HOCW began in 2009 as one English class for 20 refugees. Today, HOCW's 14-person staff serves 342 local refugees, offering classes in English, math, computer skills, health, literacy, tailoring, hairdressing and business. A savings collective as well as crafts, soap-making and mushroom-growing groups provide financial empowerment to refugees who have often left everything behind in the struggle to survive. No one in need is turned away from our doors, but we have outgrown our current space.
With the funds raised from this project, HOCW will be able to double the number of refugees we empower. Our classrooms are currently over-crowded and held in cramped outdoor spaces, mental health counselors often have to share one room for multiple client sessions and we have had to borrow space from neighbors to host our growing children's program. This new compound will help us continue to deliver on our promise to give local refugees a brighter future through education and rehabilitation.
After graduating from our programs, refugees have reached fluency in English, learned useful trade skills (ie. tailoring, food cultivation) and are equipped to become part of Uganda's workforce. They have also learned crucial health information through HOCW's partnership with Rosalind Franklin Medical School in the US. This project will help us expand the programs that create a healthy, well-integrated, forward-thinking community for hundreds of refugees who have been robbed of their freedom.