"Restoring hope in communities"
Mountains of Hope Children’s Ministries is a non-profit NGO working in Mpigi, Uganda, to empower marginalized rural communities regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or faith. The organization addresses the basic needs of vulnerable children and their communities by providing them skills and resources to develop into healthy, caring, and confident individuals.
We empower communities who work to ensure that vulnerable children receive quality healthcare and education, despite their socioeconomic status.
Our work towards long-term development and advocacy is rooted in three core values our team shares. These guide and inform every step we take as individual employees, and as an organization.
We are Stewards
We bridge donors and marginalized communities by delivering all resources directly to their recipients. Our team operates with integrity, determined to serve our community with empathy and respect.
We are Christian
We found our ministry upon basic principles of Christian faith - compassion, generosity, and family.
We work as a team
Mountains of Hope recognizes that change must come from a collective effort toward a common goal. Our team’s diverse assets create a supportive and productive work environment.
In 2009, newlyweds James and Lilian Malinga were living in a rented home off the meager salary James earned as a social worker at World Vision. James’ job exposed him to the horrors of neglect that plague orphaned children as a result of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. These children were often left to fend for themselves, living on the streets and abandoned by society. Distraught by these circumstances, James and Lilian decided to care for 13 orphans in their own home. So in 2009, Mountains of Hope orphanage was officially established.
News of the new orphanage spread and soon James and Lilian were flooded with offers of charity from those who also wanted to provide for these children. Beds, beddings, food, clothes, and much more were donated to provide the children with a better life. Liz Abfall, a student from the United States, heard about Mountains of
Hope and subsequently spent part of her summer volunteering with James and Lilian. Her dedication to Mountains of Hope increased its visibility to the International community.
In 2012, the Ugandan government implemented a plan to resettle orphans with their closest relatives. As a result, Mountains of Hope was forced to resettle all of the children, even though many did not have any close relatives. For this reason, Mountains of
Hope is currently building a new orphanage for these children. This orphanage will include a school, vegetable garden, and piggery. Mountains of Hope wants these children to grow up to be self-reliant and successful leaders of their communities.
James and Lilian utilize a holistic approach to meet the needs of children and their communities. To create sustainable change, Mountains of Hope provides both resources and trainings to teach communities how to support themselves and their children. James and Lilian's experiences connect them to communities on an intimate level of understanding.
Where We Work
Mountains of Hope currently works in Mpigi District. Mpigi is an important transit town located approximately 37 kilometres (23 mi) west of Kampala, Uganda's capital and largest city, on the highway to Masaka. The location of Mpigi town makes it an access location to many other districts in the region. In 2014, the national population census put the population of Mpigi at 44,274. In the near future, we will extend our services to 7 other districts in Uganda: Mityana, Gomba, Butambala, Bukedea, Kyankwanzi, Mubende, Sembabule Districts.
The team at Mountains of Hope is a highly experienced and qualified collection of community members. Each person involved in our organization deeply cares about creating sustainable change in the communities surrounding Mpigi.
Founder and Director
Mountains of Hope is shaped by James’ deep connection with the children and community which the organization serves, and his undeniable passion for the work he does. He was born to a family of 10 children and learned from an early age the importance of persistence and hard work. Because his parents struggled to care for all of the children, James lived with his uncle for much of his childhood. His uncle’s home was 12 miles from his school and his family did not have the money to pay for his education. However, James decided going to school was worth the sacrifices he would have to make, so he walked to school every day. In exchange for school tuition, he grew vegetables and raised pigs, which his school used to feed their students.
James’ incredible dedication despite impossible odds allowed him to excel throughout school and his first jobs. After graduating from grade school, he found an internship as an office assistant at World Vision with his brother, Sam. The organization immediately saw his potential as a quick learner and passionate worker, prompting them to promote him within the first three months. James simultaneously pursued his Bachelors in Business Administration at Nkumba University.
In 2009, World Vision promoted James to the role of Community Development Facilitator. That same year, James and his wife Lillian took in 13 orphans in desperate need of care. After 10 years of working with World Vision and gaining a myriad of practical business and management skills, James decided to create his own organization Mountains of Hope to care for the orphans. He wanted the opportunity to connect more deeply with the children he supported, and utilize his deep understanding of the community to impact change. From his humble beginnings, James empathizes with the individuals and families he works with, and gives hope to every person he meets.
Founder and Treasurer
Lilian is both literally and figuratively the mother of Mountains of Hope. She helped her husband James found the organization and care for each of the 13 orphans they took in. In Mountains of Hope’s early years, while James still worked with World Vision, Lilian maintained the finances and day-to-day running of the organization. As it expands, she continues to be a welcoming and nurturing member of the team, ensuring that each of the children Mountains of Hope supports feels loved and cared for. Additionally, Lilian maintains meticulous financial records to create sustainable budgets for Mountains of Hope as it grows to support more communities and projects. Finally, Lilian uses her gift of gospel singing to relate to each of the children Mountains of Hope works with. She teaches them music and now records inspirational music videos that offer encouragement to each of the children and families within Mountains of Hope.
Carol is the “people’s-person” of Mountains of Hope. As one of nine children, she learned from an early age to work and connect with lots of different personalities and mindsets. Her parents struggled to care for all of her siblings, so Carol moved to stay with different sisters frequently. However, the difficult situation taught her to be adaptable, strong-willed, and fiercely dedicated to the work she does. Carol’s childhood also gave her a passion for helping others in her community, leading her to pursue a degree in Social Development at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Through her education and internship at a women’s HIV clinic, Carol learned many tangible counseling and researching skills, but more importantly, the compassion and patience necessary for her future work.
After graduating, Carol worked with Bread from Heaven, an orphanage and care center for about 100 children. Although the work was emotionally hard, her own experience helped her to quickly bond with the children and see the importance of incredible kindness and love. Since coming to Mountains of Hope in 2014, Carol has added much energy and enthusiasm to the team. She serves as the project coordinator, ensuring that the trainings and community outreach MoH does run smoothly and effectively. Carol loves going into the field to meet the people Mountains of Hope serves. Her compassion allows her to easily connect with each of the children and families she works with and to change each of their lives for the better.
Mercie is one of Mountains of Hope’s newest and most dedicated employees. She adores playing with, and caring for the children the organization supports because many of them have experiences similar to her own. She grew up in a family where financial instability made getting an education difficult, yet her parents were willing to give up everything for her to go to a good school. As a result, Mercie has seen how important an education can be, and she loves that Mountains of Hope prioritizes sponsorships for vulnerable children. Additionally, some of the most impactful people in Mercie’s life have been her teachers, specifically in economics and mathematics. She understands firsthand that a supportive mentor can make all the difference in a person’s life and hopes to be that person for all of the individuals she meets through her work. Her teachers also fostered her love for accounting, which she plans to study this upcoming school year at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.
Oliver is the first smiling face to greet you upon arriving at the Mountains of Hope computer center and office. Her kind and thoughtful personality make each person feel welcomed and cared for, while her extraordinary diligence ensures that the organization stays running. She organizes computer trainings for youth, maintains the Internet cafe, and runs the printing and photocopy business that fund Mountains of Hope’s work.
Oliver came to Mountains of Hope in 2015 as a student from Kampala University for computer trainings. James saw that she is an extremely dedicated and quick learner, so when she graduated, he quickly hired her to the team. At university, Oliver earned her diploma in guidance and counseling with a certificate in social work and business administration—experience that contributes significantly to the organization’s success. Oliver loves helping each of the clients that come to Mountains of Hope, particularly the sponsored children and students at the computer center, because it allows her pay forward the support that the organization once gave her.
Jimmy Mayanja – Chairperson
Justin Okia – Vice Chairperson
Members: Sammex Sinabulya, Bishop Sam Akol, Wabalanda Wilson, Liz Abfall