JJAJJA HOUSES

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Summary

Women, and especially grandmothers, are becoming the caretakers for children. Sometimes this is precipitated by the death of parents due to HIV/AIDS and in other cases it is for other reasons. Jjajja means “grandparent” and these small two-room houses help grandparents in Uganda and Rwanda provide for their families while giving them needed protection and security in a social system that does not protect them.

Cost

$4200-6000 per house, depending on specifics.

Project # 42.30622 Uganda, 42.30491 Rwanda

BACKGROUND

The Church of God in Uganda began in the 1970’s, but went underground due to Idi Amin. It was restarted in 1983 when Stan and Marion Hoffman came. In just a few years there were over 200 churches. Today, there are about 500 churches with over 25,000 believers.  

Vision

Women, and especially grandmothers, are becoming the caretakers for children. This is caused mainly due to HIV/AIDS related deaths and as poverty is a huge obstacle, it creates circumstances that require the grandparents to step in as caretakers. These small two-room houses help grandmothers provide for their families while giving them needed protection and security in a social system that does not protect them.

STRATEGY

Grandmothers care for their grandchildren and even their own children who are sick or incapable of working. Their burden is great and their hard work and energy is inspiring. Due to this, we desire to take some of these burdens off of their shoulders by helping to repair their own houses or build them a home.

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“Assisting grandmothers is a way to come alongside of them, giving hope and courage in their struggle to raise their grandchildren, giving them a much better quality of life.“

Tim and Colleen Stevenson
Global Strategy Missionary in Uganda

Uganda and Rwanda Info

Quick facts about Uganda
  • Total population: over 38 million
  • In land mass, it is slightly smaller than the US state of Oregon (241,038 sq km)
  • 7% of the population live with HIV/AIDS which is the 10th highest prevalence of HIV/AIDs in the world and they are 7th in the world in total people living with HIV/AIDS.
  • Nearly 20% of the population live below the poverty line
  • Nearly 50% of the population is under 14 years old; the median age is 15.7 years
  • With issues like poverty and the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, the life expectancy is 55.4 years
  • Uganda now hosts the largest refugee camp in the world
  • In 2016, estimates of refugees include 602,212 (South Sudan); 224,098 (Democratic Republic of the Congo); 41,167 (Burundi); 38,780 (Somalia); 15,226 (Rwanda)
Quick facts about Rwanda
  • Total population: nearly 13 million
  • In land mass, it is slightly smaller than the US state of Maryland (26,338 sq km)
  • Rwanda is the most densely populated country in Africa
  • Nearly 3% of the population live with HIV/AIDS which is the 21st highest prevalence of HIV/AIDs in the world.
  • 39% of the population live below the poverty line
  • 42% of the population is under 14 years old; the median age is 19 years
  • With issues like poverty and the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, the life expectancy is 60.1 years
  • Rwanda has more than 155,000 refugees, almost all fleeing conflict from  neighboring Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Jjajja Houses

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This project works with the village churches to choose jjajjas that are caring for grandchildren and that the jjajja’s need safe, secure housing.

Some are on property owned by the church and the jjajja’s are allowed to live there until they pass, but the houses are owned by the church. In other situations, the jjajjas own their own home.

Houses are customizable for the cultural/geographical setting and the needs of the person receiving the home. Stevensons negotiate with the builders to see what can be built for the amount of funds available for each house. The grandmothers and their families sign an agreement that the houses will be passed on to the grandchildren in the case of the grandmother passing away.

The houses are customizable, but are usually around 30X20 in size. This allows grandmothers to care for their grandkids. The houses consist of two rooms with a veranda in front taking about ¾ of the front. The additional ¼ is the mini storage located on the outside of the room.

The Hope a Home Provides

Colleen Stevenson shares this story about a grandmother.

 

One of the living conditions that faces many of the elderly is living with vermin and bed bugs. This makes for a very harsh environment and in one case, one of the grandmothers was living in a mud hut with only a mat and various other utensils. Due to cooking just outside the hut on a 3-stoned fireplace, the uneaten scraps would attract rats. These rats would come and bother her in the night by scurrying around and would at times bite her toes. The grandchildren did not like to stay with the grandmother, and as soon as they could they would go to other relatives, and not come to visit.  During the time of opening the jjajja home, one of the grandchildren said, “ we can now feel free to visit our grandmother as we will not fear the rats.”

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The Cost of a Jjajja House

The cost is $4200-6000 for a home, depending on the customs put into it which can include a toilet, etc. The goal is to do around 10/year.

If funds are received over what is needed for a project, the excess will remain in the project to cover any shortfall in expenses for a future project.

Will you join Global Strategy in making a difference in lives of grandmothers in East Africa?

Ways to make a difference

  • Online – Uganda Jjajja house and Rwanda Jjajja house
  • Check – make checks payable to “Church of God Ministries” and specify “Uganda Jjajja House – 42.30622” or “Rwanda Jjajja House – 42.30491” in the memo line.

For more information, contact Andrew Gale at 800.848.2464 or agale@chog.org.

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