HALO provides food, water, shelter, clothing, education, art therapy, and caretakers to abandoned or orphaned youth through 11 international programs.
The Lungujja home currently supports 19 girls. This home reaches out to young girls who have been trapped in situations of sexual exploitation. Most of the girls are in this situation because they are trying to provide for their families or raise money for school fees, or because they feel they have no other option to survive. Once they come to the Lungujja home, the girls are welcomed into a close family environment where they live with mentors who guide them to become leaders in their families and communities. Every girl in Lungujja home attends school or a vocational institute and is working toward a bright future.
The Gulu Girls home is based in northern Uganda and currently supports 18 girls. The Gulu area saw over twenty years of brutal violence from the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and is now recovering from the many atrocities it faced. The war left many children orphaned and traumatized as they saw their families killed or forced by rebels to be soldiers or sex slaves. The Gulu home hopes to contribute to the rehabilitation of northern Uganda by providing a group of girls in need with a family-like environment, an education for a promising future, and mentoring to become women of character and leaders in their community as it rebuilds.
Makerere serves as a rehabilitation home for 25 teenage boys who have spent time living on the streets. Many of these boys are rough, having survived by stealing, selling scraps or begging. They have faced hostility from police and society in general. They often come into the home with tough attitudes and addictions to drugs. Makerere home provides them with a loving yet independent environment that provides for their basic needs. Once they have reached a level of stability, they attend school or a vocational institute. Some of the boys have formed a music group where they write and perform their own songs to encourage other street boys and show them that there is a way out of their situation.
The Bukesa Home currently supports 25 boys. Bukesa serves as a rehabilitation home for younger boys who have lived on the streets, sometimes for many years. Young, rough boys from the streets are transformed into leaders with integrity. The Bukesa home aims to rehabilitate the boys and resettle them back into society where they can contribute to their families and communities rather than become a burden on society.
The Mengo Home reaches out to 22 girls who have nowhere else to turn – many are orphaned, come from highly dysfunctional families, or were abused or abandoned. The home provides these girls with a loving environment to provide for their needs as well as nurture them into responsible and successful young women. The mentors living with the girls provide a family-like environment and guide the girls through their lives by teaching them weekly precepts and facilitating involvement in the community through service projects.
In an effort to continue education for orphaned children who are not currently in a home, HALO provides school funding for children in need of support. If these children have not been placed in a home, they attend boarding school and live with other children.
The vision of the Ugandan Health and Sanitation Project is to promote basic health care for the children in the Cornerstone/HALO homes. The program was started in 2008 by Ellen West and Leah Nelson, but is run in country by Wilter Ololia, a Clinical Officer who has been pioneering this role since its inception. Wilter is a staff member at Cornerstone so receives her oversight and guidance in country. The Cornerstone/HALO homes provide a safe environment for orphans, former street children and former child prostitutes where they can live, attend school, and not grow up too fast. Wilter is tasked with creating health education opportunities as well as managing various illness and health related issues at these homes. We traveled back to Uganda, most recently, in Feb. of 2013 and were amazed by how much cleaner the homes were and how healthier the children appeared. The most amazing thing about the program is that it is self-sustaining and runs for only $6,600 per year. If you would like to make a donation to this specific program, please donate here and put in the In Tribute line “Ugandan Health Program”.
The Timau Home was established in January 2007 in the mountains of Kenya and currently serves 28 very grateful boys. Almost every child has lost his parents to the AIDS epidemic. The boys have become brothers while living in the home and consider HALO their family. With the help of The Woodland Foundation, HALO is able to meet their needs and provide vocational scholarships for the children once they are 18 years old. Vocational training will provide the children the tools they need to become contributing members of their communities.
The Baraka Home is full of youth who are also victims of the AIDS epidemic. Thirteen children were sleeping on the floor of three mud huts until HALO was able to provide funding. HALO fully supports 32 children in this home, which is also very much a family.
Lily of the Valley was the first HALO-supported orphanage, and has had a relationship with this home for more than eight years. HALO provides the children of this home with tuition for education, school uniforms, art therapy and other needs. This orphanage houses anywhere from 65 to 110 children from the streets of Tijuana each year, with a focus on youth who have been victims of sexual abuse.
HALO supports 45 children at the Ashirvad Orphanage in Tuni, India. Many of the children residing at Ashirvad have lost family members from the 2004 tsunami that ravaged the nearby coast. HALO has been providing food, water, clothing, shelter, caretakers, art therapy and education to these children for seven years. Recently, a few of the youth in the home became eligible to receive a scholarship through the HALO Hero Scholarship Program. Devullu, who has been living at Ashirvad for several years, was recently accepted into a nearby engineering school and is very grateful for the opportunity to attend this program as a HALO Scholarship recipient. As one of the oldest youth residing at Ashirvad, Devullu remains a great role model for the younger kids, encouraging them to work hard in school and one day attend university or vocational school.
HALO established an Educational Center at an orphanage where the children are able to attend art therapy, computer training, and English classes. The average income in Nicaragua is $2 per day. If the children learn computer and English skills, they will be able to earn twice that amount as adults. HALO plans to continue its work in Nicaragua, providing educational support for children and helping the youth in the orphanage to become contributing members of their communities.