Youth for Christ’s Mirembe and Suubi House Transform Lives in Kampala
Solange thought she had seen it all. Orphaned in the Congo at a young age, she was “rescued” by an uncle who took her across the border into Uganda and exploited her for profit. At age 15, she ended up pregnant and abandoned in the volatile, dangerous slums of Kampala.
But Solange is a survivor, and God had different plans for her and her baby, Mukasa. He brought her to Mirembe House when she was pregnant, and she was able to move to Suubi House after her baby was born. Both homes offered what Solange had not seen in her young life –safety, stability and love.
Youth for Christ’s Mirembe House, located in Kampala, Uganda, is a home and care centre for teen girls with crisis pregnancies. Suubi House is a home for young mothers after they give birth –girls who literally have nowhere to go with their child. Often their only options are not options at all: they face either returning to the home where the abuse that caused the pregnancy occurred… or living on the streets of the slums.
In an effort to offer these girls and their children hope, Suubi House – which literally means Hope House – opened its doors just last year. Suubi can house eight teenage mothers and their children. The moms are divided between two bedrooms, and they usually share a single mattress with their child. The girls rotate household chores as well as cooking duties, preparing food over a fire pit in the outdoor kitchen.
However, Suubi offers more than physical security and education; the home also provides a spiritual and emotional shelter as the girls encounter God’s love for them through Bible study, counselling, mentoring and friendship.
Today Solange is thriving at Suubi House. She is quiet, but there is a peaceful way about her that is evident on all of the Suubi girls’ faces – a strong contrast to the other young girls living in the nearby slums.
“The Almighty has been so good and faithful,” says Solange. “He has given me new hope in Suubi Home. I came… when I had nowhere to stay and all hope had gone. But God promised to make a way where there seems to be no way and He did that just for me.”
Through guidance and support at Suubi, Solange recently started school for the first time in her life. Her goal is to become a hair stylist so that she can one day support herself and her son.
Mirembe House and Suubi House are assisting these young girls in very practical ways while also sharing the good news of Jesus Christ through a variety of outreach programs.
Other organisations have partnered with Mirembe and Suubi as well, including Hope House of Colorado, a residential organisation for teenage mothers in Denver. A team from Hope House recently visited Mirembe and Suubi, bringing training materials and conducting classes as well as home visits, where they witnessed the fruit of God’s work among these young mothers.
Their first home visit was to see Bacia, an alumni of Mirembe House, who lives independently with her eight-year-old son, Demb . She supports herself through her small shop, housed in a wooden shack, where she sells charcoal and a few food items.
“My heart was so touched by Bacia’s generosity,” says Bev Bross, the Parenting Educator for Hope House. “She graciously insisted we take the one bunch of bananas that she had for sale in her shop.”
Today seven young mothers and their children live in Suubi House, enjoying safe community while learning a trade or pursuing their education. This sense of community is what makes Suubi tick – it is seen in the girls’ radiant faces and in the deep bonds they develop.
Take Nabulungi , a former resident of Mirembe House who supports herself by serving tea and snacks in her own small restaurant. Sadly, Nabulungi lost her child to malaria, but she remains close to the girls at Mirembe and Suubi. On a visit earlier this spring, she learned that one of the girls in Suubi House was moving out due to a policy infraction – and had nowhere to turn.
Nabulungi responded with an amazing show of grace, inviting the girl and her child to live in her five-foot by eight-foot concrete house. Her furniture: one chair and one bed. Today they are all living in Nabulungi’s home, saving money to open a hair salon together and thus better care for themselves and their children.
This is why Suubi House, Mirembe House and the Youth for Christ Crisis Pregnancy Care Centre exist – to share the love of Christ in a way that transforms hearts and destinies, one life at a time.
* The names of the teenage mothers have been changed to in order to protect their privacy.
To donate to the young women of Suubi or Mirembe House click here