Today is the final article in the three part series, Hope For Women In Crisis (HFWIC). HFWIC was founded by Lyzette Kasigwa, a native Ugandan back in 2012.
Over the last few weeks we’ve been welcomed into the story of Lyzette’s loss of her third son, the massive depression that followed, and how her faith in God brought her to meeting Hannah, her right hand woman. Today we will hear how Lyzette’s story collided with Hannah’s and blossomed into a free standing maternity home, village outreach ministry, and hospital visitation program. The entire organization is run by these two women and serves around twelve women at a time, though there is a great need for them to be able to take in more women. Lyzette and Hannah are both mothers and split their time between parenting, training the teen mothers, weekly bible studies, and fundraising.
Something that hit me hard recently was when I spoke with Hannah and she told me that the mothers would really benefit from a lactation professional coming and teaching them about the importance and details of breastfeeding. For those of you who don’t know, I’m a trained Lactation Educator Counselor.
Breastfeeding is not only a nutritionally more healthy option for their babies, but it’s also a safer option. Formula feeding requires bottles, nipples, regular sterilization, clean water, and of course money to purchase the milk. Bottle feeding also increases a child’s risk of developing thrush and ear infections. Breastfeeding is the only sustainable option. I so wish I was able to visit the girls and teach them the ins and outs of breastfeeding and how important it is for them to feed their babies regularly.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to read the previous parts of the story Hope For Women in Crisis, please take a moment and read them before reading part 3 here. Here is the Introductory article, Part 1, and Part 2.
Also, if you feel touched by the work of Hope For Women in Crisis please visit their website and consider partnering with them. There are multiple ways you can help them. They will also be launching a web store soon, so look out for that.
Here’s my interview with Lyzette.
AM: Tell about the woman who wanted to hear your vision for the future of helping the women.
LK: Pat is a lady who followed me and the ministry through the blog I used to write and of course updates on Facebook. She was in Uganda on another mission but insisted that her husband make the time to meet me and see the ministry. When she showed up I was on my way to the hospital and invited her to come along. We talked and discussed my dreams and plans. She told me “lets do it” and I was in shock and didn’t know that it would actually happen. We parted ways, Pat went back to the States and requested I send her a budget. The budget would include the minimal cost of operations for the home.
AM: Tell about creating the plans for the woman.
LK: Not wanting to overwhelm and scare a new potential donor I made a small budget to include all the expenses to set up the center and house 4 girls. This came out to 5,000 dollars. It took me some weeks to actually sit down and make the budget to send to Pat because I couldn’t really believe that she was serious about this plan. Pat reached out to me again after getting back to the States; this reassured me that God was sending me to reach out to the teenage pregnant mother. That is when I finally sent her the budget.
Note: Pat then sent Lyzette the exact amount of money she budgeted for.
AM: How did you go from getting $5000 to actually having the maternity home?
Once I got over the shock of actually having the means to turn my dream into a reality, I began pricing and gathering all the things I had budgeted to get the home up and running. It took about one month to find the place we were going to rent, move everything in and welcome our first girl (Victo) home.
AM: Please share in detail about what you and your staff do at the maternity home and in the community.
LK: Our main project is carying for the girls and their babies at the maternity home. We ensure that our girls have a safe and healthy pregnancy and receive the full care needed throughout labor and delivery. We make sure the baby is safe, healthy and growing up to 4-6 months before they move on from the organization. They live life very simply as a family working together, doing their own chores, taking care of responsibilities around the house. We want our moms to be the best moms ever and we want to help create an environment that will provide a smooth transition back into their communities. Our second project is ministering in the local government hospital. We provide hope, love, encouragement, food, medicine and baby items to mothers and their babies in the NICU and Maternity Wards. Our third project includes outreach in Busia District. We focus on for villages in this area. We partner with a local CBO in Busia to support and help train young child mothers in hand skills to empower them to care for their baby and be a benefit to their family and community. We do our best to serve the local medical clinic providing what we can such as medicine and emotional support. We hope to donate more to this clinic in the future to help ensure it is a safe and comfortable place for our village mothers to to give birth in.
AM: What is a typical workday like for you Lyzette?
LK: A typical workday no matter how much you schedule, you have to be flexible. In this ministry things can happen at anytime. I typically take care of business, phone calls and emails in the morning hours. Monday and Tuesdays we are ministering in the hospital based on the funding we have for the month. During the week days I facilitate bible study, life skills, English, and hand craft classes. Everyone will break for lunch between 1-3, any other errands or office work takes place in the afternoon.
AM: What is Hope For Women in Crisis in greatest need of right now?
LK: We need people to invest financially and prayerfully to help us become a full self-sustaining ministry. It will take an upfront investment for us to get all the projects started that will create revenue for the organization so that we can stop depending on funding from outside the country. More so than finances we need people, we need advocates, we need loud voices. Those who can share stories and share the vision of HOFWIC. We need people who can rally around and behind us to bring awareness to the child mother of Uganda so that we can work together to see that they become non existent. While they do exist in large numbers we are doing all we can to raise up responsible, loving mothers who can train the next generation to be God fearing and responsible citizens in the community.
Bonus Fun Questions:
AM: What are you currently dreaming about or have a goal of doing?
LK: My big dream right now is to buy property for the ministry.
AM: What do you do to relax?
LK: Watch a movie.
AM: What is the last book you read or are reading?
LK: I am currently reading “Shark”
I’m so grateful for the astounding work of mamas, makers, wanderlusters, and world changers around the world. As much as my heart aches to be in every place of crisis and offer support, it’s relieving to know that there are hands all over the globe reaching those in need.
I really hope that this series has motivated you, opened your eyes, and stirred up emotions that would entice you to share Lyzette and Hannah’s story with those in your circle. I want their story to live on past this month. I want to begin to hear chatter all over the web about HFWIC. We are women of influence. We have the ability to shed light and promise over issues that currently seem hopeless and insurmountable. Take the time right now and pin the featured photo above to one of your Pinterest boards. If you’re more active on Facebook, share this link on your page and like the HFWIC Facebook page. If you’re an Instagram user, find me and share a link to my Journal section in your bio. That way anyone who follows the link will be able to find this and all the other interviews I’ve done with profound women around the globe.
I’m very active on Instagram so feel free to tag me (@MotheringNaturally) in photos and use the hashtag #AGlobalTribeOfWomen. Let’s build The Tribe into a community of globally known, conscious, and sincere movers and shakers.