schools in and around Mbale, to ensure children have the opportunity to receive an improved education. JENGA facilitates natural relationships between international partners and the often poorly funded, hugely oversubscribed, and understaffed local schools.
Financial donors provide the necessary funding to implement the much needed scholastic change, as seen through the purchase of land, the construction of school buildings and the provision of scholastic materials. Additional help is offered in the form of teachers’ conferences and consistent payroll services.
This project was inspired after witnessing both the need within JENGA’s education sponsorship system and the desire from international donors to help improve the Ugandan schooling system. JENGA serves as the missing bridge connecting the two.
Street Children's Ministry
JENGA works to drastically improve the quality of life of the children and youth living on the streets of Mbale. Twice a week, children’s workers and volunteers meet with these desperate young people to build relationships and to provide both emotional and practical encouragement.
Children forced to live on the street lead incredibly difficult lives, often relying on food found in rubbish bins to feed themselves and younger siblings. Maintaining regular school attendance is almost impossible, and a reliance on drugs and alcohol is common as one of the few accessible means of coping. Through playing football and other various games, meeting with the children to pray, sing, and learn bible stories, JENGA helps to cultivate a safe environment for the children to escape the stressors of the street. JENGA is also involved with helping to resettle older street children with their families and to provide materials and funds needed to keep as many children as possible in school.
LOVED Children's Centre
LOVED is a children's centre established in the heart of Namatala, Mbale's largest urban slum, where children are able to come and access nutritional meals, early years play and stimulation and medication in a safe, loving space.
LOVED not only reaches some of the neediest children, but has also partnered with a local charity school who provide experienced social workers to work directly with the parents. By offering parenting trainings, income generating business support and savings groups, the parents of children at the centre can be equipped to provide for their families on their own.