So we at Ten Thousand Homes have altered a bit of what we do. Our vision statement is the same, to tend to the needs of vulnerable children in response to the HVI/Aids Pandemic, which at the moment has been here in South Africa. Just a side note, I found out recently that South Africa has more children orphaned by HIV/Aids per capita than any other nation in the world. So, as we've been "on the ground" here for over a year, we've come to know many of the the orphans personally, especially the older ones. They smile, they laugh, they love the soaps (shout out to "Generations!"), they love PDiddy (I've been asked countless times if I know him personally since we're both from New York =)...), they get insecure, they are courageous, they go hungry, they love to chat about nonsense (so much fun!). We've also found out that after they turn seventeen, the government funding stops and as my friend Jeremy Price has said before, "the orphans are orphaned again." With little to no resources, many of the orphans have to resort to crime and prostitution to survive. In on of our new projects, one such case was brought to our attention. The child-headed household, which is a young-adult girl, was selling herself to put food on the table for her younger sister. With God's grace and love, they have been brought out of from that place.
We've been praying and thinking on how to respond to this re-orphaning process. So in the spirit of the Good Samaritan, we've decided to start a University. That's right, a University so that these older orphans can receive the tools to grow and succeed in a world that's gives them very little to begin with. So we're acquiring a property (pictures below) and we're calling it University Village. The plan is this, to offer a two-fold approach to this University. The first half would address the spiritual needs of the students. Since we are with Youth With a Mission, we're offering the YWAM training schools/certificates (Associates, Bachelors of Arts and Master's Degrees) through the University of the Nations (www.uofn.edu). We've started our Compassion Discipleship Training School (www.compassiondts.com) in the beginning of this year, which is a prerequisite to all other courses to the U of N. This could be a step in the right direction for those students want to pursue ministry as a vocation. The later half is the practical side. We're offering Practical Skills Schools so that each student is also equipped with some tools to help them in the job market. Our first thoughts are to launch a Construction School and possibly a Business Administration School, early next year. Salvation is all about the whole person...bringing new life to our psychological, spiritual and physical realms.
Some prayer needs:
1.) Money. The price of the property is about two hundred thousand dollars. Now that includes the price of the property and all the work, labor and materials, to get University Village off th ground. We've acquired some donations (thank you very much) but we're still in need of over half that amount.
2.) Favor with the SA government. We have a possible lead with someone in the Mpumalanga (the province we live in) Provincal government that could possibly lead to accreditation with our practical skills schools so that each student would graduate with am official certificate, furthering their skills in the work force.
3.) Man power. As our staff has been growing for five, last year, to over fifteen (and counting) this year, we're still in need of man power to get University Village off the ground. We've had short term teams come by and help us, but we are continuing our work in the communities. This is something that we will not compromise, in whatever we do. We actually had our first South African friends help us with the property (Elizabeth and Nicholas) which was a momentous occasion. Please pray for more help, wherever the Lord brings. Also, about half of us have gotten sick, with a flu bug, so it's been a bit difficult.
If you have any questions about anything you've read in the post or just a random question, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.