Bagamba
kindly sends occasional "Newsletters" about the work of Beacon of Hope".  These are in PDF format and the files are quite large as they usually contain photographs.  The documents can be 'Opened' by clicking on the links below, and from there can be read, saved, or printed, as you wish.

Beacon of Hope News-sheets:-

(March 2015)   Click Here   then click "Open" to read / save / print the PDF file

(August 2014)   Click Here   then click "Open" to read / save / print the PDF file

(May 2014)
   Click Here   then click "Open" to read / save / print the PDF file

(January 2013)   Click Here   then click "Open" to read / save / print the PDF file

(March 2012)   Click Here   then click "Open" to read / save / print the PDF file


The BEACON of HOPE Charity

Our Church Members, Bagamba Araali and his wife, Banage, returned to their homeland, the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo in 2007, taking with them their children, Akiiki, Maziga and Amooti. Bagamba is based at the University in Bunia, working for SIL International on Bible translation projects.

Baby Tusiime arrived after their return, born in 2011.

As a result of further fighting near by in 2009, they set up a Charity ‘Beacon of Hope for Widows, Vulnerable Women and Orphans’ providing trauma counselling for women and children and education for orphans.

Wivenhoe Church members and friends provide financial support for both the family and the charity.

Please remember them in your prayers.

 

Beacon of Hope for Widows, Vulnerable women and Children

1. The situation
Although news of over 10 years of civil war and ethnic conflicts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are heard all over the world, very little attention has been paid to the plight of the victims of interethnic conflicts, of which orphans and widows are the main sufferers.

Bogoro, a village perched on top of Blue Mountains at the continental divide between the Congo basin and the River Nile at 25 km from Bunia is home to one of the most unfortunate communities in the East of the DRC. Out of about 4000 inhabitant Bogoro had in 1999, Bogoro lost nearly 60% of its population in three major ethnically motivated attacks between February 2002 and March 2003. As a pastoralist community, men were particularly exposed as herdsmen could not enter areas protected by UN troops with cattle. Massacres in Bogoro were so brutal and ruthless that the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court felt the need to come to Bogoro to see for himself the remains of the victims. Only in July 2009 did the prosecutor allow the people of Bogoro to burry the bones of their relatives.

Since 2006, survivors have been returning to Bogoro with hope to rebuild their lives again. Having lost everything including their homes, these people have been struggling to have ends meet. A survey conducted in May 2009 by Beacon of Hope revealed gruesome realities. Firstly, 60% of the population of Bogoro is made of school age children, of which one out of three is an orphan. Secondly, 18% of women in the village are widows who in turn look after orphans and other vulnerable relatives. Fourthly, orphans constituent the majority of the unschooled population.

According to the headmaster of the local school, the primary school in Bogoro is seriously handicapped by lack of fund as most widows and relatives who look after orphans are not capable of paying school fees. “It is with great sadness that we do send them away from school” he added.

2. Vision of Beacon of Hope
Beacon of Hope for Widows, Vulnerable Women and Children is a faith based and non profit local NGO created by Dr. Bagamba B. Araali and his wife Banage Bagamba and five other friends with the aim of fostering God’s love to orphans and widows victims of interethnic conflict and civil war in the Ituri District where one of the worst human tragedy took place between 1999 and 2003. For this purpose, Beacon of Hope plans: 

  • To pay school fees for orphans of Bogoro and surrounding villages in order to prepare them for future life
  • Organise trauma healing seminars for orphans and widows greatly traumatised by brutal death of relatives
  • Help widows to develop income generating activities so that they can provide for themselves and their children in future
  • Promote peace, reconciliation and friendship among orphans and widows from opposing ethnic communities
  • Talk to international NGOs on behalf of orphans and widows of Bogoro and surrounding villages with regard to their need for healthcare and food security.

3. Currently active project: Education for orphans
Out of 512 children of school age in Bogoro alone, our survey showed that 87 orphans have never been enrolled to school and over hundred others were in and out of school due to lack of the payment of school fees. This is just the tip of an iceberg since we do not have complete statistics of orphans in other villages such as Vilo and Nyakeru.
While we are grateful to the Lord that we have been able to send 100 orphans from Lendu, Bira, Ngiti and Hema ethnic groups to school, we are however sad that we are not able to support over 150 more orphans whom we identified during our survey due to insufficient fund.

4. Pending projects
Our May 2009 survey identified 168 widows and 30 women victims of sexual violence that are in need of help. In order to help these women stand on their own economically, Beacon of Hope has designed four projects aimed at helping widows and vulnerable women to learn new trades according to their interests and capabilities.
In this regard, women from Vilo asked Beacon of Hope to help them master soap making techniques. Others want to learn dress-making while those from postoralist background would like to start small family animal husbandry.
In addition, in April 2010 Beacon of Hope would like to organise trauma healing, peace and reconciliation seminar for orphans and widows alike. However, at the moment, we have not received any fund toward these projects.

5. Our needs and how you can help
As shown under section 3, the education of orphans is our frontline project at the moment. Unfortunately, the fund we collected from our own members and friends this far can barely cover school fees for 100 orphans this year. We budgeted $5,000 for 200 children but so far we have collected only $2,000. Generally, it costs $40 to $60 a year to send one child to primary school. Since we are living in an area without adequate bank services, it costs us an additional $20 for transport to take fees to schools (we are talking about 3 schools).
Since buildings in Bogoro were completely destroyed by ethnic militia, Beacon of Hope is in need of building a hall which can be used for seminars and trainings. At the moment, everything is done out of the Bagamba family home and family computer and photo camera are also used. Having an office would mean little disruption for our family and would make international NGOs take us seriously. If you can contribute toward any of these needs we would love to hear from you. Bank details for Beacon of Hope are as follow:
Bank: Standard Chartered Bank UG LTD, Branch: Speke Road Kampala, Bank address: 5 Speke Road, Kampala, Uganda, A/C Number: 87082-106262-47, Currency: US Dollars, Beneficiary: Mission Aviation Fellowship (Beacon of Hope for Widows, Vulnerable Women and Children). Bank Swift Code: SCBLUGKA

While waiting for a credible bank to be established in Bunia, we are grateful to our partner Mission Aviation Fellowship for contributing to our ministry by allowing us to use their bank account. When you send money to this account, please write to us to the address provided on this leaflet. Many thanks for your help and God bless you richly.

6. How does Beacon of Hope work?
Until now Bagamba and Banage have done the bulk of the work on voluntary basis. Regulations regarding national non profit organisations in the DRC require a minimum of seven members with founder and co-founder statuses. Thus, there are five other members as back-up to Bagamba and Banage. As co-founders of Beacon of Hope, these persons are by default members of the board. In this capacity, they are to make sure that finances are handled correctly and every penny we receive is used for the benefit of orphans and widows.

7. Praises and prayers
We praise the Lord for the provision of fund which allowed the enrolling of 100 orphans to school in September 2009. In this regard, we particularly praise the Lord for prompting Madame Adedeji Olamide, chief of Bureau of MONUC for helping us raise some fund from the UN employees in Bunia. We equally praise the Lord for Wivenhoe Methodist Church (UK) and Brightlingsea United Church (UK) for their contributions which gave children in hopeless situation the opportunity to enter schools. Please pray that the Lord will send more funds for continued education of orphans and the implementation income generating activities for widows.
Our contacts:
Please e-mail Bagamba B. Araali bagambaa@yahoo.com tel: +243 810 960 239+243 810 960 239 or + 243 995 669 664+ 243 995 669 664. You can also contact Madame Banage Bagamba at +243 814 200 070+243 814 200 070, banagea_2006@yahoo.fr







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