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Maybe you’ve landed on this page because you have the desire and capacity to do something tangible that truly changes communities and lives – to connect with people living differently than you!
And, perhaps you haven’t found quite the most straightforward, effective partnership program that provides a way to invest in long-lasting community projects with the added benefit of building a personal relationship, engaging with a child and family determined to live a brighter future!
Let us introduce to you One City Ministries Little Lights Program!
One City Ministries ‘Little Lights’ program doesn’t just treat symptoms…we tackle the root causes of poverty that leave children vulnerable. We tear down the barriers that prevent children from reaching their God-given potential!
Why a Child Partnership? (Ambassador)
- You have the opportunity to lift and empower communities by funding sustainable, community-led projects including health & hygiene programs, medical clinics, safe water, agricultural training, education, and more!
- You have the opportunity to empower children – through our hands-on enrichment programs faith-based development programs, and recreational activities, children grow self-confidence, interact with other children and adults, have an opportunity to enjoy a library and broaden their horizon! Young girls learn that they have the right to be valued as much as boys and all children have opportunities to develop and discover their God-given potential, eventually releasing them from the poverty that has trapped their families for generations! That’s a hallelujah!
- You participate in making certain education is a Priority - provides support for community educational projects which build on and extend their school lessons; educates young people as to their rights…motivates and encourages children to pursue their dreams for a better life!
- You are part of Bridging Cultures Across the Globe - despite the distance, as we form bonds with one another we find that we aren’t so different after all! This is an especially wonderful way to put life in perspective, to enlighten our children stateside to another way of life and inspire them to be compassionate, kind-hearted, giving and grateful citizens! They probably can’t imagine living in a home that doesn’t have water, or lights or a bed! Or a school that doesn’t have desks or books…what about no floor or bathroom?
Through monthly financial support, prayer and letter writing, Little Light partners invest directly into the lives of children living in extreme poverty.
How it Works
The tax-deductible contributions you and others make are pooled together to invest in community-led, self-sustainable projects that address the critical needs in your partnered child’s community. You develop a meaningful bond with vulnerable children living in extreme poverty, lifting entire communities while also improving the lives of the people that live around your partnered children. Stick with it and you will witness communities and lives transformed!
Depending on the needs in the community where your Little Lights partner lives, your investment will help shape the future of many by providing life-changing services like safe water…nourishing gardens, better health, better diagnostics, education.
This program is not a hand-out to the individual being sponsored. It IS a life-changing investment into long-lasting community projects that will increase the quality of life to your Little Lights Ambassador and all those in the surrounding area.
Your Role and What Happens Next
The partner's role isn't simply to help fund programs, it's to be engaged in a child’s life. That's why we emphasize correspondence and partner engagement. You can exchange letters through the year (we will hand-deliver as many as you send) and we guarantee at least one letter and updated photo each year in return. You’ll learn about their life, you’ll form a bond, you’ll feel like family! You know what else? If you’re ever in the neighborhood, we’ll take you on the journey to meet your Little Lights Partner! You’re most welcome!
We’ll help you choose a child with the parameters you give us. Or find a child that you feel drawn to; maybe by age, or gender or birthday…or just their joyful smile! Within a certain amount of time, you will receive a complete bio on your Little Lights Partner.
Can you imagine how a child must feel when someone from so far away writes them a letter? Cares about them? Prays for them? Realizing someone cares about us makes a huge impact in our lives, doesn’t it? The letters you receive from the child allows you a window into their world and gives them an opportunity to practice speaking and writing English, (building literacy) sharing stories about themselves and their family. This creates an amazing bond between you and the child you’re partnering with!
How to communicate with your Little Light!
Letters are the best way to communicate with your child! You can mail letters to our stateside office at 25344 Wesley Chapel Blvd Lutz, FL 33559 and they will either be hand-carried by traveling teams, Mike and Deb, or we will forward for you. The Gilbert’s will meet with your child the first time and personally deliver to your letter! Don’t forget to include a photo of your family and maybe some details about who you are. They will absolutely love to know about you and how you live in America! At this time, please do not send gifts with your letter. The children feel incredibly proud being ambassadors of their village and letters from you will be the coolest thing ever!
You are funding critical services, but you are also becoming personally involved in a child’s life. This is an opportunity to learn about a child’s life in Uganda and to demonstrate that there is a bigger world out there full of people who CARE…bridging what can feel like a great cultural divide!
Your monthly sponsorship is making a HUGE impact
- $35 per month provides quality of life programs for 180 children each year
- $50 per month provides medical & preventative care for 338 children each year
- $100 per month provides nutrition & wellness programs for 288 children each year
You are a BIG Light giving a Little Light the chance to SHINE…and we are so grateful!
How most families live
No family in our program has running water to their homes…most don’t even know something like that exists! The girl children (mostly) and the mamas walk far (often hours!) to collect the water their families need for the day; washing dishes, cooking, bathing, brushing teeth, laundry…imagine! That’s where OCM watercarts are life-changers!
No family in our program has a way to cook other than using wood fuels (charcoal, etc.) causing severe lung and development issues. OCM’s bio-fuel project is changing the face of this through the development of community-based biofuel digesters and the training of personal family biodigesters!
Most families in the villages surrounding us live in mud houses with dirt/cow dung floors. Usually this is a one-room home with a kitchen house behind the home. Families sleep on grass mats on the ground. Many do not have their own latrines, (an outside bathroom) though much of this is changing through the programs OCM has been working on in the surrounding communities. Some homes are being built with bricks that the families have burned themselves, with cement floors and iron sheet roofs!
Most of the families we work with have at least one person with serious health issues. Often members of the families suffer from ‘typical’ tropical diseases like malaria, typhoid, cholera. A child with a physical trial like cerebral palsy, paralysis from any number of reasons (usually an injection administered improperly) polio, downs syndrome, endure more challenges than most of us can ever imagine.
How do families earn a living?
The main ‘breadwinner’ in most of our families, whether it be a single mom, both parents, a single dad, a grandparent (prevalent) is probably going to be a subsistence farmer (or as they call themselves, a peasant farmer) meaning that basically they only eat what they grow and only grow what they eat. THAT’S why OCM has an exhaustive number of agricultural training classes teaching everything from soil nutrition to human nutrition; from how to plant to how to SELL your crops, and how to have crops left to eat. THIS is breaking the chains of poverty in many ways!
What about school?
School is really a privilege. The government schools which require minimal fees are not quality education centers (1 teacher for 100+ children, no books, poor curriculum, no desks, no meals while at school) Every child in the village has a dream to attend school. Girls often are pulled out when they hit age 12 or so…sometimes to be married off for a bride price or other hygiene issues. There is seldom money enough in the home for school, and since many of the parents also did not receive schooling, it’s not often valued.