OUR STORY

Refuge and Hope began as a small non-profit supporting seven former child soldiers and two young street boys from Southern Sudan... 

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Jade and Shelah Acker, an American missionary couple who founded the organization, started working with the boys while serving in a camp for former child soldiers in Sudan in 2001. In 2004, the Ackers registered Refuge and Hope International. Jade and Shelah saw an opportunity to serve refugees on a broader scale in Africa. Uganda—acting as a relatively stable home to more than 440,000 refugees from Congo, Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, and other countries—seemed the logical place for relocation. In 2008, they launched an English as a Second Language (ESL) and Christian discipleship program for a growing number of urban refugees. Refuge and Hope's school, the Center of Hope, began with 12 students meeting in a small room in a region of Kampala heavily populated with refugees. Today, the organization serves more than 1000 refugees a year and has expanded its programs to include educational, professional, personal, and spiritual development programs.