Over the last 10 years, the founders of C.A.U.S.E. UGANDA have both been on the front lines of serving orphaned and vulnerable children. What they both discovered is that only about 10% of those labeled “orphan” were indeed orphans. The other roughly 90% had parents who loved their children but saw placing them in an orphanage as the only means for them to be fed, have a roof over their head, and get an education. God began stirring our hearts with this question: Why is no one supporting the parents?
They were also presented with several models that involved child sponsorship. More times than not, this model generated a lot of interest and money flow. It however, was not a long term solution and frequently backfired. Once, while in Kenya, Megan heard the kids screaming, “Here come our White Saviors!!!” as her team walked down the road toward them. These children were building an unhealthy attachment and were being offered a false representation. Later in that same week, she sat down with the house parents and, with tears streaming down their faces, they said their one request was that they cancel child sponsorship and instead help build their attachment with the children.
Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is extremely prevalent in traumatized, abandoned, neglected, and vulnerable children. They don’t know who to trust, they don’t know where they belong, and they don’t know who to follow. C.A.U.S.E. UGANDA wants to help eliminate the overwhelming statistic of RAD in children by supporting the God ordained institution of family. Children need to see those they interact with on a daily basis providing - whether that be mom and dad, grandma and grandpa, aunt and uncle, or another guardian set it place. They need to build this fundamental trust and safety net with people in their home, not with people across the ocean.
Uganda is a country that is crowded with entrepreneurs. It is the main source of income. Some make jewelry, others sell fruit and vegetables on a crooked table in front of their house. These families survive because of the businesses they create. They are already doing the hard work. C.A.U.S.E. UGANDA want to simply come beside them and say, “We see you doing everything you can to provide for your family. We want to partner with what you are already doing.” We don’t want to overtake their business, we don’t want to force our ideas on them, we don’t want to become their bosses. We want to partner and help.
If there is one thing that hinders Ugandans from really thriving from the business they run, it is how to manage money. They are some of the most generous people you will ever meet. If their neighbor needs something, they lend without expecting anything back. They do not see any urgent need to have a savings account. They live for the day they have been given. While some of this ideology can be celebrated, there are also lessons we feel we can offer in helping better their and their children’s tomorrows. C.A.U.S.E. UGANDA'S business model provides the time and space for these conversations to be had respectfully and mutually.
Our main goal is to glorify our King, our Savior, our Lord. We want to make Him known. Every conversation we have will be laced with who Jesus is. At every evaluation meeting, we will start with prayer and a devotional. If they are already a Christian, we will encourage them to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with all of their customers. Jesus is and will always be our highest priority.