‘Challenge Poverty Week’ always gets me thinking. What is it that keeps people bound by circumstances, and what is it that sets people free? No child in the history of mankind chose poverty. Some children have an anchor, a passion that sets them free and some have dig deeper to out work the circumstances handed to them at birth.

Our Social Uganda: Photograph by Fahad, Muwanika, "Children at the orphanage", Uganda. Poverty Challenge
Our Social Uganda: Photograph by Fahad, Muwanika, "Children at the orphanage", Uganda

This is more than political ideology. The fabrics of poverty run way deeper than studies report, and will take more than one off sporadic payments to mend the tapestry of the families affected by poverty.

Let’s talk about skills/passion. Do you pursue the passion, or does the passion pursue you?

Take Fatima Whitbread for example, a tragic start in life, one that could have led to a lifetime of adversity. What would her life have been had she not found her anchor in sport; was it her gift that set her free or was it determination to fight against the hand she was dealt that changed the trajectory of her life.

After attending he the local athletic club, it was her coach who fostered her and offered her a new life. A life Fatima feels extremely grateful for, one she explains solidified her understanding of love and the power of support.

What about the young who either don’t have an obvious gift and even if they do there is no-one there to notice or nurture it, where do they go?

Challenge Poverty: Do they become a lost in the system another statistic?

'A 2013 study links school exclusion to prison

Pupils excluded from school at 12 are four times as likely as other children to be jailed as adults, a new study shows.

Researchers found that boys, children living in single parent families, and those from the poorest communities were most likely to be barred from school.

They also concluded that equally badly behaved pupils from more affluent areas and those from two parent families were accorded greater tolerance and, as a consequence, were far less likely to be expelled.

"The study findings show that one of the keys to tackling Scotland’s high imprisonment rates is to tackle school exclusion. If we could find more imaginative ways of retaining the most challenging children in mainstream education and ensuring that school is a positive experience for all Scotland’s young people, this would be a major step forward. (Professor Susan McVie. Co-director of the study)

Five times as likely to end up in jail

The study compared the outcomes of children who had been referred to the hearing system by 12 with a closely matched group of young people involved in equally serious levels of offending who had not been referred.

Researchers found that those who had been referred were around five times more likely to end up in prison by age 24.

Groomed for imprisonment

The Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions and Crime, conducted by the University of Edinburgh, tracked more than 4000 people who started secondary school in 1998.

It concludes that early intervention in the lives of children identified as presenting “the greatest risk” does not necessarily reduce offending, but may well groom young people for later imprisonment.

Researchers found that the criminal justice system “constructs, reproduces and recycles its client base”.

"In practice, the criminal justice system serves to punish poverty, the socially marginalised, and vulnerable individuals, as much as those who steal, assault or murder. For youngsters who come to the attention of formal agencies at an early age, we need to ensure that intervention does not label and stigmatise." (Professor Lesley McAra, Head of the University’s School of Law and co-director of the study)'

What can we do as society to challenge poverty?

We can pay attention to young people; we can offer opportunities to engage. We could be creative in our approach and offer well being sessions, art, reading, writing, history, sport. We can provide after school clubs, harness the skills of our community development workers, and follow their lead. We can pay attention to the children who can only find the courage to whisper, we can make the extra effort to notice the whispers as well as the noise.

Amy Varle and Henry, Challenge Poverty
Challenge Poverty with Henry Winston YouTube video photo

If we open community hubs and open our doors to the local community to challenge poverty. Teach financial skills and how to manage money. Advise about credit unions in their local community. We can offer peer mentor sessions. We can bring in motivational speakers who have walked 100 miles in the shoes of these people. Helping them to alleviate the shame and strive for more.

We can link in with our criminal justice system and catch people before they fall. This has to be done in such a way that leaves no one on the side-lines, this approach must include not only those at risk of offending, but those at risk of being abused.

We can have counsellors in every school, from primary age, see children young, before they enter teens and often for many the pattern of behaviour has become unmanageable.

Prevention before intervention.

Every child born is a gift and we must treat them as such.

We can at the very least do no more harm.

"There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about."

Margaret J

They say all you need is love. It is true to a certain degree. If it could feed families, educate children, and nurture humanity the world would be a greater place.

Love is a wonderful starting point. They need water and food. We need opportunities. They need education.

Now let’s look at love and agriculture; this is what this community needs to strive. It has love in abundance. They need more.

Background Story

Let me introduce you to Mr Ivan Kimbowa.

I would like to introduce the program of skill advanced agriculture methods of Farming Gods Way in schools, and this system of agriculture is so friendly to the environment and can be done on small land but higher harvest. Due to high prices of food in the area we have decided to start growing our own food through agriculture programme.

We need to rent a piece of land where we can grow more food to feed the children on daily basis, but we can't do it without support because the costs. Renting land is higher and it's about 300000 Uganda shillings an acre. From this we can manage to get more than 10 to15 bags of maize, that's equivalent to 1500gms of maize flour and this can feed our children for 1 year and from it we can also help to feed other vulnerable families like the elderly.

Kimbowa Ivan, photo in Uganda, orphaned children looking for food, oh good Lord help us help them

Kimbowa, Ivan, Mityana, Uganda with orphaned children

Building a strong youth platform generally for youth orphans, elderly and young children because they are being abandoned hence they are the generation of the future. 

This will be done through up skilling the youth through different hand and technical skills.  Our goal is to end poverty and dependent syndrome from parents, the government and other institutions which are not able to support all the people.

I am so happy to share the testimony of happiness for the fund The People's Hub donated to us last time. It did very beautiful work to our project, money for buying materials, for the book making and art projects, soap and Vaseline and these will help our work to go smoothly and to raise more fruits in our community and we appreciate that heart of kindness to us.

Kimbowa Ivan, Mityana, orphanage, The Peoples Hub

We are building capacity of vulnerable children's service provider starting with Mityana and Jinja. Fundraising for the Bursaries and funds to assist orphans and vulnerable children from school, institutions, companies, NGOs, government, and individuals inside and outside through the spirit of Samaritans and Unity. We are so happy to be in communication with The Peoples Hub and Dr LeeAnn Teal Rutkovsky, who are helping us with social enterprising ideas in both ethical organic agriculture and fashion sustainability.

Dr LeeAnn Teal Rutkovsky, Susan Dolan, Peter Lawal, Kimbowa Ivan, All Souls School, Mityana, Uganda Impact Fashion Hub project

Promoting Bamunaanika Youth Development group and the voice to advocate for orphans, elderly and vulnerable children's information identification, service linkage and discrimination of the vulnerable in different communities of Mityana through lack of services.

Kimbowa, Ivan

The Peoples Hub

The People’s Hub supports Mr Ivan Kimbowa's mission. We have connected Mr Ivan Kimbowa with Mr Abdul from the Institute of Leadership from Kampala Uganda. The Institute is located opposite the American Embassy in Nsambya. They have met, discussed and made plans for progress in Mityana.

Mr Abdul is experienced in leadership in Uganda and is offering to guide Mr Ivan with this project.  Using his skills and abilities to create a very good platform for the children to be skilled in many courses. This is a great opportunity for the project aligned to the mission of Mr Ivan. It will help lift the lives of abandoned vulnerable, youth, elderly in the community. By skilling them up, and empowering them to have a sense of autonomy over their own lives. In turn empower others to do the same. Allowing parents to pursue their own path and lead the way for their children.

Mr Abdul offered the youth development team the opportunity to study at a low cost. He will support connections and a visit to Kampala.

I am happy that God has made move forward as youth of vision. By making good friends with people who share the same goals as ours. Thank you to The Peoples Hub, Peter Lawal, Institute of Leadership, Social Homes’, and so many other well-wishers of change. I appreciate whatever you are doing for us.

Kimbowa, Ivan

Can you help?

Do you have the skills, experience, means to fund such a heartfelt and meaningful project?

Do you have anything in your toolbox that could help transform the lives of a struggling village and in turn change the trajectory of the people there and generations that follow?

Let's Get Creative

Are you in position to fund, sponsor or offer advice on taking this project forward?

We would love to hear from you.

I will take my warm thanks to appreciate the work you are doing for us, and I call upon all the good-hearted people to help us throughout making all this happen. I Will take my opportunity to ask for the support from the well-wishers and we are raising funds to support our projects in buying materials, for the book making projects, soap and Vaseline and these will help our work to go smoothly and to raise more fruits in our community and to give more support to many souls in the communities of Mityana Uganda. Thank you.

Kimbowa, Ivan

"Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals & happiness” (Thomas Jefferson)

People like me don’t write books…. Until they do.


My name is Michelle, and I am as ordinary as they come.

When not working or writing, you will find me playing football, walking the parks, sitting in coffee shops, reading, or listening to podcasts.

I have completed academic qualifications and spent most of my career in sports development. My love of sport and staying active has taught me the value of strength, endurance, tenacity, commitment, and grit. Transferable skills that have served me well in life. I would say that my greatest lessons have come from living, from life and from challenges.

Life Lessons

Life has taught me some very valuable lessons, and I did not want to keep those lessons to myself. To say I loved my family well, just didn't feel good enough.

I didn’t set out to write a book. The words just appeared and as each word appeared, I would write, and I just kept on writing. This is when I got intentional. I wrote story after story.

Gradually I started to share my work, all be it in very small stages. I had no big plan. No big goal, only to write and use my words to promote love, compassion, hope and kindness.

Universal Shift

Then there was a shift, and I have never been able to articulate what caused or created the shift. Only that when you start to dream and believe, the universe pays attention.

Of the 86 stories I had, there was one that resembled a story. Not a reflective account, a story I could share.

I sat with it for a very long time, I thought ‘people like me don't write books’, but after great research, I transferred the story into a manuscript. I finally found the courage to send it to a publisher.

And so here I am! Author of a children’s book

My dream is that any child, anywhere in the world can pick up this book and feel visible. My hope is they will know the world can see them and they are not alone in their suffering. While our suffering varies, the feeling of being alone in that suffering is universal. I don’t want that for the children of today. I don’t want children feeling discarded.


Whatever environment children are born into is completely out-with their control and regardless of how alone they may feel. I want this book to remind children they matter Every life matters. Every child matters, and no one life is more valuable than another.

I know a book cannot solve the world’s problems, but I want my words to offer comfort. Offer them an escape into the possibility of love. While they are in a position that they have no control over.

I believe LOVE is the one thing no child should ever have to go without. 

Just for today: Allow yourself the space to dream, to ponder, to hit notes you never thought possible.

Thank you for reading.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.


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