How to change a life; Graduate To Greatness. {LIVING HOPE}

According to the United Nations, as the number of women who are educated and employed increases, economies grow higher and faster.*

Hi friends,
Many of you know Watoto is an organisation close to my heart – the work they do in Africa is life & nation changing. You may recall a recent post I did on the Watoto Choir, you can read it HERE if you missed it.

Today I am honoured to be able to share with you another branch of this incredible organisation….
Living Hope is an initiative set up to help empower vulnerable women in Africa. It was launched in 2008 and is run by Watoto that has centres in Kampala, Uganda and Gulu.

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What does empowerment mean to you? Is it a time someone told you they believed in you and that you had purpose? Was it when someone helped you out or gave you a chance? Perhaps when you were able to achieve something you never thought you would? In this post I want to speak to you about helping to empower extremely vulnerable women in Africa.
In Uganda, 83% of women earn less than $1 USD a day. Watoto is working to turn this around with Living Hope.*
Living Hope is working to restore dignity to the wounded women of Africa. These women have experienced things worthy of nightmares. Some have been victims of war, human trafficking and social injustice and many are HIV+.

Did you know that in a vulnerability survey conducted by Watoto in 2015*:
• 17% of the women survey reported receiving no formal education
• 46% of those who had gone to school never reached P7 (equivalent to Year 7 in Australia)
• 43% of those women were unemployed
• 61% of those women had no income generating skills
• 83% of those women earned less than a dollar a day.

This narrative is all too common in Africa; however, there is hope.
Together, we can change the cycle of poverty.
Living Hope helps women to gain access to much needed medical care, necessary life skills, education, training in business and a craft or marketable skill and empowers women by assisting them in being apart of/or obtaining income generating projects. This allows them to become productive members of their community.

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Living Hope has changed the lives of nearly 3000 women and their children (more than 15,000 boys and girls)
During September Watoto is running a campaign “Graduate To Greatness” where they hope to raise enough money to empower 450 vulnerable mothers in Uganda to start their own businesses. We can help give a fellow mother the physical tools she needs to begin generating an income after graduating from Living Hope. Let’s break the cycle of poverty and help them Graduate To Greatness by giving them the gift of a future.

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When you change one woman’s story, when you empower her, you are changing the story for her family, her community and eventually her nation.

 

Vivian’s Story from Watoto Australia on Vimeo.

Friends, I deeply encourage you to join me in helping empower vulnerable women and assisting them to Graduate To Greatness with Living Hope.
Please consider donating what you can to the Graduate to Greatness campaign. HERE.

If you are reading this, chances are you are like me – we are fortunate & empowered women simply because of chance, we are born into a country that values education for all & we have the freedom of choice and being who and what we want to be, let us empower our fellow sisters who need a hand up.
We would never want this life for the women we love, our daughters, mothers, sisters or friends – so join with me in helping some of the most marginalised and wounded women of Africa. Whatever amount you can give has the power to help change these women’s lives.
Please donate HERE.  
The goal for this campaign is to raise $30,470 which will be doubled by generous Watoto partners who have pledged to match each dollar up to this amount – meaning $60,940 could be raised! Please friends, I encourage you to donate what you can. And share, share this post, this campaign!

Empowered women empower women.

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Thank you friends, thank you so much.
(Please if you donate, let me know on my social media or comment below – I would love to say thank you and even send out a thank you note! Your support means so much to me, the Watoto organisation and the women we will be helping.)
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Please also check out Watoto on social media! 
Watoto Facebook Australia
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Watoto Instagram Australia
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Watoto Twitter Australia
Watoto YouTube
Watoto Vimeo 

 

* Living Hope Vulnerability Survey of 490 Women. Conducted by Watoto in Uganda in 2015 across 20 locations in Uganda

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How to change a life; Watoto Choir. {2017}

Watoto means “children” in Swahili. 

Hello friends!
This past Wednesday we were fortunate enough to catch a performance by the incredibly talented Watoto choir.

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Now you may recall me mentioning Watoto on my social media.
But for those that don’t know about Watoto, it is an incredible church based organisation that helps orphans and vulnerable women in Uganda.
This cause speaks right to my heart, I’m so deeply moved when I learn about people & children in such disadvantaged and horrific situations. You can read more HERE. 
The choir we saw was the 86th choir and they were incredible. The moment we walked into the Oakey cultural centre we had 2 of the sweetest & friendliest little boys rush up to us for a hug & to welcome us. They scooped up LuLu & offered to carry her to our seats.
These children have been through times I cannot even imagine & they are so positive & full of joy.
Seeing the choir perform I feel is life changing.img_6871-2img_6872-2img_6867-2img_6870-2 This is my 3rd time seeing them perform – I saw last years choir (choir 79) perform twice.
The performance is just so terrific! Not only is it full of so many talented singers singing the most wonderful and God honouring songs but then there are the stories & testimonies that speak right to your heart.

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I encourage you, if you have the chance – please check out the Watoto choir & also the organisation.
They are currrently touring Australia.
They still have a handful of shows left in Queensland, before heading to New South Wales and then making their way across to Western Australia. (Check out tour dates HERE)

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Before we went on Wednesday, LuLu and I spent the day speaking about a few hard topics. We spoke about how very, very fortunate our life is & how sadly others in this world aren’t so fortunate. I purchased a book about Watoto at last years performance and this was a great resource to use to go through so she could get a visual idea. With her being just 3.5yrs old we stuck to the very basic points that sadly some little kids don’t have mummies or daddies to care for them and in some situations people & children have to live in some not very nice places. We looked at the photo of the slums in Africa and imagined how sad & awful it would be to live like that.
Now I’m not trying to scare my daughter or speak terribly about other peoples way of life – we do shield her from many things in this world (such as terrorism) but what I never want to do is to raise my children thinking everyone is like us. I don’t want to have kids who live with a deluded state of mind that allows them to be ignorant to other’s situations. I pray I am raising good, strong, honest, kind and generous kids with hearts for helping others. I want them to be appreciative and humble – knowing they do live very comfortable and “spoilt” lives but at the same time having the knowledge that others aren’t so fortunate and having a heart to want to help them in anyway they can, big or small.
One day I pray that when the kids are old enough we are able to take them to visit Watoto (or a similar organisation), so we as a family can volunteer and do our little bit. So our children see first hand the way others live.
After the performance you have an opportunity to buy some merchandise, I love the beautiful bracelets on sale (the necklaces are just as pretty, but #mumlife & a grabby baby+beaded necklaces=disaster!) Last year LuLu got 2 precious handmade dolls. The handmade merchandise is made by The Watoto Living Hope organisation which is an initiative to empower vulnerable women in Africa.img_6898-1The top bracelet is from last year & the bottom 2 are from this year. The tiny pink one is LuLu’s & she just loves it!

Have you seen the choir perform?
If you would like any further information on Watoto or tour dates please check out the website HERE.
Here are some photos of last years concert at the Highfields Baptist Church & the Whitehill Church of Christ in Ipswich.

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Have a lovely week friends.
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Snap Chat; Bindy_30 
Please also check out Watoto on social media! 
Watoto Facebook Australia
Watoto Facebook International
Watoto Instagram Australia
Watoto Instagram International
Watoto Twitter Australia
Watoto YouTube
Watoto Vimeo – this site has some wonderful videos.