Some background information
Ian and Phyllis Hasson set up the charity Rock Ministries (NI) Trust in 1994, the year of their first visit to Uganda. They had had Uganda on their hearts for a number of years before this, ever since a visit to Coleraine by the African Children’s Choir in 1986. They realised the tremendous need in Uganda after the destructive reigns of Idi Amin and Milton Obote and they resolved to help those who were suffering most through poverty, lack of education and poor health. Since their charity was registered in 1995 they have been involved in helping projects on the ground in Uganda. They travel to Uganda as often as they can, at their own expense, to visit the projects and encourage accountability. They have been helping to build schools, sponsor children, evangelise through conferences etc where they link with native Ugandan workers who become their partners and contacts in that country.
Our Trust documents include the following aims:
- To advance the Christian faith in Uganda and in other such countries in Africa or in other such parts of the world as the Trustees may from time to time think fit.
- To relieve persons who are in conditions of need or hardship or who are aged or sick and to relieve the distress caused thereby in Uganda or in other such countries in Africa or in such other parts of the world as the Trustees may from time to time think fit.
- To advance education in accordance with Christian principles in Uganda and in other such countries in Africa or in such other parts of the world as the Trustees may from time to time think fit.
Our current projects include:
His Grace Ministries, Butangaala:
This organisation is based in Butangaala, a remote village east of Jinja in the direction of Kenya. It is headed up by Pastor Charles Mukungu and his wife, Robinah who became Christians through our work in Uganda. Again, we have known them for many years and we had the thrill of seeing this village turn to Christ during our 2005 visit when we travelled with a group from Coleraine. As well as a Church, the village now has a Primary School, (His Grace Primary School) funded by our supporters with over 40 children and 3 staff currently being sponsored. For further information on this small but thriving project, see their website: www.hisgraceministries.zym
Hope and Dignity Uganda:
This organisation is headed up by 3 professional young people who have a real vision for helping under-privileged children and vulnerable adults. They are Joseline Mbahairekyo, Lillian Nakabiri and Gordon Nicholas Binomugisha. Over 60 children are sponsored in this organisation. Like Compassion Driven Ministries, the majority of children live with parents/guardians and attend local schools. However, again as with Compassion Driven Ministries, a number of the children who have no one to care for them are accommodated in the homes of the leaders of the organisation.
Compassion Driven Ministries:
This organisation was set up in 2010 in Kawempe, a suburb of the capital city, Kampala, and is run by a number of our Ugandan friends whom we have known for many years, ever since our first visit to Uganda in 1994. The personnel involved are Pastor Eddie Baligonzaki and his wife Jane, Alex Kiyaga and Jacqui Yawe. All of them have visited us here in Coleraine at some stage and may be known to many of our supporters. Eddie and Jane were with us in 2010 and Alex travelled with the last Mwamba Choir in 2009. Through them, we have 145 named sponsored children plus several others who go to school through our general sponsorship scheme. A few of these children are at boarding schools but the vast majority live with parents/guardians and attend local schools.
All the organisations with which we work in Uganda are registered charities in their own right and we aim to visit them as regularly as possible, giving us a chance to see the impact of our work and to be able to report accurately to our sponsors and supporters. Such visits also encourage those responsible for these organisations which we support.
As well as sponsoring children for education and vocational studies at all the above organisations, we support their work to enable families/groups to become self-sufficient by setting up little mini businesses. We help to provide basic care for those who are unable to provide this for themselves. Members of each of these organisations regularly visit the homes and schools of the sponsored children to ensure that they are well looked after and happy in their environment. Although we provide a lot of material and financial help for all these needy children and families, our main aim is to see them won for Christ. However, we believe that we must help them physically and demonstrate something of the love of Christ before we can expect them to believe the Good News of salvation. Many students and families have become Christians through our work although we select those we aim to help on the basis of need, not creed or tribe.