Africa! The land before time where exotic creatures still roam and nature paints breathtaking views that render one speechless. Yet this beautiful backdrop display is only an illusion as you whiz by in your tourist jeep, for just beyond the safari trails, lurks devastation. Tragic scenes of severe poverty, war, famine, and disease leave millions of orphans to fend for themselves.
In Uganda, once considered the Pearl of Africa, there are an estimated 2 million orphans - with projections of the number of orphans rising to 9 million within 10 years. Although the LRA rebels of Northern Uganda have ceased fire and the horrific child soldier abductions for the last few years have ended; AIDS, malaria, and disease continues to kill thousands of people a day and the orphans remain, desperately crying out for their lives. The plight of these orphans, along with many more marginalized at-risk and impoverished children having only one parent or sick parent(s) who are often unable to properly care for them is truly alarming.
That's where FISH International comes in. After the crisis organizations who rush in to assist after the initial trauma a particular region of the country has endured, many times communities are left behind fighting to survive. FISH then rises to the challenge of implementing long term solutions that not only rescue orphans, at-risk, and impoverished children but provide life change. FISH is only able to accomplish this by joining hands with donors, local leaders and compassionate villagers to rebuild communities to become safe, self sustaining, self supporting educationally based, life-changing environments for the children to be trained up to become transformational agents in their world and beyond.
You've heard the ancient Chinese proverb, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime." That is the foundation of FISH International, "Casting the net... for a lifetime catch!" Along with our compassionate worldwide partners, donors, local leaders, teachers, and villagers, FISH is committed to bringing HOPE by establishing educational centers, self sustaining agricultural programs, self-supporting cottage industries, digging wells, planting community gardens, building schools for hundreds for at-risk children, as well as providing safe homes for orphans in these impoverished communities, working as an all inclusive team with many others, for as you know "it takes a village to raise a child."
FISH International came into being after working several years in Africa and seeing global aid disappear into the coffers of corrupt leaders. It dawned on us that the only way to make a real impact on changing those children's world, was to partner with the local people who were already giving the shirt off their own back for their own people. Together with these compassionate local partners, FISH chooses to give at-risk children and impoverished communities a hand up, not a hand out, to work with them side by side in caring for the at-risk children as a "village" to together transform their community one challenge at a time, knowing it all begins with education.
FISH began rescuing at-risk, orphan and underprivileged children with our initial "Project of Hope" in 2008 by raising funds to purchase land in an impoverished community outside of Kampala, the capital of Uganda. With the help of our generous partners from around the globe, we were able to purchase building materials to enable the villagers and volunteers to labor together to make the bricks to complete a large schoolhouse to provide education for the local at-risk children to attend. In addition, a borehole (well) was drilled to provide water for the both the school and community.
Since that time, FISH has been privileged to work hand in hand implementing additional projects of hope with the local partners on the ground in Uganda, including building a chicken hatchery in the northern region near Gulu. Our long-term goal is to continue building up similar projects, purchasing more land and building more school to open the doors for more precious children to stream in, while establishing more cottage industries to support them.
While our African brothers and sisters have much to teach us about the joys of the simple life, the practice of gratitude, and how to really dance, we have much to share with them as well. North America and most of the European countries were built on the backs of entrepreneurs and that wealth of knowledge is what FISH seeks to share with our African partners and villagers to together join hands to rebuild their community and raise up this generation of at-risk, orphan and impoverished children with a new vision to impact their world.
When you choose to partner with FISH, in addition to supporting ongoing "Projects of Hope," you may also engage in the wonderful opportunity of choosing to "adopt" an at-risk or orphan child, to support their needs physically and emotionally by becoming involved in their lives, providing funds for their housing, food, and tuition, along with caring letters of encouragement to be sent to them on a monthly basis. You may specify whether you would like to choose to "adopt" an orphan, at-risk child, displaced refugee child, impoverished child or the entire family, as there is a ever increasing waiting list of those in need! In each situation, FISH has the ultimate goal of sponsorship being only a temporary "bridge" to then implement more permanent solutions, through agricultural plans to allow them to become self sustaining solution, in addition to establishing cottage industries to ensure they become self supporting.
Our desire is to continue to bring greater global awareness to the plight of these at-risk and orphan children and partner with like-minded charitable causes, not only in Africa, but in other impoverished countries where thousands of children are needlessly suffering daily. As FISH continues to expand this model of establishing educational centers for at-risk, orphan, and underprivileged children, as well as raising support to rebuild impoverished and war torn communities, building up various other "cottage industries" to generate supplemental income to enable these schools and communities to be thrive, as well as implementing agricultural programs to teach the children and villagers critical life sustenance and entrepreneurial skills for their future, we believe we can transform entire communities to become 100% self sustaining, to then duplicate that model over and over again, bringing hope to many.
With your valuable support, FISH will continue to work alongside these impoverished communities and at-risk children to give them a hand up, not a hand out, to teach them viable self sustaining and cottage industry skills to become 100% self supporting as they join together in helping raise up at-risk, orphan and destitute children in these impoverished and war torn areas to positively impact their lives and future global community. Each impoverished child has a big dream of becoming a doctor, a teacher, or a leader in their country. It is truly our privilege to be part of raising up the next generation. We truly believe the FISH model of "casting the net, for a lifetime catch" will be duplicated over and over again in many communities, creating 100% self sustaining, self supporting villages, where at-risk children are cared for and raised up with futures filled with hope, not only in countries in Africa, but in countries all over the world.
We're thrilled to have you join FISH in bringing global change for the next generation, one underprivileged child and community at a time. Thank you for your compassionate heart to reach out to give these precious at-risk children a hand up to give them hope and transform their future and the world!