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FREEDOM BOYS MINISTRY

Why Raise Funds for the Freedom Boys Ministry

  • These one-time funds raised will be multiplied many times over producing returns for years to come – funds raised will specifically go towards to building of “dormitories / hostels” to rent out to university students. Such rentals are in high demand, require little time involvement away from the ministry work, and will provide regular, guaranteed income to cover the ongoing operational costs (including food, housing, medical care, and school-fees for the boys, advocacy programs and staff salaries) and capital for further expansion/development
  • With funds raised in the 2016 Ride for Refuge, the land for the dormitories has already been purchased. However, funds are now needed for the building of the dorms. Each dorm of 8+ rooms, housing 16+ students, costs approximately $15,000 and multiple dorms are needed.
  • With guaranteed, regular income from a source that requires very little time involvement, the leaders can be free to focus their time and energy on their ministry work with the boys.
  • The Freedom Boys Ministry is a ministry that brings the love of Jesus to boys who live on the streets of Soroti, Uganda by standing up for, discipling and counseling them and by seeking to provide for their spiritual, emotional, physical, educational, and vocational growth; to instill in them a deep sense of self-value and self-dignity based on who they are in Christ; and to help them become productive members of society and active members of the church, according to who God made each of them to be. Where possible, the ministry works to reintegrate boys into their families and home communities ensuring that they will be properly cared for. 
  • The Freedom Boys Ministry began over 7 years ago in the hearts of two young Ugandan men, Martin Mwanga and Denis Okwera, from two totally different tribes and backgrounds and who only God could bring together to have a mutual passion to reach out to the street boys of a 3rd tribe. Martin and Denis, along with our team, spent the first 3 years, slowly and patiently building rapport and relationships with the boys, meeting regularly under a mango tree, playing soccer and providing meals. They gave so much of themselves to the boys that they literally lived, worked and breathed for the boys. What little they had and what little they could earn/get was for the boys. Eventually, they organized the boys into a soccer team called the Freedom Boys Football Club to participate in a city-wide tournament… which they won! So came the name for the ministry. 
  • We and our team have been walking alongside Martin & Denis (see videos of Denis & the Freedom Boys here and here) and they alongside us for the past 7+ years, encouraging, equipping and engaging with each other in the development of this ministry and in our personal lives as well. Together, we have experienced many challenges and joys and have learned much over the years… and it is only by God’s grace and strength that we have made it this far, and have thus been able to see the fruit of transformation in the lives of the boys. See photos here.
  • Today, the Freedom Boys Ministry has farmland on which the boys grow food and a Drop-In Centre open daily for the boys to wash themselves and their clothes, get a meal, hang-out, rest, play games, receive tutoring and training, be discipled, etc.
  • The ministry provides counseling, tutoring, school sponsorship, Bible study, life skills training, vocational training and opportunities, learning and recreational opportunities, celebrations, parental care, medical help, advocacy, community sensitization.
  • Without the Freedom Boys Ministry, many of the boys living on the streets of Soroti have no one to care for them and little hope for a future.

Why Boys Live on the Streets

Boys end up on the streets for a variety of reasons, though poverty is usually at the heart of the problem. In many cases a boy’s family can no longer afford to care for them properly or may need their help to supplement the family income and help put food on the table. Often what happens is one of their parents dies or leaves, the remain parents remarries, and the new step-parent wants nothing to do with the boys of the parent’s previous married. Ultimately, the step-parent “chases” the boys away through mistreatment and abuse. Some of the boys have lost both parents. Girls are less likely to end up on the streets because parents/relatives keep them for their dowry value.

Life on the Streets

Life on the streets is a dangerous, harsh existence and most of the boys become extraordinarily resilient and inventive in order to simply survive. On the streets they may earn money in a number of ways including begging, collecting scrap metal for recycling, doing menial dirty tasks for business owners, and stealing. Many boys are the victims of violence – from each other (particularly the older street kids), business owners who see them only as problems, and police who often act as perpetrators rather than protectors. Drug abuse, mostly solvent-sniffing, is a problem for many of the boys – it’s often the only way of escaping their horrific existence – if only for a few hours. As they grow-up and become adults, if they make it that far, many of them end up in prison and/or dead.

The Freedom Boys Ministry

gives these boys refuge and hope

– the opportunity of a life they

would otherwise never have.



 

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Please feel free to contact us with any questions: Tim & Angie Sliedrecht

Hair Dare Facebook Page  Freedom Boys photos

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