Project Hope & Bay Life Help Children in Uganda

Many of us have heard of the horrors in Uganda through different organizations like Invisible Children, which launched the awareness video “Kony 2012” earlier this year.

While Invisible Children is on a mission to raise awareness for the actions of Joseph Kony – leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) – another project, Village of Hope (VOH), is working against the atrocious after-effects of a 23-year-old war fought against the LAR in Uganda.

The LAR is responsible for the abduction of an estimated 66,000 children, from which girls were sold as sex slaves and boys were handed guns and forced to fight against their own people. They were often told to kill their own families.

More than four years ago, Bay Life Church in Brandon began Village of Hope directed by Cindy Cunningham. The project was presented to the church, the congregation raised more than $30,000 during one month, which allowed Bay Life to purchase 100 acres of land in Uganda.

VOH consists of school buildings, living quarters for the children and huts for the workers. A trade school is even being built on a recently purchased 50 acres of land, to teach the children farming and raising animals like pigs and tilapia.

One Bay Life Church member, Anthony Towers, is on a mission to raise awareness for VOH.

Towers, a professional photographer with an Associate’s Degree in Digital Photography, will be travelling to Uganda on June 27 (along with Alex Gortot and Chris NeSmith) to photograph some of the 200 children being cared for at VOH. These pictures, along with the children’s stories and personal drawings, will be compiled into a coffee table book. Towers’ mission is called “Project Hope.”

The purpose of Project Hope is to raise awareness for the village, encourage people to sponsor the children, and provide VOH with the coffee table book as a vehicle for fundraising. It takes $1,200 to support one child for a year. If Towers can finish raising $16,500 by the end of May, he will be able to pay for the trip, purchase additional photography equipment and have 300 copies of the book made to take to Uganda. “Once the book is done, VOH will get all of the proceeds,” commented Towers. “My goal is to see the book on as many coffee tables, in as many living rooms, as possible.”

Towers is looking for sponsors as well as donors. People who donate between $50 – $100 will receive a copy of the book prior to publication; donations of $100 or more will receive the same, as well as a “behind the scenes” DVD with video footage and extra pictures. Corporate sponsors ($500) will be mentioned in the book.

To donate or for more information, visit www.youcansend.me/projecthope, or donate at Bay Life hurch. For information call 205-4856 or e-mail tjtowers@anthonytowers.com. Visit the Website at www.villageofhopeuganda.com.