In our last Blog, we clarified that we in no way believe that we are the only organization out there that focuses on family preservation when it comes to orphan care.
For three years, we studied these organizations. We mulled over and over whether God was asking us to just continue financially supporting these businesses, or if we were supposed to take what we learned from them and expand upon their exceptional missions and visions.
We took our time. When one of our Ugandan friends reached out to us about their business endeavors, fireworks went off. Both our hearts started to pound. We both heard from the Holy Spirit at the exact same time. We had our answer.
As our hearts, and ideas, and experiences, all started to come together into a business model, we had one major concern – upholding Ugandan’s dignity. Far too many times we have seen well intentioned Americans come and take over. Their culture, their ideology, their ways are pushed to the top. Yes, they offer amazing help, but on their way, they silence voices.
We never wanted to appear like we were giving Ugandans voices. Quite the opposite. Ugandans already have voices. They already have ideas, and skills, and visions. All we wanted to do, was partner with their already incredible ideas to help make their platform larger.
That is why we chose the name C.A.U.S.E. UGANDA. The words that make up that acronym – Consider. Applaud. Understand. Support. Empower – are what we want to stand by, are what we want to be accountable to maintaining.
The pieces of the puzzle were coming together: focus on family preservation, stop reinventing a wheel that has already been done, and honor Ugandan people.
The following four unique things about C.A.U.S.E. UGANDA have completed that puzzle.
- We try to stay invisible. If the children never know we exist, then we will feel as though we have succeeded. In our years of research, we studied attachment disorders more than anything. From infancy, babies are learning to attach – or not to attach - to their caregivers. I cry, mom feeds me, trust builds. I cry, dad changes me, trust builds. Later in life, they see their caregivers going to work, going to the store, cooking the food, buying the clothes and they know they are safe. They know they are taken care of. If you take their caregivers out of the equation, then they start to attach to strangers. People in a picture. Visitors that only come once a year. This is not healthy. This is not sustainable. This is not wise. For these reasons, we do not support, nor do we recommend child sponsorship. When you give to missionaries, do you give to children? Or do you give to their family, specifically to the parents? And the parents wisely provide for their children.
- We recognize their previous hard work and skill set they already bring to the table. Some of the organizations we studied and learned from, brought parents – mostly mothers – to their property to teach them skills. They were then somewhat locked into the trade they were taught – jewelry making, basket weaving, clothes making. We wanted to change this up a bit. We want to applaud and support those that have been previously doing whatever it takes to provide. Who have farmed their tiny property, who have cooked for their village, who have set up private tutoring classes. We wanted to consider those that aren’t interested in arts and crafts. What about the men? How can we support and empower them? For this reason, we do not hold classes that teach skills, rather when we do training courses, we focus on budgeting, saving, and business management.
- We are not in a specific city. Again, after studying several respected organizations, we discovered that if those they partnered with did not live close to their property, they could not participate. Our business model allows the capability to partner with families from the north and south, east and west.
- We have mutual contracts. When both parties decide that a partnership is best, there is a contract that both agree upon. Both have responsibilities, both are to be held accountable, both get to work, both can terminate the contract under certain reasons. We are not above our Ugandan partners. We are not bosses. We are equal.
C.A.U.S.E. UGANDA does not claim to have it all figured out. We hope to learn and grow along the way. Being set in our ways and not listening to ways we can improve is a recipe for failure. Keeping our eyes on Jesus, our hearts in a humble posture, our ears open to advice, and our convictions to humanity set, we want to grow. That is what truly honors the Lord.