UPDATE: June 2020

No shoes

by HFAAC - JUNE 2020
Dear Friends

This whole adventure started in July 2016 when I helped a friend with his third adoption of an orphaned Ugandan toddler. It was on that trip that I became aware of the great need to assist these orphaned children. The government of Uganda was putting an end to international adoption, as there was so much corruption that had entered into many phases of that system. That toddler was one of the last two international adoptions allowed out of Uganda.

Upon returning home I kept being reminded of the great disparity between my comfortable life in the United States and the very bleak one that these orphaned children were living. Many of the children would get just two meals a day, usually a porridge made from ground corn. On the occasions that I have seen them eat this meal, there was hardly a need to clean their dish as not a speck of porridge remained. Most of these children have only one set of clothes, and many are without shoes.

The stories of their parent’s death are varied; vehicle accidents, AIDS, typhoid or malaria. In some cases their mother was raped as a teenager and with no means to raise a child, she abandoned the baby shortly after birth.
I was inspired to return to Uganda where I formed a team and we created the foundation, Hands for an African Child.  In the U.S. an IRS approved non-profit was set-up with the same name. Thanks to the help of many generous people, funds were raised and small miracles happened. In January 2019 a beautiful 102 acre property was purchased after a lengthy 18-month search for a location that met our needs for a farm based community.  Attached is a short video showing the progress we have made over the past 17 months, transforming the undeveloped land into a farm, where crops and animals are being raised to provide food for the 200 plus orphans, their foster families, school teachers and others who will live in this community.
Foundation of chicken farm


At completion, our community will have an elementary school, a high school, a health clinic and a community center. We will reach out to the surrounding communities to assist with clean water initiatives, improved farming methods and medical/dental missions. Our community center will have a library and provide English language programs to the neighbors living in the nearby villages.  Our first outreach occurred last summer when a team of women led by Bev Bair, a member of our advisory board, brought Days for Girls kits and training to the local teenage girls about the changes that puberty brings as they grow into adulthood.  The kits will allow those young women to continue their schooling during their period rather than miss days staying home as they had previously.
Currently we are fundraising for a tractor, a chicken hatchery and henhouse.  The tractor with farming attachments and front-end bucket costs $48,000, and will also assist us in our construction efforts.  We will save over $2,500 per year by not needing to hire a tractor twice a year to till our soil (there are two growing seasons per year in Uganda!).  The chickens will give us baby chicks which we can sell, as well as eggs and meat for our families to eat. The chickens we will be raising are called Kuroilers. They are a breed from Kenya that lay 200 eggs a year.  The typical African hen lays around 25 eggs a year. Kuroiler hens are in high demand because of the number of eggs they lay. We will be buying a “cracking machine” that will allow us to make our own chicken feed from the corn we grow. In addition, we will sell our chicken feed to those that buy our chicks, another source of income for our community. This chicken project along with the necessary buildings, equipment and fencing will cost $10,000.

We are creating a farm-based community that we expect will substantially sustain the 300+ residents and assist in paying for the schools, health clinic and our community outreach.  Ultimately, this endeavor will break the cycle of poverty in the lives of these orphaned children.

It has been a wonderful life-changing experience to be involved in this work where we are building a farming community with 14 homes on 102 acres for orphaned children who will be raised by mothers and fathers in loving, long-term foster homes. We believe orphaned and abandoned children should be raised with mothers and fathers in loving homes, learning of God’s love for them and how to become self-reliant adults, so they may be able to raise their own families someday.  My trip in March was my thirteenth to Uganda since this all began in 2016.  Many lives have already been touched by our efforts and countless more are yet to be permanently transformed because of our collective efforts.
Your help in this very worthy effort is needed.  Please make a tax deductible donation at our website handsforanafricanchild.org or by mailing a check made out to Hands for an African Child to Brian Matthews 63 Natoma St. #100 Folsom, CA 95630.  100% of your donation goes to the work in Uganda. The members of our U.S. board make donations to cover our limited expenses here in the U.S. and when they travel to Uganda, they cover their own expenses. Another option is to sign up for a regular monthly contribution from your credit card at: http://handsforanafricanchild.org/donate/
Please share this email with friends and family.

Let’s get this done!

Brian Matthews
Hands for an African Child
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