There is an African proverb that states, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”
World Renew recognizes the importance of partnerships in our mission. Through local partners, World Renew works to extend God’s justice and mercy to vulnerable communities around the world—a mission not to be completed quickly, but with careful consideration of the lives touched and with the goal of bringing sustainable hope to those living with hunger, poverty, and injustice.
Through World Renew’s Global Partnership Program, Kabale Pentecostal Assemblies of God (PAG) Central, a local church of World Renew Uganda’s partner PAG South Western, has been in a global partnership with Bethany Christian Reformed Church of Bellflower, Calif., since 2010.
In 2012, the two churches started supporting children and families affected by HIV, through the Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) program in Uganda. Together the two churches have supported over 600 children and their caregivers.
One opportunity the shared program offers to vulnerable young people is vocational training and six-month apprenticeships with local artisans in a variety of trades.
Alex Nuwahereza, 15, is currently completing an apprenticeship in carpentry. “As an orphan who stays with an elderly, impoverished grandmother,” he said, “getting food has always been a challenge. But with the training there’s hope that this challenge will be overcome. … I no longer lament about my poor family because I know I can use this skill and get money, start my own workshop, and change my story.”
Participant Musasizi Musa is the fourth in a family of eight children. “Life has always been a struggle—especially during school times,” he said. “It wasn’t easy to pay tuition, and we missed a lot of classes. … I finally sat for my high school exams but performed poorly.”
After failing the exams, Musa worried about how he would earn a living. Through the OVC program he was able to attend motorcycle repair training and has found employment in the field. Musa said, “I have mastered the skill. … I have started saving money. … I have started paying tuition for my younger siblings. I hope to one day open my own motorbike spare parts shop and (train) other vulnerable children.”
But seeing transformations like Nuwahereza’s and Musa’s—seeing families grow from poverty to food security and income stability—is not the greatest accomplishment of World Renew’s partnership.
The greatest accomplishment is seeing participants in programs like OVC grow in faith. Musa said, “I loved the children’s meetings because I learned about God’s Word. That has helped me keep strong in the Lord to this day.”