One of my favourite people is also (lucky for me) one of our team members. When he texted me about an event for an organisation called Hope Street, that aims to in their words “prevent the exploitation of vulnerable children and youth” in Uganda specifically. I knew I had to go along, I also knew I had to bring my camera take photos write about it. What I didn’t know, was that I would exit Edge Kingsland, knowing that as much as Hope Street. gives to the children of Uganda, I was given so much by them in a simple few hours.
A part of the night was a Skype call, where we were able to talk to some of the children who lived on Hope Street, a safe home for the most vulnerable street children in Uganda. Upon this Skype call children shared their stories as to why they ended up living on the street.
One boy telling us that both his parents passed away from HIV Aids, he told this harrowing story, but then, he along with the other children sang us a song. “There is joy in the presence of the lord” they sang . Each of these children had lived a life of great heartache far beyond the comprehension of most of us in Kingsland Auckland, but despite their immense struggles each of these children sang and praised, they had joy.
In that moment, because of Hope Street I was reminded that joy is always able to be found. If children who’ve been starving, abused, belittled or narrowly missed being trafficked can find joy, then I can be joyous.
Not only can I do that, but I can also support Hope Street in bringing about more joy and opportunity for children.
Hope Street has bought about a plethora of opportunities for street children in Uganda, they have sent girls and boys to school, because of them one boy in particular became Deputy Head Boy of his tech, coming first in his class of over 300 students.
This same boy, hopes to run a buisness that employees street children. That is another thing I learned at this event, serving others, is truly a domino effect.
That service we undertake manifests uniquely for every person, Meg the leader and founder of Hope Street found her call to serve when she was, on the street. She took a young beaten up boy to hospital upon finding him and because of that one action, we saw Hope Street come about. On this night all kinds of individuals served, musicians, speakers, coffee makers all came together for a common cause, that boy on the street, we need to help him or that girl whose so desperate for a sense of safety she’ll fall into the hands of traffickers when they feed her the promise of a job.
They need help and Hope Street can help them, but only if we extend our service to Hope Street.
As an organisation Hope Street are committed to giving 95% of their donated funds to the field, being Uganda.
To quote Meg “if this statistic changes it’ll only go up.”
You can be sure that this money will go to those who need hope or are in Hope Street, funding projects for their development in Uganda so they can make sure they’re helping more children and bringing about more hope, for the future.
I called this, “A night on the Edge of Hope Street” which is a play on words because as you know this night was at Edge Kingsland and for Hope Street. However, the title is perhaps more then that, in three hours I was only given the edge of what life in Uganda and life for these street children means. I could not understand what it is like for a piece of ripped cardboard, to be your only position and I was struck at the thought of the coffee I was drinking being worth more then a child’s medical treatment.
I only have the edge of an understanding, we need to gain more and we can.
Get more then the edge, take a walk down Hope Street with me.
If you’d like to know more about Hope Street all the links are below