Ashraf found hope for a future and faith in Jesus through God using generous donors like you.
Growing up in a Muslim family, Ashraf is one of seven children by the same mother, but different fathers. The family lacked the resources needed to send Ashraf to school to fulfill his dream of becoming a lawyer. It was through attending weekly youth fellowship meetings at church that Ashraf heard about and applied to Ravens.
As he waited for acceptance into the program, he attended weekly Bible studies and was amazed as his heart opened and he became a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. Although he was waiting for resources to support his physical and educational needs, he began demonstrating a gift for leadership which was further developed through Ravens.
Ashraf is an exceptional soccer player and currently leads soccer outreach matches drawing over 30 youth in the community. He mobilizes a team and delegates responsibilities to them for these events focused on providing an outlet for youth to talk about their lives and sharing the love of Christ.
As generous donors contributed to Ravens Uganda, resources became available to fully support Ashraf in May of 2017. He is working hard to finish his secondary education and then will enroll in college to pursue a law degree. Ravens exists to see Christ-centered life transformation happen as needs are met and leaders are developed. Ashraf is an example of God at work in this way.
For Harriet, every day was scary after her parents died. As a child she found herself sleeping on the floor of a church with her friend Rita. Nightly they would fight off the street dogs who would come to the church in search of food. During the day Harriet would apply for jobs only to be rejected due to her lack of education, but she was unable to afford an education because she did not have work. It was a vicious cycle of poverty.
Through the church, Harriet learned about Ravens and applied. The ministry was able to provide mattresses, clothing, and food to the girls sleeping in the church. After applying to Ravens Harriet was able to study early childhood education and graduate in 2014. She immediately got a job as a teacher at a very good school. “For me, life changed completely after graduation, I started taking care of myself and paying my own rent,” she explains. “This was my dream and Ravens allowed me to fulfill it.” Harriet has now taught over 75 children and is making an impact in their lives at an influential school.
“I had no money, no hope, without Ravens I would have looked to men for help and likely would have become a prostitute,” Harriet explains. But now she is self-sufficient and is able to inspire others through education. She has already invested $10 USD of her own money into Ravens and plans to do as much as she can to give back to others. “Ravens taught us to love God, to have a budget, to empower other people, to help if I see a person in need, and to love my job and do it with all my heart.,” she says.
“Here in Uganda, the rich are rich and the poor are forever poor… there is a huge divide,” Pastor Abel explains. “People do not want to help others and this is where Ravens stands apart. We want to see a generation of exemplary students transformed by Christ and become responsible citizens leading independent lives.” Harriet adds, “Ravens gave me capital. I go to school to ask for a job and I have the capital to offer. Because of my experience, I can manage the classroom.” She dreams of starting her own school one day where she will serve as the head administrator.
“I had no money, no hope, without Ravens I would have looked to men for help and likely would have become a prostitute.”
Ronnie’s father died from HIV/AIDS when Ronnie was only ten years old. From that time Ronnie knew he had to make his own way in the world. As one of five children, he understood the value of providing for his family. For eight years Ronnie was unable to attend school as his mother was being treated for HIV and was too sick to support the family. When he tried to get a job to support his family he was unable to because he did not have an education. Ronnie found himself feeling hopeless and sleeping at a local church.
One day a friend from church introduced Ronnie to Abel. Soon after Ronnie applied to the Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) at Ravens and after a five-year-wait, he was able to enroll in classes and receive provision from the ministry.
Ronnie has been a part of Ravens for the last two years and has truly grown. Ravens has provided holistic care to Ronnie and to all other students by paying for necessities such as rent, food, healthcare, training, and school supplies. “Ravens prepares us for the challenges ahead, to be responsible citizens in the country, and stewards of Christ,” he explains. Abel mentors Ronnie the way a father would by taking him on outings, teaching him how to interact with the world around him, and talking about the process of forgiveness.
“Ronnie is incredibly gifted and passionate about learning,” says Abel. He dreams of working in politics to bring change to Uganda. “I want to help those in need and see the flag of Christ raised high here” explains Ronnie.
Through Ravens Ronnie has been able to grow in his leadership and speaking skills. He now holds student leadership positions in his school and speaks of Jesus wherever he goes. Recently Ronnie spoke at a youth conference and 15 youth gave their lives to Christ! He will complete his studies next year and graduate with a diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication and the goal of impacting a generation for Christ.
“Ravens prepares us for the challenges ahead, to be responsible citizens in the country and stewards of Christ.”