THE CALL: Answering the Sacred Call

In the late 90s, Hope embarked on a deeply spiritual journey to Gulu, Uganda. This journey was more than a return to familiar landscapes; it was a divine calling to witness and act in the face of profound suffering.

Divine Encounters

Hope’s memories of Gulu, from childhood visits to the present journey, were starkly contrasted by the realities of war. The roads, once familiar, were now scarred with potholes, a reflection of the region’s turmoil. The heat, unyielding and oppressive, seemed to mirror the pain and anguish felt by those affected by the conflict. Crossing the Karuma Bridge revealed a scene of devastation – burnt trucks and an eerie silence. Yet, amidst this desolation, Hope found solace in the African wilderness, a reminder of God’s majestic creation. But it was the encounters with the children of Gulu that truly stirred her soul. These “invisible ones” – orphaned, displaced, and scarred by conflict – became the focus of a divine purpose.


The Call

It was during a rainy season that she visited the newly established displaced camps. Here, families clung to survival in wet, makeshift homes. Children cried out from hunger, their tiny voices echoing the pain of the community. At the World Vision Centre, a refuge for the traumatized, Hope encountered Dennis, a nine-year-old boy whose story pierced her heart. Dennis spoke of the horrors of abduction, forced to set his family’s home ablaze. His tears, his cries for forgiveness, became a catalyst for Hope’s mission. Returning to London, her heart burdened with the weight of these stories, Hope knew she had found her purpose – to bring hope to the hopeless, to be a beacon of light in a darkened land.

THE GROWTH PROCESS: Building a Legacy

Humble Beginnings

Thus, Karin Community Initiative Uganda (KCIU) was born. With unwavering faith and support from friends and partners in Norway through Pastor Trygve and Karin Kornelliessun and the USA through Wendell and Ruth van Gunst, Dr Roger and Joan Sikkenga, Dr Maynard DeKryger RIP, the Karin Medical Centre emerged. This health centre offered not just medical care, but a symbol of God’s healing grace. From immunizations to life-saving treatments, the health centre became a testament to the power of faith in action.

While our primary focus has always been on providing quality health care for children, Karin Community Initiative Uganda (KCIU) has now broadened its scope to serve the wider community. Here are some of the services we are currently providing: General outpatient and inpatient care services; Maternal and child health care services, including extensive immunization programs for children and expectant mothers; Sexual and reproductive health interventions; Promotion of family planning methods across the community; Testing and treatment for malaria, Tuberculosis, and other communicable diseases; Increasing health awareness and promoting community participation in health services through health promotion, working closely with Village Health Teams (VHT); Delivering basic health nutrition services and education; Prevention and control of non-communicable diseases and Eye testing clinic

But Hope’s mission went beyond healthcare. Recognizing the need for economic empowerment, KCIU is also engaged in various community interventions and programs, including:

  1. Cooperative Health Insurance; health savings programs with 125 active groups registered.
  2. Small-scale modern farming initiatives benefiting 44 farmers and their households; KCIU partnered with several partners to teach modern farming techniques to mothers. Over 200 families from Ayac village found hope in these initiatives, as they learned to cultivate the land and provide for their loved ones.
  3. Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) programs and Energy-saving initiatives, with participants currently involved in social entrepreneurial activities.

Furthermore, KCIU runs a comprehensive Community Education Program and Christian Discipleship programs. We also sponsor children from over 46 churches and support early learning and primary education at Barogal Agape Christian School, Omoro District.

These projects work together in synergy to create a multi-faceted approach to addressing health and development issues within the community, fostering holistic growth and well-being.

THE GROWTH PROCESS: Continuing the Journey

Expanding Services

Today, as Hope reflects on the growth of KCIU, she sees the transformative power of God’s love. The health centre stands as a beacon of hope, offering comprehensive health services from immunizations, family planning, maternity care, outpatient and inpatient care. They’ve not only saved lives but improved them, empowering vulnerable women and children with skills and opportunities through outreach health services.

Through prayer and perseverance, Hope witnessed miracles unfold. Former child soldiers found redemption and purpose through skills training and reintegration programs. Communities were united in prayer and action, families reunited in love and compassion.

The organisation has also built a nursery and primary school – Barogal Agape Christian School that is providing children specifically to children of former child soldiers and their families. 

Conclusion: A Journey of Faith and Service

As Hope continues this journey, she is reminded of the words from Luke 12:48, “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required.” It is a responsibility she carries with humility and gratitude. From the small beginnings of distributing aid to the establishment of a thriving organization, it has been a testament to the power of faith and service.

Grinding poverty is as cruel as war, but through KCIU’s collective efforts, they’ve seen lives transformed and communities uplifted. Whether it’s teaching business skills to local entrepreneurs or providing psychosocial support to traumatized children, every action is a step towards a brighter future.

As Hope looks ahead, she is filled with hope and determination to continue this work. The journey of KCIU is a testament to what can be achieved when faith, compassion, and perseverance converge. With God’s grace guiding them, they are confident that they will continue to make a lasting impact on the lives of those they serve. Through healthcare, education, and economic empowerment, KCIU continues to be a beacon of hope in Gulu. In the heart of Uganda, amidst the scars of war, Hope’s journey of purpose and faith continues to inspire, showing that even in the darkest of times, there is light and hope for a better tomorrow.