In 2006, Ugandan natives Dr Joy Ngobi and her husband Gideon returned to their African homeland to visit family. They both agreed they must shift from the path they had been on, which was helping family and friends by giving them money to subsidize their way of life.
Was there a better way?
Seeing women making jewelry from recycled paper, seeds, and stones gave them an idea to improve lives. Opening a market in the United States seemed the perfect way to help the artisans earn a sustainable living, and be able to pursue educational opportunities. This was the beginning of Jinja Jewelry. The next step was setting up a program to teach other women – and young men – the process, and to promote and encourage economic literacy.
The commitment and process was a daunting task, but the Ngobis decided a non-profit was the best way to realize this dream. They also hoped to expand the dream of educating the impoverished orphan children of the area. This commitment went forward, irrespective of race, color, social status or religion.
In April of 2008 the non-profit “Hope Institute of Uganda” was born.
Joy’s medical background helped as she shared her dream with colleagues. Plans included a medical services program to enable the poor and ill to access much-needed medical care. With the main components in place, and with the help of dedicated volunteers and boards of directors on both sides of the Atlantic, their dream took shape. The faith based organization built a Methodist church and parsonage, partnering with a Catholic hospital and a Presbyterian orphanage.
The organization feels strongly that: Faith is not limited to one religion. It must include all those with the faith and determination to see that each person served is treated fairly and with dignity.
The endeavor has borne fruit – in the form of many exciting successes – and we will continue with the commitment and determination that has been set in place:
To change generations one life at a time.