Ecclesiastes 3 starts with the following two verses:
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot…
Heart of Compassion Trust started in 2006 after five students at the University of Sheffield independently visited Uganda between 2004 and 2006 and were profoundly moved by the situation in the north of the country following the brutal conflict that had been raging for almost two decades at that point.
After initially supporting projects run by contacts made personally in the north, the trust moved to supporting projects being run by established organisations in Uganda who were identified as sharing a similar vision to that of Heart of Compassion Trust. Such organisations have included the Baptist Union of Uganda, Oasis Uganda and New Hope Uganda.
Following changes in the situation in Uganda as well as in the lives of the trustees here in the UK, the trustees have decided that the activities of the trust in the UK will cease. It has been a difficult decision to come to, but one that we all feel is right given the changes both here and in the UK.
Heart of Compassion Trust has supported a couple of projects run by the Baptist Union of Uganda, including a project to buy and train oxen for farming and to be used as transportation. The aim of the project was to aid in the transition of people who had spent their entire lives in internally-displaced people (IDP) camps, who had never had the opportunity to learn how to farm as a result of UN (and other charity) hand-outs. During the most ferocious period of the conflict, the IDP camps were the safest locations for the communities to live in, as the army was able to better-protect them. The fact that the conflict went on so long, though, resulted in a new generation who knew nothing other than life in the IDP camps.
Two oxen were purchased with funds from Heart of Compassion Trust along with the ploughing equipment and the cart. Bricks were also made using the equipment provided through Heart of Compassion Trust.
Oasis runs a number of projects in Uganda, including I.T. training programmes. One such programme (Net2Work), run in Pader was partially supported by Heart of Compassion Trust over a number of years. The course is a three-month long full-time training programme focussing on teaching skills in the most popular software packages to vulnerable youth; many of whom had experienced abduction and war at the hands of the LRA. Further education is provided to aid people in applying for jobs and writing CVs.
New Hope Uganda runs a centre specifically for the rehabilitation of children who, having been abducted by the LRA, have returned to their communities, badly scarred emotionally following the atrocities of all they were forced to do and all that they experienced. The returnees receive intense educational remediation and discipleship in the context of family.
Heart of Compassion Trust has supported Kobwin Children’s Centre over a number of years by funding the building of four new classrooms, which have allowed the facilitation of education leading to a future with hope; something desperately needed by so many children having been drastically affected by the war.
Being a trustee of Heart of Compassion Trust has been an incredible privilege and is something that I will always remember. Uganda has a special place in my heart and whilst Heart of Compassion Trust will no longer be raising funds in the UK to support projects in Uganda, I will personally continue to support charitable organisations in the country. One of the original Heart of Compassion Trust trustees will be moving to Uganda later this year with his family to work with BMS.
Naturally, we would like to thank everyone who has generously supported the work of Heart of Compassion Trust over the years, either through monthly giving or by undertaking sponsored events on the trust’s behalf. Together we raised over £30,000 to support work in northern Uganda.