Many families living in the slum communities have complicated situations and some need extra support to get back on their feet; the aim of the centre is to give them what they need to improve their situations and stay together as a family. We give struggling families a place to stay in simple houses where they can re-build their lives and learn new skills in agriculture and team-work, as well seeing improvements in their emotional well-being that help them to start again.
Families move out of cramped slum life and into simple, improved African style homes on the land where they can ‘breathe’ for the five month programme. As situations are touched by God’s love, as well as support and training, they see positive changes in their lives – enabling families to either return to the slums with confidence and skills, or to their home village with new knowledge and dignity.
The project aims to be as sustainable as possible – in economic, social and environmental ways. So, the housing includes simple, low-cost ideas such as: glass bottles in the walls to add ambient light; solar power; energy-saving stoves; mud and brick furniture and water harvesting techniques.
We also want to benefit the wider community by encouraging the families that we have worked with to train other local groups and families in useful skills. To provide a venue for this learning and sharing we have an inspiring space – a grass thatched auditorium. This seats about 150 people in a sustainably built mini-amphitheatre that makes the most of the amazing views on the hill.
Some of the families that will come to the centre need much more than new skills and learning. Many have suffered trauma, may have relationship issues and might have suffered abuse. So a large part of our work with them is to offer counselling, prayer and emotional support, as well as giving people options to access further local services from other NGOs and organisations.
Our heart is that the centre becomes a place for all to come, regardless of background or religion, to find hope and healing; a place where parents can take control of their lives and make decisions that see their families flourish and become whole again.