Each year, the New Hope Uganda sons and daughters who have completed their ‘O’ levels (equivalent to 10th grade) take a year off from academic studies to participate in the Investment Year program. This program, created more than 10 years ago by members of the New Hope staff, provides the young people with focused training and instruction, and also the opportunity to work at three internship placements.
Below is a report from Robert Ayola, the Early Adulthood Counselor/Administrator who is helping to facilitate this year’s class.
We as Investment Year (IY) praise God for His grace that is ever-sufficient. As we focus on the skills, knowledge, and character, we have called this year a year of discovery. Our students are exposed to different activities and trainings that lead them to discover themselves and their God-given abilities as opposed to the world’s driving forces that cause confusion, sadness, despair, meaningless life, etc.
So far the trainings held both in Kampala and Kasana have focused on habits of the youth/teens, the foundations of world view, the Biblical creation story, CV writing, public speaking, interviews, computer training, and goal/vision/mission setting. All these topics have acted as eye openers to our students and already this has put them in a position of being able to focus more on what God wants each one of them to be, not what the world wants them to be.
The teachings challenged them to value their relationship with God and with each other. The time together in the IY house in Kampala during the training was another great opportunity for the IY staff and the students to be able to connect with each other during activity moments. The students also learned how to live with each other in a family group setting.
The staff posed several questions to the students. These included:
- How productive are you and how do you use your mind?
- What do you have?
- Can even what you call ‘small’ cause a positive change in your life, family and the community?
- How are your decisions?
- How do you view your small beginnings?
- Do you want to be productive or dependent?
The staff also challenged the students in areas such as keeping away from idleness (from 2 Thess. 3:6-9) and ‘aspiring to inspire before expiring.’ These helped our students to have unveiled minds.
Internships started well on February 22nd, and the students are exposed to the reality of life as they interact with different people outside their familiar environments. We still continue trusting God for the time remaining for this year’s IY class.
Here are excerpts from reports written by two of this year’s IY participants.
We had a chance of doing our first training in the IY house [where Steve Brown, IY Coordinator, lives]. Where we faced both positive and negative challenges. Some of the positive ones:
- We got time to associate as a class and through this we were able to know each other deeper than we even thought we knew them.
- We grew spiritually because on a daily basis we would hear from the word of God from very many people for example Uncle Kyazze, Uncle Steve, Auntie Laura, Auntie Sharon to mention but a few.
- We also had chance of touring the nearby area and got a chance of speaking with them things associated with God and also New Hope Uganda.
The above is what we experienced at the IY house. When the training was done we also got another chance of computer training. This was headed by Uncle Bill. We really enjoyed and had to learn many skills of how to use a computer. We are very grateful for that.
Now as I speak we are in our first interns some of us are on the New Hope site but most of our fellows are outside New Hope. Some are in Kito and most of them were sent to Kampala.
I personally I’m working at the Forge and it’s the two of us. I have really liked the place because since childhood I longed to work in a place while dealing with money and now it’s like God answered my prayers.
I really appreciate this privilege of being in IY. And I also call upon my fellow young ones to also join IY because there is a lots to learn from IY.
As IY commenced on 22nd Feb. 2016 but before that date, we had a training which took place at Kampala house for two weeks. There was some challenging parts and some luxurious parts. During that training we were taught so many different things by Uncle Steve Brown and other different people. In that training I learnt interesting things in my life and they were sown permanently within me.
The challenging part was sometimes they could give us a lot of assignments to do in a day and sometimes they could be very hard (in terms of answering); and also another challenging part was time management.
I enjoyed the training because sometimes we could have funs with our trainer Uncle Steve who is a lovely and a friendly guy. We could have games and movies every night, which made the training more interesting and I wish we could have more trainings.
God is great, this time the IY’s students got a chance of having a computer training which took place at the guest house. I learnt so many things for example how to write a C.V. on a computer, how to type, to add, multiply and so many others.
As per now, as I am running a business at the Forge, let me say the field is fair but not good because there some challenges. First of all, sometimes we make loses as in like when we shop the goods, some of them they end up getting spoilt before we sell them which lowers our profit; stuffs like bread they easily go bad.
As I personally, I enjoy the field because after there I can also start a business and I can be in position to manage it because of the experience I get from the Forge.
Please pray for the following requests from Uncle Robert:
For financial provision
For wisdom for the staff involved in the IY program
For the hearts of the students
For good supervisors at the various internships
For the communities and biological families where the young people come from to be encouraging them in this year
Photos by Robert Ayola and Esther Carey