Longtime Ministry in Uganda Rebuilding After Recent Financial Challenges
The ministry primarily focused on orphan care continues to serve over 600 children in the African country.
Since the 1980s, New Hope Uganda has been serving orphaned children in Africa. At that time, Uganda was a war-torn country facing an orphan crisis, so Jay and Vicki Dangers went to try and help.
Within 18 months, the Dangers were able to get established enough to take in 10 children as the first group for orphan care. They started building facilities about 50 miles from Kampala on 66 acres of land given to them by a wealthy family.
New Hope Uganda continues to provide orphan care to about 650 children in the country. It is “dedicated to bringing the fatherhood of God to the fatherless through holistic Gospel transformation in communities.”
Some 150 of the children are cared for in residential homes staffed by Ugandan house parents, but the rest live with relatives or other community members and come to New Hope Uganda during the day. A lot of the current staff grew up in the ministry and now give back, interim president Josiah Dangers told MinistryWatch.
The children not only receive education, food, and medical care, but they are also discipled in the Gospel and a biblical worldview. Before they leave the program, they engage in an intensive final “investment” year where they receive further biblical training and exposure to three different potential career internships.
There is no automatic exit at age 18, Dangers explained. The children are handled like members of a family—New Hope Uganda walks with them until they are ready to be on their own.
The ministry also has a large special needs program through which it trains family members and provides needed education and supplies.
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The primary method for funding orphan care is through child sponsorships. It costs $70 per month to sponsor a child through New Hope Uganda.
Dangers acknowledges the cost is higher than other child sponsorship programs, but he says New Hope Uganda provides more holistic care for the children than other programs.
Dangers acknowledged the ministry’s revenue has dropped significantly over the last few years. According to financial data provided to the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, its revenue dropped by about 50%, from over $2 million in 2020 to just over $1 million in 2022.
COVID was very hard on the ministry, Dangers said. It has gone through leadership changes and structural changes as well.
In 2021, it had a “bad audit” come back on the Ugandan-based ministry that resulted in a funding freeze while the matters were cleared up.
“There had been a data transfer from an antiquated accounting system into QuickBooks, and when that took place the asset register got all messed up because of an embedded calculation that had to do with international currency conversions,” Dangers told MinistryWatch in an email.
“Also, there were a few pieces of land whose titles were being disputed. That is unfortunately very common in Uganda. All of that has been resolved, and there was no fraud or any other wrongdoing,” he said.
Furthermore, the organization had outgrown its structure, so Dangers said the organization did a very deep and thorough overhaul that resulted in a restructuring of the Ugandan side of the ministry.
He emphasized that all of the audits of the U.S.-based ministry, New Hope Uganda Ministries, have been clean. They are rebuilding donor confidence in the ministry’s work and communicating with donors about the changes being made for the future.
Dangers, who is the son of the ministry’s founder, is currently serving as interim president of New Hope Uganda. He stepped in when it was in “crisis mode” in 2021 to help bring stability. The ministry is starting a search for a new leader.
In addition, the ministry is revamping its website and championing its child sponsorship program.