PEOPLE OVER PROJECTS
We Impart Character
We've built buildings, created programs, and held host to 100's volunteers, but those are just tools. Money can buy food, bricks, plane tickets or a well but what we've really investing in is the character and personal development of people. We develop people with resilience and strong values. People who have the skills and support necessary to have a tangible impact on their community.
At the school we don't just educate kids, we give them a value system for taking a responsibility for their neighborhood.
The farm doesn't just exist to teach agricultural techniques, we show young men the honor of using your own two hands to care for your family.
Our volunteer program doesn't just paint walls, it teaches the next generation of young people what it means to sacrifice, to live with passion, and to work hard towards a purpose beyond yourself.
Our leadership center doesn't just equip people how to be successful managers. It show's them the hustle, pride and grit it takes to earn a livable wage while contributing value to your community.
What the world needs more then ever, is people with the skills, character, and deep love for the people around them. At the core of Come Let's Dance, we're not just paying school fees, building buildings, or helping launch new businesses, that's only a fraction of the story.
Together we are creating value and character where it's needed most.
All of Come Let's Dance has started with an invitation. Whether it was an invitation out of poverty, to education, to serve, or simply to "COME". We are being invited into a grand story of hope, restoration, and love. we invite you to "Come" on this journey.
We believe that best way to learn is through experience and mentor. We've created programs and systems to help support growth, but ultimately we believe people learn best by doing things together. It's in the midst of "doing" that relationships and walking alongside one another provides the support necessary to grow individuals.
Come Let's Dance and our local community was never meant to be the end goal of personal transformation. Our hope is to see everyone who has worked alongside us eventually launch out into their own community, taking with them all the lesson's they've learned along the way.
PARTNERSHIP, Poverty, & Creating Value
In the early years of Come, Let's Dance our main priority was getting our community to a place of "sustainability". Eventually, we accomplished that goal within certain segments of our organization. In reaching those milestones, we realized that what we really meant by "sustainability" was actually financial independence. In this process, we also realized there were certain things we did that would never be financially independent - things like educating kids who come from impoverished backgrounds, providing medical care to people who simply don't have the resources, or providing vocational training and support for a time until people are personally able to provide for themselves.
Since then, we've moved to a place of mutual partnership. We see that people no matter their economic situation have something to learn, and something to teach. We also understand that there are certain things we do that will always come at cost to someone else but there is great value in giving, sacrifice, and generosity. In kind, there is also great value and dignity in equipping and challenging people out of their current circumstances whether it's economically, emotionally, physically, or spiritually.
OUR FOUR PILLARS
We created these "Four Pillars" as a frame work for developing programs. None of them are exclusive but each hold a necessary purpose in what we do. As a simple example, at our schools we educate students (education), we have leadership trainings with our teaching staff and administrators (Leadership Development), we provide scholarships for certain students (Poverty Alleviation), but we also place a strong emphasis on generating revenue through students who are able to pay (Business). When these four things are held in balance it creates a culture unique to Come Let's Dance.
The 7 Steps Of Restoration
Throughout our years of trial, error, and addressing the next pressing issue, we came up with a process for restoration we call the 7 Steps Of Restoration. Out of these steps we've created programs to address each need specifically, these steps also help to inform the history and development of our organization.
1. MedicaL care
The early years of CLD were spent simply taking one child at a time to the local clinics. Since then, we've created our own Medical Clinic and developed a staff of doctors and nurses that provide care for the school as well as the local community. In addition to providing local services, the clinic staff also hosts outreaches and one-day relief clinics for surrounding communities.
We've had this saying "It's hard to dream when you're hungry". After spending a few years sending over money for rice and beans for our community, we eventually purchased a 20 Acre farm that has since turned into Double Portion Farm vocational training center that also grows and provides food for local schools.
One of our first investments in Uganda was a place we called "The Kids House". For a number of years, this was the home to about 65 kids. As we learned more about Ugandan culture and how to best help support people we realized "orphanages" could actually cause harm and break down the family unit. Today, we've built dorms for students at WCIA and in certain instances, will help families or kids without parents to establish a permanent home.
In 2010 we launched WCIA Primary School with about 70 students. In 2016, we launched a secondary school, teacher trainings, and are continually developing our ability to address the educational needs of the community from Kindergarten all the way through to vocational training and college. Additionally, all of our programs hold an element of education in them (see Four Pillars).
Through the years we've launched and created new businesses in hopes of creating financial independence and restoring dignity and self worth to individuals. In each of projects like Thread Of Life we work hard to develop local revenue sources to decrease dependence on outside sources. On an individual level, we want to restore people to the point that they are able to work and provide for themselves and their family. Today, we see Business as a great tool to increase financial sustainability and create opportunities for Leadership Development.
6. Family Empowerment
As much as we believe in individual empowerment, we believe that when families stay together and are stable, communities flourish. Our ultimate goal isn't to just put kids through school or train but to support the entire family unit to grow.
7. Community Restoration
People who have been restored, go onto restore others. As we develop leaders, our hope is that everyone of them will go on to impact and invest in their own community.