Through Hope Ministries Uganda: USA’s partnership with Hope Ministries Uganda and Pastor Gerald Tugume our mission is to build awareness of the plight of a forgotten people and to bring the hope of Jesus Christ to the Batwa through a holistic approach. Part of this holistic approach is understanding the extreme poverty and discrimination from which the Batwa come from and recognizing that poverty is more than just low income.
"It is through VISION that people get excited about the work of our God! It is amazing what can be accomplished once our hearts are set in motion."
“Dream no small dreams for they stir not the hearts of men.”
Who are the Batwa?
The Batwa are a pygmy tribe located in the southwest corner of Uganda. They are conservation refugees who were evicted from their rain forest home so that the Bwindi Impenetrable Rain Forest could be made into a World Heritage Site to protect the 350 endangered mountain gorillas. The land they moved to was without a forest and was foreign to them. As one of the oldest documented tribes in Africa, thousands of years of living as the “Keepers of the Forest” changed to becoming “land squatters” and “living scarecrows”.
Bringing Hope & Love to God’s Forgotten People
The Batwa have been held under captivity of both being separated from God and as conservation refugees. The struggle has been real. The hope is that through being the hands and feet of Jesus, Hope Ministries Uganda will help free the Batwa from captivity and they will discover a relationship with the living God. They will no longer be called unworthy. They have a new name and a new life. God is not done with them.
What is Poverty?
Poverty is about hunger, malnutrition, illiteracy, unsafe drinking water, lack of access to basic health care services, social discrimination, physical insecurity, and political exclusion. It comes down to human suffering.
The Batwa often share how when they lived in the rain forest they were never hungry, never sick, never lacking. Life has changed.
“This was a permanent house. Do you see how we lost a lot? Today I am homeless yet my house is there in the forest for free. Since I left the forest I am still homeless up to now, …Where I stay is from Hope Ministries Uganda that pays my rent. But if I still had this house I wouldn’t have a problem.”
What does it mean to be discriminated against for the Batwa?
- The Batwa were a people group who depended on hunting and forest gathering. With their eviction from the forest, they were pushed into poverty.
- Because other tribes whom the Batwa try to live with do not understand their cultural practices, they choose to hate and discriminate against them.
- The Batwa are often humiliated, the children are not allowed in local schools or to receive medical care in local medical clinics.
- The Batwa women are denied education in their communities because they are women.
- Non-Batwa men often rape the women because they believe it will heal them from backache and cure HIV/AIDS.
“Those from among you will REBUILD the ancient ruins;
You will RAISE UP the age-old foundations;
And you will be called the REPAIRER of the breach,
The RESTORER of the streets in which to dwell.”
we can make an impact
What God has achieved through
Hope Ministries Uganda
Since our first visit in May, 2015, the Lord has been working mightily within Hope Ministries Uganda and Pastor Tugume Gerald. Here are just a few highlights.
- Rubuguri House of Living Hope Children’s Home was completed in July 2015.
- Nyanamo House of Living Hope Children’s Home was opened in April 2017.
- Feeding programs for disadvantaged children and nursing moms have been supported monthly since June 2015.
- Meetings with local government officials to address needs of Batwa.
- Training with church leadership, pastors, and pastor’s wives.
- Basic mobile first aid clinics to reach those in remote areas.
- Church planting and outreaches to cell groups. Since 2015 we have 6+ church plants and 170 partnering churches
- Piped water at the Rubuguri House of Living Hope Children’s Home.
- Purity teachings for the youth to help in staying pure and for the prevention of spreading sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.
- Land of Living Hope purchased for future Children’s Village, School, Medical Clinic and Church.
- Masiiko Preganancy Care Center opened in 2017 through our partnership with Beautiful Feet International.
- Clean water filtration projects (through partnership with Wine to Water) and well and water containment systems through out Kisoro District within Batwa communities.
- Entrepreneurship and business program with local Batwa Women.
Some Words From
Our Mission Team Members
“God has shown me many things on this trip and not the least of which is that the person I left behind [in the United States] is not the person who is appreciated and loved here…I do not need to worry about how I am perceived because I am not judged.”
“My goal on the mission trip was to show God’s love to the Batwa people. I saw the hope of redemption in their eyes and felt it in their hugs. Through Jesus Christ and the people willing to be His hands and feet, Hope Ministries Uganda is restoring lives and helping the Batwa to have hope in their future.”
“Hope Ministries Uganda is shaping lives and impacting a forgotten community in need. I love this organization because they are working to create sustainable change in the Batwa community by addressing short-term and long-term needs.”
“I went with Hope Ministries to Uganda in 2019 – Never before have I seen a people more in need. and an organization doing so much to help, stretching every dollar to incredible lengths. The long-term plan is to relocate the Batwa people to the Land of Living Hope – and I for one, can’t wait to visit the Land of Living Hope filled with Batwa people!”
Medical outreaches are a part of our Operation Raising Hope. Many of the Batwa are unable to receive medical attention because they are discriminated against.
Eight million people in Uganda lack access to clean water. Our goal is to provide clean water access in each of the Batwa communities that we work in.
Helping craft cooperatives work together to open small businesses and to sell their crafts within their communities, to tourists, and within the United States through our online store.
Providing nutrition through our agriculture program so our Batwa families and surrounding communities can maintain better health through eating nutritious foods.
Equipping our women to manage and understand business and how a successful business can change a family line.
Group Mission Trips for your church or if you do not have a group to sign up with you can sign up to go with one of our open groups.
How Can You Help Today?
“The highest test of the civilization of any race is in its willingness to extend a helping hand to the less fortunate.”
Hope Ministries Uganda is supported by donors and sponsors from individuals, businesses, and churches. A monthly gift can have a huge impact! You can also support specific projects or sponsor a child.
“This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 John 5:14) Will you commit to pray for our work in Uganda?
You can visit Uganda on a missions trip and see and participate firsthand with what God is doing!
You can shop for Batwa Crafts online both on our website and on our Amazon Store. Your purchase helps us give back to families and children in our community.