Our Story

Brian matthews founder

Help African Orphans
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Brian Matthews, the Founder and President of Hands for an African Child, visited Uganda for the first time in 2016. The purpose of his short, 48-hour trip was to aid a friend with the adoption of his third Ugandan child. Upon returning home, he couldn’t get the African orphans out of his mind, considering his abundant life compared to those who received porridge twice a day and only had one set of clothes and no shoes. He listened to the tugging on his heart to help and found himself back in Uganda less than four weeks later, committed to changing the life of the orphans.

Brian originally planned to return to the same orphanage he had visited with his friends, but ended up meeting a Christian Minister from San Diego, CA, who took him to visit the New Hope orphanage. The family group set-up of New Home impressed him, and he knew that providing a home and village environment with two “parents” and a loving family relationship was superior to the traditional, warehouse style living situation that is common for orphans.

 

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During this first trip, as well as many others, Brian made connections with local Ugandan leaders. With the help of Jimmy Okot, a religious leader, they formed “Hands of an African Child”, a foundation that can operate legally throughout all of Africa. Back in the United States, Brian created a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity in the United States with the same name and formed an advisory board comprised of volunteers who donate their time and fund their own travel so that all donations go 100% to the projects in Uganda.

The work for buildings in the first Ugandan children’s village began in 2018 with blueprints for a family home created by the
advisory board and volunteer architects. One hundred and two acres of land in Bukomero, Uganda was purchased in 2019, and preparation for construction began shortly with clearing the land and planting crops.

From the construction of the very first building, we have looked toward the future and the scope of creating a large, self-reliant community that not only helps these orphaned children, but the impoverished people in the surrounding villages of Uganda.
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We currently have a farm, with chickens, goats, and a planned piggery. Fourteen buildings are planned, with construction of the third home underway.

 

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Each home has a water tank on a tower to provide clean water. We will construct a health & dental center in 2022, which will not only bless the lives of those within the orphan community but provide an opportunity to bring doctors and dentists on “mission trips” into this region to provide dental and medical care services to the impoverished children in this part of Uganda.  We are building a structure to house those visiting our property to facilitate these outreach programs.  We will be building the first phase of an elementary school in late 2021 as well as a community center which will have a library and a Community Wellness Center.  We are working with the GenWell Foundation to serve the people in the surrounding villages bringing them information and assistance with nutrition, clean water initiatives, improved farming methods, parenting skills, well-being activities, and English language programs. 
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 Each part is specifically planned to help not only the orphans living in our community, but to serve the people in the surrounding villages.
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The ultimate goal that drives everything we do is to create self-reliant communities and break the cycle of poverty that exists in the life of these orphaned children, teaching them the skills to raise their own family one day.  In the process we are a good neighbor to those in the surrounding areas, helping them learn the skills to lift themselves out of poverty.

Hands for an African Child is completely dependent on donations. We feel so blessed by the trust many have placed in us to use these funds to help the orphans. To learn more about our donation options or help purchase needed supplies,
visit our donation page.
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