Saving Grace Children's Village
a place of refuge and hope.
The Saving Grace Children's Village sits on 15 acres in Lira, Uganda, and houses over 50 rescued street children. We have three boys homes and one girls home, each with its own housemother or housefather. In these homes, children begin to experience family relationships again, with fellow street children becoming brothers and sisters, as well as day-to-day routines of chores and schoolwork. Children come together to worship, pray and experience fellowship. At the village, you will find a fresh-water well, five acres of farmland where the children learn how to grow their own food, a soccer field, three school buildings for Saving Grace Primary and Nursery School, and an administrative building. For former street children, the village provides a new life of security, and a place where healing can begin.
The site master plan above outlines future goals for the village to bring in more children. The Saving Grace Children's Village will continue to impact the lives of hundreds of orphan children for many years to come by providing a loving home, spiritual mentoring, education and training in life skills. We invite you to be part of the growth of our village.
street children's ministry
Street Children are the central focus of Saving Grace in Uganda. The Street Children Ministry operates out of Uncle Fred's House, our halfway house that serves as a light at the end of the street for hundreds of children in need of hope and a way out. Uncle Fred, our ministry director in Uganda, runs this ministry with the help of other Ugandan staff and welcomes street children in to receive food, medical care, baths, clean clothes and the love of Jesus. Weekly outreaches provide refuge from the hunger, fear and danger plaguing street children in Lira. When trouble in the community arises and a street child is killed or imprisoned, Uncle Fred's House provides protection. Every child who comes to Uncle Fred's House is introduced to Jesus Christ and is encouraged to trust God to meet their every need. As God provides the resources, we work to provide permanent homes for the children.
The entire organization of Saving Grace in Uganda is fully reliant on Jesus Christ. He is foundation of all that we do. When we take in a street child, they are taught about the redemptive power of Jesus Christ, the healing love of God, and the guiding counsel of the Holy Spirit. So many of the children of Saving Grace have overcome unthinkable trauma and emotional wounds because our God is a redeemer. The children spend hours each day at the village praying and worshipping God together. They read the word of God and receive encouragement from it daily. We believe that by equipping these children with the Gospel, they will then transform their communities and create disciples wherever they go.
Saving Grace Primary and Nursery are built on the village property and school over 300 students, both former street children and children from local community. It's amazing to see kids who were once living on the streets now thriving in their school performance, many at the top of their class. Our teachers have been specifically trained in ministering to street children and lovingly value all of their students. Our school was recently named the #1 primary school in the district of Lira and we could not be more proud of our dedicated teachers and students. Once our children complete primary school, they are given the opportunity to go on to secondary school (similar to a high school boarding school) and even to college. Another option for many children is to attend vocational school, where they learn specific trades and skills, such as carpentry, mechanics and culinary so that they can quickly acquire a job. We are trusting God to provide the funds needed to provide educational opportunities that will help this next generation to positively impact/ change their communities and even their whole country. Saving Grace Primary School has become to the community what Uncle Fred’s House is to the local street children- a beacon of light and symbol of hope.
In Uganda, orphan street children are rarely awarded the land that is rightfully theirs after the death of their parents. Most often the land is taken by others without the consent of the child. Saving Grace in Uganda works as the children’s advocate with the goal of regaining the rightful inheritance of their family’s land. Uncle Fred has worked with extended family, village chiefs and local authorities to obtain land ownership for almost all of the boys in our program. When the boys reach maturity, they are confident and well-equipped to live as sustaining and contributing members of their community on their own land.
extended family connection
One of Saving Grace in Uganda’s first priorities when rescuing a child from life on the street is to discover what happened to the parents and why the child ended up on the streets. Our goal is to place each child back with relatives to grow up in their own family environment, if possible. If extended family can be located, meetings are conducted to determine if they are willing and most importantly able to care for the child. The gospel of Jesus Christ is always shared along with counseling to help solve problems and discover needs. If family members are willing to accept the responsibility of caring for the child, Saving Grace may offer to pay for school fees and supplies to ease the financial burden.
Agriculture is Uganda’s economic foundation. Most citizens grow a majority of their own crops and keep their own livestock. All children in the Saving Grace program are taught planting and harvesting of crops as well as how to care for small animals such as chickens, goats and pigs. This equips them to live sustainable lives and support their future families.
All children are involved in an ongoing individualized counseling program with Uncle Fred and our staff social worker. This program is vital to their recovery process, as most children have gone through extreme trauma at very young ages. We are careful to address the emotional and physical abuse while encouraging the children that God can and will bring healing. We have seen all of our children heal in tremendous ways through our counseling program.
AIDS is the leading cause of death in Uganda and the reason a majority of children end up living on the streets. In order to help break this cycle, AIDS awareness and prevention is taught regularly at Saving Grace.