A breathing space
Our Family Centre sits on top of a hill with beautiful views, on nine acres of land owned by the organisation. It acts as a fresh start for families living in the slums that have complicated or dangerous situations and who need extra support.
It is a place where people can take a step back from the daily burdens, frustrations and challenges of life in the slums; somewhere families can focus on rebuilding relationships, learn new skills and take time to plan for the future. It’s a breathing space where hope can begin to grow.
Run over eight months, the programme aims to minister to households holistically; addressing individuals’ emotional, physical, spiritual and social needs and working to reinforce relationships and unity in the family.
Hands-on training in sustainable farming
Over the course of eight months this amounts to a wide and varied knowledge, supported with practical experience, and hard work! Among other things, they learn about how to make the most of the land available, planting systematically and using differing growing conditions to define crop choice and optimise yields.
They practice making their own, organic pesticides and fertilisers, which can be produced using local plants and ingredients and then use them on the crops as well as in their own personal gardens. Any food that is harvested goes towards supplementing the families’ diets and encourages them to invest time in their own gardens.
Health & Social
Families learn together about staying healthy through hygiene, good nutrition (which is nicely linked with the foods they have begun to grow for themselves) and simple ways of avoiding diseases like malaria, pneumonia and dysentery.
The team counsel and pray with families both in groups and one-to-one, helping them regain confidence and hope despite the often-traumatising situations they have experienced. They teach on parenting, and emotional and spiritual well-being, working to restore individuals and relationships. Each family have their own ‘restoration plan’ where they can record practical, emotional and spiritual growth or changes they want to see and the steps they can take to meet them. A change of mind-set often takes time but leaves people free to make plans for the future.
We encourage parents to think ahead through training in Income Generating Activities (IGAs) and how to save effectively, with the intention that they will be ready and capable of sustaining themselves and their children by the end of the programme.
Alongside good farming practice and making money through produce, families are trained in a wide variety of activities from soap-making, shoe production, basket weaving and making exercise books to fabricating re-usable sanitary pads and nappies. The hope is that they will discover a trade that interests and motivates them, while simultaneously discovering that they have value and potential.
I am excited about what Jesus is doing in me
and excited to go back to my family and the village I come from
to share what Jesus has done in my life.
– CHRISTINE (MAMA MORGAN)
Ultimately, if all our work is focused around love and relationship, where else can this best be represented than in family; both natural and spiritual? All too often, families are places of brokenness, disappointment and rejection. But they also have the incredible potential to be places of growth, support, encouragement, love at all costs and new life.
God is all about family; he created it, made it the building block of humanity and has always intended that we should become part of his very own. We love to see community united, and families are the foundation of community.