The history of Field of Hope stems from a simple yet profound event that took place in 2010.
Brandy Young, one of our founders and a farm girl from Illinois, was on an Adventures in Missions trip called The World Race. The trip covered 11 countries in 11 months. She was in the middle of the journey of serving and blessing others when she landed in Northern Uganda. There she encountered the profound challenges of agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa. The people she met were humble, hard-working, and filled with love. She learned that Uganda is a country where over 80% of the people are involved in agriculture, yet nearly the vast majority of farm work is done by hand. Crop yields are low and diseases and pests are prevalent. Hunger and food shortages during the dry season are commonplace.
Her farm girl roots made it difficult for her to understand what she saw versus what she had experienced on her parents’ farm growing up… primitive agriculture versus modern agriculture. She kept thinking, “There are known solutions to these farmers' problems!” That morning she prayed… prayers for direction, prayers for solutions, prayers to be used by God in this great work ahead.
Shortly after this experience, Brandy got in touch with friends and shared her vision for a ministry called Field of Hope. As they say, the rest is history.
Since that time Field of Hope has grown from an idea and a prayer into a reality.
The Field of Hope story is still being written today. There is much to do and challenges abound, but the central focus of Field of Hope remains; how can we be a blessing to build agriculture competency and capability for farmers and youth/orphans around the world?
The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), started by Joseph Kony, was a rebel group that terrorized Uganda, specifically the northern region, from 1986 to 2006. Some smaller groups of the LRA still remain in Central Africa. Tens of thousands were kidnapped, mutilated, or killed by the LRA.
During the rebellion, 1.8 million people were displaced, most in government internment camps where they lived in temporary housing with multiple people for up to twenty years. When people returned to their homes after the peace agreement in 2006, they did not receive resettlement packages – they returned with nothing. While the cities are beginning to gain traction, those smallholder farmers in rural northern Uganda are still living in severe poverty.