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Global Outreach International

Freedom Boys Ministry

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The Freedom Boys Ministry brings the love of Jesus to boys who live on the streets of Soroti, Uganda by advocating and caring for them; by seeking to provide for their spiritual, emotional, physical, educational, and vocational development while working to resettle them with their families, relatives, and communities.

The Freedom Boys Ministry began with Denis Okwera meeting the boys under a mango tree in 2009. Denis himself had experienced much trauma in his own life having been abducted by a rebel group and forced to fight as a young boy. However, God has brought much healing and freedom into his heart and mind, so much so that he has given his life to bringing that same freedom to the Freedom Boys. To learn more about Denis and the beginnings of the Freedom Boys Ministry, watch this 1.5 minute video or this 5.5 minute video.

The Ministry now has a Drop-In Centre where the Freedom Boys can come to wash, get a meal, rest, play, and learn. Building strong, trusting relationships with the boys is essential in order to further provide them with discipleship, counseling, Bible study, tutoring, school sponsorship, life skills training, vocational training and opportunities, learning and recreational opportunities, celebrations, parental care, and medical help, all-the-while working strategically with government, community, and church leaders to re-integrate them back with their families and/or relatives. The Freedom Boys Ministry also engages in advocacy and community sensitization on behalf of the boys as they are often misunderstood and mistreated.

Boys end up on the streets for a variety of reasons, though poverty is usually at the heart of the problem. In many cases a boy's family can no longer afford to care for them properly or may need their help to supplement the family income and help put food on the table. Often what happens is one parent dies or leaves, the remaining parent remarries, and the new step-parent wants nothing to do with the children of the parent’s previous marriage. The step-parent ends up “chasing” the boys away through mistreatment and abuse. Some of the boys have lost both parents. Girls are less likely to end-up on the streets because parents/relatives keep them for their dowry value.

Life on the streets is a dangerous, harsh existence and most of the boys become extraordinarily resilient and inventive in order to simply survive. They earn money by begging, collecting scrap metal for recycling, doing menial dirty tasks for business owners, and stealing. Many are the victims of violence – from each other (particularly older boys/adults living on the streets), business owners who see them as a nuisance, and police who often act as perpetrators rather than protectors. Drug abuse, mostly solvent-sniffing, is a problem for many of the boys - it's often the only way of escaping their horrific existence - if only for a few hours. As they grow-up and become adults, if they make it that far, many of them end up in prison and/or dead.

Ultimately, the ministry’s goal is to love the boys, to instill in them a deep sense of value and dignity based on who they are in Christ, and to ensure they are properly cared for, loved, and raised in the way they should go by their family members, relatives, and communities.

For photos and more information, go to this Facebook Album.
Feel free to contact us with any questions that you may have: [email protected].

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Global Outreach International
   PO Box 1
   Tupelo, MS 38802
MEMO: "5632 – Freedom Boys Ministry"

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   3475 Mainway
   PO Box 5070, STN LCD 1
   Burlington, ON L7R 3Y8
MEMO: "Sliedrecht"
NOTE: "Freedom Boys Ministry"

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