Our UK Team
When our founders Steve and Liz Jennings went to Kampala, Uganda in 2007 they had no idea how much they would want to help the Ray of Hope project on their return.
We didn’t set out to run a charity, but just returned home determined to help Emily as best we could.
We were inspired by the vision and commitment of Emily and her staff, and totally captivated by the children and horrified by their plight. We had to do something.
In 2008, through the generosity of friends, Steve and Liz were able to send £6,000 to the Ray of Hope, and this increased to £8,000 the following year. By 2010, Friends began to finance a feeding programme to help the undernourished children receive a meal during their school day, and it became evident that Friends support was crucial to allow this good work to continue.
The needs of the poor worldwide are overwhelming, but Ray of Hope gives a focus to a small part of that need and at a scale that we can address. The children of the slums have so little and are so appreciative for what Ray of Hope can offer them.
By 2012, Friends were able to purchase a new school just on the outside of the slum but still adjacent to it. Originally, Emily had been teaching in her own home and then in a ramshackled building that was deemed unsafe for the children. Friends of Ray of Hope now has a health worker and access to medicines. Social workers are employed to support the children and families in their homes and to work with the mothers so that the education the children receive is not wasted but is fully supported when they are at home.
As well as Steve and Liz, our other Trustees: Matthew Brearley, Sue Forward, and John Miller along with other family and friends have continued to visit the school and lend hands-on support. We are very active in making sure all the money donated is put to the best use and in supporting Emily and her team and the amazing work they do as best we can.
And as we look forward, Friends of Ray of Hope would love to be able to extend this enthusiasm and make a real difference by helping Emily develop the school so that more children have an education and can go on to achieve apprenticeships or higher education.
This truly is an extraordinary project and one where we can all make such an effective difference. We truly hope you join us on our journey and help Emily on her wonderful mission.
You can help in so many ways
We have ongoing projects for our Primary school children, and a dream to build a new secondary school to support our older children better so that more can achieve scholarships and go on to university and ultimately, help the community grow.