Uganda (MNN) — Purses are making life better for families in the third poorest country in the world.
Orphan's Heart works alongside Hines Ugandan Ministries to help bring a message of hope to widows and orphans in Kamonkoli, a village in eastern Uganda. By helping meet physical needs of Kamonkoli villagers, doors open for the Gospel.
In 2011, Hines Ugandan Ministries started a ministry called Kamonkoli Karryalls, says Julie Boyd of Orphan's Heart.
"They taught several men and women in the community how to sew, and they have made these beautiful purses, bags, and garments," Boyd says.
Along with selling finished products in the local marketplace, Boyd says, short-term teams also bring them back to the States. "All of the money that we receive for the products that we sell goes 100% back into the Kamonkoli culture."
Poverty and disease run rampant in Uganda, where half the population is under the age of 14. Orphans make up about 10% of Uganda's 28 million people, and one of every six Ugandans is dying of the AIDS virus.
In such an underprivileged nation, hard work and education are hard to come by. While Orphan's Heart and Hines provide education and medical care to the needy in Kamonkoli, their Kamonkoli Karryalls program provides much-needed work.
"We're always trying to take people on our missions teams who have experience [and can help the] people…learn ways to have income and take better care of their families," says Boyd.
Orphan's Heart is also trying to expand this project's impact. "We are really trying to move forward in posting the products that we have for sale on our Web site," says Boyd. "We aren't quite there yet; we hope to be there by the end of the summer."
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For now, "the best way if you want to contact me because you're interested in purchasing a necklace or a purse, or seeing what they look like, would be to contact me personally by e-mail," Boyd says.
You can reach her at [email protected]
"Pray for the people there; for their salvation, and pray for their health," requests Boyd.
"We want to give them the hope of Jesus Christ and knowing Him, and then of course we want to help them improve their living conditions so that there will be a healthy environment for them and their children."