The Potter’s Village is a project overseen by the Church of Uganda in Kisoro. It was founded by the Rev. Canon Jenny Green, a youth pastor in the Diocese of Muhabura and a CMS partner, who had a vision to reach out to destitute children in the community.
Using her experience and inspirational leadership, she set up Potter’s Village which is now well established with a largely Ugandan team of staff and carers. Since Jenny's return to the UK in 2014 leadership of the project has been transferred to Sue & Mike Hughes. Potter's Village is going from strength to strength because of fantastic support from the UK and a truly wonderful team in Kisoro.
Kisoro is a very poor area, struggling with the consequences of AIDS, malaria, and refugees from the Congo and Rwanda. 16 women in Uganda die every day as a result of pregnancy or childbirth. Sometimes teenage girls are the victims of rape and find themselves destitute when they become pregnant. These factors can all result in babies being abandoned.
Despite the Ugandan practice of extended families taking responsibility for orphaned children, many are unable to care successfully for orphaned babies. There are also many very young street children with no form of care.
A Board of Directors has been drawn from the Children’s Ministry Management Committee of the Diocese of Muhabura, together with other church and community leaders. The Board includes members of the diocesan Board of Education, members of local government and a representative of the Magistrate an Probation Services, (legally responsible for abandoned children). This Board oversees the work in Uganda.
The Potter’s Village exists to rescue babies who have no other chance of survival. Up to 20 babies can be given a home on the site. Babies will be given optimum provision to thrive with one-to-one care, within a family environment.
The following health and welfare needs are catered for:
Potter's Village now has a fully functioning Medical Centre with a specialist baby care unit for premature babies.
By the end of 2014 the need for a Nutritional Rehabilitation Unit (NRU) became apparent. This Unit is now up and running, and funding is still being sought to fully equip it.
Provision of medical care and health education for the local community is part of the vision. Both the Medical Centre and the NRU intend to expand the work into community outreach in the future.
Potter’s Village seeks to provide a home where God’s love is lived out within a Christian context.
The staff - carers, cooks, site workers and builders - are all employed from the local community, providing employment and training.
The support is long term. When the children are between six months and one year old they are fostered in the local community, returned to their extended family or in some very special cases moved to another children's home for long term care.
The Potter’s Village is integral to the local community and inter-denominational. Children in the care of the home will be brought up with Christian values and hear Christian teaching unless they come from another religious background.
Where possible the community seeks to be self-sufficient, growing its own fruit, vegetables and trees, and keeping some livestock. Potter's Village now has goats, pigs and cows.