Frequently Asked Questions
Acres of Hope started with Odongo Geoffrey Keronga, a lifelong resident of Northern Uganda. He is a pastor, husband, and father. Over 200 children and young adults call him “Dad”. His faith and relationship with the Lord can be compared to that of Noah. When he began planning Acres of Hope, people thought he was crazy. Locals told him it wasn’t possible, but Geoffrey carried on. His vision for Acres of Hope grew out of his own experiences. Geoffrey knew that God allowed him to survive an awful childhood so that he could help hundreds, if not thousands of other orphans and vulnerable children, know the love of Christ and live a better life. Geoffrey is an example of what it means to be selfless, compassionate, faithful, determined, patient, and incorruptible. He is a man after God’s own heart.
A Christ centered community for orphans and vulnerable children. The mission of Acres of Hope Uganda is to holistically promote the welfare of orphans and vulnerable children by enhancing their capacity individually and at the household level through providing shelters, education, healthcare and financial assistance in order to empower them and consequently, ensure sustainable lives of self-reliance thereafter.
Acres of Hope International is committed to spending the maximum amount possible on program activities. We keep our expenses very low with an all volunteer board, employing only limited administrative help. We withhold 17.5% of sponsorship contributions to cover administrative expenses. Each year we evaluate actual expenses to determine how much additional we can forward to Uganda. 100% of all non-sponsorship contributions are sent to Uganda (less bank fees).
Located in Northern Uganda. Although the main school is located in Nebbi, Acres of Hope also has a second school in Pakwach and also reaches as far at Goli.
Acres of Hope has a unique approach to caring for orphans and vulnerable children. Acres of Hope Uganda was founded by Pastor Geoffrey, who grew up in similar conditions to the kids he now helps (orphaned, hungry, and lacking money for school fees). His past affords him the opportunity to create bright futures. The children live in family settings and the school employs nurturing teachers and class sizes are small. Acres of Hope is a loving community, not an institution. Acres of Hope is operated by Ugandan people who know the culture, understand needs, and are prepared to navigate tragedy to witness triumph. By meeting basic needs, providing high quality education, and equipping the students with technical skills, health returns, healing begins, and hope is restored. The community is also focused on becoming self-sustaining. This is unique approach for charitable organizations in the developing world. In addition to child development, Acres of Hope is creating locally owned businesses and teaching skills beyond the classroom to the children.
Are my contributions to Acres of Hope International, including my child sponsorship support and gifts, tax-deductible?
Yes. Acres of Hope International is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization as your sponsorship contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
In addition to letters from your sponsored child, we will send you monthly newsletters about current events at Acres of Hope. You’ll get a better understanding of your sponsored child’s culture and life. We also organize trips to visit Acres of Hope every year and you are cordially invited to join us!
Once you’ve become a sponsor, you can log in to your account with Acres of Hope International. Click the arrow next to “My Profile.” Select Inbox and then click ew Message. Acres of Hope staff will show your message to your child and help him or her read it. Alternately, you can use this link to send a letter: https://acresofhopeuganda.org/send-letter-2/. You can also send letters and pictures with teams when they travel to Uganda. We will inform you before a teams leaves. Sponsored children typically keep their sponsors’ photos and letters in their homes as treasured possessions. You may write to the child you sponsor as often as you like. When you write, your sponsored child will benefit from knowing that someone really cares. Your words of encouragement will make a big difference to your child. Correspondence between sponsors and the children they support is truly developmental. The more you write the child you sponsor, the more he or she will reap the benefits of your relationship.
How does Acres of Hope International ensure that my support actually benefits the child I sponsor?
Acres of Hope International reviews the books of Acres of Hope Uganda every quarter. We are in weekly contact with the staff of Acres of Hope Uganda and monitor closely the activities in Uganda. Additionally, we visit Uganda at least once every year to review progress from the previous year and discuss in detail the budget for the coming year. Please note that the money sent for sponsorship does not go into individual bank accounts for individual children. Rather, Acres of Hope Uganda uses one account to insure the needs of all sponsored children are met. Your child will be cared for according to the high standards set for all Acres of Hope Uganda children.
Your prayers for the health, safety, education and spiritual development of your child are critical. Sponsored children are greatly encouraged when they hear that their sponsors are praying for them. Remember that the child you sponsor will likely pray for you, too.
Our hope and prayer is that you will stay with a child for a number of years, usually through Primary 7 with the option to continue sponsorship through high school and even college. While we hope that you will be able to continue your support of your sponsored child until he or she completes the program, we recognize that circumstances sometimes change. You may discontinue your child sponsorship at any time. Please understand that in rural Northern Uganda, a sponsored child’s circumstances may change, too. For example, sometimes families move and children no longer have the opportunity to participate. We will inform you as quickly as possible if any such circumstance affects the child you sponsor, and we’ll offer you the opportunity to support another child in need of your help.
The cost is only $50 per month and provides School Fees, School Supplies, Uniforms, Shoes, Food, Clean Water, Shelter and Health Care.
If you need to discontinue your child sponsorship, we will immediately look for a new sponsor for your child. Your child will remain a part of the Acres of Hope community while we find a new sponsor. In the interim, a discontinued sponsorship creates a financial strain on Acres of Hope so advance notice is always appreciated. You can discontinue your child sponsorship at any time.
Previously, unique gifts were given to sponsored children. However, this began to create an unhealthy environment where some children received gifts and others did not. We have created a policy where sponsors may send the following gifts to their child when a group visits Uganda; Bible Story Book Twin Bed Sheets (dark color, flannel best) Bath Towel (dark color best) Composition Books Pens Toothbrushes Toothpaste Feminine Hygiene Pads These items will be distributed by AOHU staff, as needed.
A sponsor is someone like you who has made the decision to personally invest in the life of a child in need. More than this, you can help your sponsored child develop a sense of confidence and self-worth with the love you express through letters and prayers. As a sponsor, you can develop a real connection with the specific child you support. The child you sponsor will know your name, write to you, and pray for you. Your relationship with your sponsored child makes you a very important person who has a significant role in his or her development. You stand alongside teachers, staff, family and friends who are taking an active role in encouraging and developing the child.
The child you sponsor will receive opportunities and services that most of the world’s poorest children never see. These opportunities and services include: Basic Needs, Healthcare, and Emotional Support Five houses provide homes for over 70 of the most vulnerable children in Nebbi, Uganda. These homes were funded by generous donors in the United States through Williamson’s Chapel United Methodist Church and West United Methodist Church in Mooresville, North Carolina as well as ONE Less Ministries in Smyrna, Tennessee. Each home houses between 8 and 20 children and one matron or patron. The caretakers ensure that the children are fed and healthy. They form appropriate emotional and social bonds, helping the children to cope with their past, and look forward to their future. The children have responsibilities, but they no longer have to skip school to find food or fetch water. The students who do not live at Acres of Hope receive breakfast and lunch while at school. Many of them live with guardians who receive support from Acres of Hope in the form of basic necessities like food as well as livestock and gardening supplies to aid in the production of a local income. Education The high dropout rate in Uganda is primarily because survival takes priority over education, and most of the time, school fees are simply not available. Acres of Hope Nursery and Primary School serves the children who live at Acres of Hope as well as others who live in the community. Approximately 150 students attend AOH School in Nebbi, and an additional 70 students attend the campus in Pakwach. Acres of Hope children attend the Acres of Hope schools from Nursery through Primary 7 (which marks the end of elementary school). The children then attend secondary (high) schools throughout Uganda. The best secondary schools in Uganda are boarding schools so many AoH students attend school in the bigger cities of Arua and Kampala. Sponsorship and Relationships While Geoffrey and his team in Uganda do most of the leg work, child sponsorship has provided a way for hundreds of people to partner with Acres of Hope. For $50 a month, individuals can sponsor a child, providing school fees, school uniforms, healthcare, food, and other basic needs. The sponsors then get to communicate with their child through e-mail and physical letters. This relationship has proved to motivate the students to excel in their studies, knowing they have the support of their sponsor. Many of the students refer to their sponsor as Mom or Dad, and the joy they experience when they receive a letter is infectious.
Yes. The child you’re helping has just one sponsor: You. That’s why your prayers, letters and support mean so much to your sponsored child. Even if you choose to sponsor a child as a family or a group (for example, a youth group or a Sunday school class), the child you help will still be relating to your family or group as his or her only sponsor. No other group or individual will also sponsor the child you help.
Your child will write to you at least three times per year. A teacher or staff person will help children who have yet to learn how to read and write. As you share your own family and personal joys and concerns with the child you support, you’ll probably discover that he or she is consistently praying for you. As your exchange of letters with the child you sponsor grows over the years, you can build a scrapbook of letters and photos from your child. Your scrapbook will serve as a constant reminder of the relationship you’ve developed with the child you’re helping and of how you’ve contributed to his or her growth.