To evangelize, sensitize, and train the local communities/ individuals with the aim of caring for and feeding the people not only with bread but the word of God as well. BLEA is involved in school ministry, church ministry, follow-up, ministry to orphans, music ministry, Agape family life, skills center and media ministry. We are a spiritually, intellectually, socially, physically and economically transformed community, through the power of the gospel of Christ. Called, Chosen and Commissioned “Religion that God our father accepts as pure and faultless, is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…” James 1:27
Problem being solved?
The Africa Fund is addressing the endemic problem of access to education among the poor of Uganda. Though Uganda provides public education free of charge, it is woefully underfunded, with students in overcrowded classrooms with no real hope of receiving an education which could help them escape poverty. Orphans in particular have no one to pay the modest fees required for books and uniforms, let alone the means to attend higher quality schools. This is where the Africa Fund seeks to intervene.
How are you solving it?
We believe that education provides the best opportunity for disadvantaged children to rise above their challenging situations, but we also believe that community development is best done through empowering accountable local ministries. We connect donors in the United States with a local organization called BLEA in Jinja, Uganda, which identifies children with real needs both in terms of education but also in their spiritual formation as Christians. The Africa Fund is making a difference in the lives of individual children but also in the community of Jinja through the various ministries of BLEA such as marriage counseling, widow and orphan care, etc.
Why are you qualified?
My wife and I have pursued doctoral programs in part dedicated to the question of development in the emerging world, and in the course of our studies spent extensive time in Uganda. Ashley was connected with BLEA while in college by the founders of The Africa Fund, and we have maintained a constant connection with the organization for many years. More than our own qualifications, we believe in the qualifications of BLEA as ministers intimately connected with their community to identify both orphans as well as other ministry opportunities that best serve the community of Jinja.
What is the urgency?
The principle urgency is that there are more students in need than we are able to fund. We are working to expand our donor base in the United States, while also developing ideas to promote the self-sufficiency of BLEA with the hope that one day they will not rely on foreign donations as their primary source of income. However at this point in time BLEA's ability to place students in better schools is limited without our assistance. Our goal is to see the Africa Fund develop into a true partnership in which we can help with concrete issues but with BLEA able to finance the day-to-day operations.