St. Jude Children’s Home began as a safe haven from the war and as an home for children orphaned by poverty, AIDS and the LRA. It has evolved in the relative peace of the last decade to include a nursery and primary school and the groundbreaking Consolation Home – a residence for special needs children that encourages inclusion and community outreach to families with special needs children still living at home.
Consolation Home is a special unit of St. Jude Children’s Home in which families of children with special needs find emotional care, shelter and medical support. Importantly, Consolation Home focuses not only on these immediate needs of people living with extreme handicaps, but additionally runs a series of outreach events to communities throughout northern Uganda to help educate and empower parents of children with special needs. The staff at Consolation Home are dedicated to sensitizing all local people about the importance of embracing and caring for people dealing with such extraordinary difficulties in their day to day lives.
There are two new websites dedicated to the St. Jude Childrens’ Home – both have lovely photographs. The first was started by Brother Elio and is most helpful if you speak Italian. The second website was started by a volunteer and is available in several translations at stjudechildrenshome.com
Lacor Hospital is an internationally recognized model of humanitarianism and compassionate medical care. Operating through cycles of extreme political unrest, rebel activity, and unimaginable poverty since its simple inception in 1959, it has grown to its current stature as a multi-building complex with over 500 patient beds, numerous specialties, and four medically-related training programs.
The strong patient preference for seeking health services at Lacor is the best testament to the excellence of the hospital. Annually, Lacor provides health services to over 300,000 patients in its main building and satellite clinics.
Due to the extreme poverty brought on by decades by war, famine and disease, many Ugandans cannot afford necessary medical care. Lacor meets this expansive need by subsidizing fees by greater than 80 percent. Lacor also waives fees for children less than five years of age and for pregnant women. These subsidies dramatically increase access to health care for people in Gulu. These subsidized fees to vulnerable populations come at a great cost to Lacor. To stay open, Lacor must raise roughly 70% of its operating costs from external contributors.
Social Promise is dedicated to supporting Lacor Hospital’s important work with financial contributions.
You may be familiar with Lacor Hospital from scenes filmed for the first documentary made by the charity Invisible Children. Interviews with some of the children hiding from LRA activity were filmed at Lacor, as was a scene showing children seeking nighttime safety by sleeping in the basement of Lacor.
Our current two partner organizations are just outside of Gulu, Uganda, a town about 200 miles north of Kampala. Here are some pictures of Gulu, to give you a feel for the town. Read the blog about the recent Social Promise trip to Gulu in July 2011. Within this blog, there is a post with several links to a few general websites about Gulu.