Imparting Character - Shaping Culture
We have built buildings, created programs, and hosted hundreds of volunteers, but those are just a platform for the more important goal of building relationships and investing in people. Money can buy food, bricks, plane tickets or a well, but what we're really investing in is the character and personal development of people. We develop people to have resilience and strong values... People with the skills and support necessary to have a tangible impact on their community. We help turn people's mourning into dancing.
At the school we don't just educate kids, we instill 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 their own two hands to care for their families.
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 diligently toward a purpose beyond one's own self.
Our leadership center doesn't just equip people to be successful managers, it show's them the hustle, humility and grit it takes to earn a livable wage while contributing value to their communities.
What the world needs more then ever is people with the skills, character, and indwelling love that is necessary to shape culture. At the heart of Come Let's Dance, we're not just paying school fees, growing crops, or helping launch new businesses; that's only a fraction of the story.
Together we are creating character that will one day shape entire cultures.
"Invite - Equip - Empower"
Come, Let's Dance starts with an invitation. Whether it is an invitation out of poverty, into education, or to simply "COME", we are being invited partner with those in need to learn, love, and serve. We invite you to join this journey.
We've created programs and systems that build tangible skills, but ultimately our greatest impact comes through personal relationships. Walking together in the midst of day to day activities is the best platform we have for imparting experience, wisdom, and character one person at a time.
We've always intended our sphere of influence to go beyond the organization. The great dance of empowerment is to see everyone who has worked alongside us go into their own communities to love and serve, taking with them the lessons learned along the way.
"From Empowerment to partnership,
from sustaining to flourishing"
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, that goal was accomplished within certain segments of our organization. In reaching those milestones, we realized that our definition of "sustainability" was actually "financial independence." In this process, we also came to understand that certain things we value 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 until individuals are 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 that will always come at a 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 to move out of their current circumstances whether economic, spiritual, emotional, or physical.
"one person at a time"
OUR FOUR PILLARS
We created "Four Pillars" as a frame work for developing programs. None of them are exclusive, but each holds a necessary purpose in what we do. As an example, our school educates students (Education), staff members attend leadership trainings (Leadership Development), certain students qualify for financial support (Poverty Alleviation), while tuition paying students support a portion of the budget (Business). When these four things are held in balance, it creates a culture unique to Come Let's Dance. This same model applies to all the programs we operate.
"It's hard to dream when you're hungry"
The 7 Steps Of Restoration
Through the years of trial, error, and addressing the next pressing need within our community, we developed a process called the 7 Steps Of Restoration. Out of these steps, new programs were launched and inform the history and growth of our organization.
1. MedicaL care
The early years of CLD were spent 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 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 years it was home to about 65 kids. As we learned more about Ugandan culture and how to best help support, 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 establish a permanent homes.
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 the 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 so that they are able to work and provide for themselves and their families.
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 people with job skills 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 every one of them will go on to impact and invest in their own community.