Hope for Life Katanga was birthed in September 2011, when Megan and I (Mark) first traveled to Uganda and met three Ugandans passionate about supporting families in Katanga Slum, Uganda. We both caught the enthusiasm of our now, three co-founders, as they walked us round Katanga and explained the vision they had for the community, home to 20,000 people.
Since that time, as each year passed, our work in Uganda has expanded, originally working in Education alone, and now in both Livelihoods and Health. We went from paying travelling costs for two Ugandan teachers, to now employing six Ugandan staff and a number of additional part-time trainers and educators. We started by borrowing a small room in Katanga, to now owning four houses in Katanga, which have been converted to run our programs from. Our first three sponsored children started school in January 2013, we now have 34 sponsored children spread out over 5 different schools. Our expenditure in our first year was £4,000 and in the accounting year ending June 2015 was £24,000. The charity started so organically that we originally had no back up or support. We now have an amazing team of eight trustees that oversee and are responsible for the charity's operations.
We have grown. We have changed.
One area which hadn't changed, up until now, was the day to day work happening in the UK. This work was mainly done by Megan and I; managing and recording the accounts, running events to raise awareness and gain extra support, update our supporters and unique sponsors through our website, social media, emails and letters, as well as building an experienced and competent team of trustees.
This format worked for a while but we have grown to the point where this is no longer sustainable and it is now time for us to expand.
Over the past six months we have been working hard to recruit and induct volunteers into our UK team, each taking on a slice of the UK operations, allowing us to develop our work to support more families in Uganda. We have now added seven new volunteers to our UK team, each of them specialising in a specific area, for example, finance, marketing and supporter relations. These volunteers are being over seen by Chris Boddy, one of our trustees, who is now responsible for the day to day running of the charity.
These last six months have been really exciting because we are starting to see how the charity will look in the future. Our volunteers are amazing and bring the skills and expertise that we need to carry on growing as an organisation. We hope that over the next year or so we will be able to expand and improve every aspect of the charity in the UK, which will then allow us to help more families in Uganda so watch this space!