Cohort Graduation Day!

One of the best days in recent Man Up organizational history happened during our team’s time in Uganda back in August. The men who participated in the Authentic Masculinity Program reached the culmination of the program, and our team was there to witness the first ever Man Up and Go AMP Cohort Graduation Ceremonies in three different locations throughout Uganda.

Not only did we hand out certificates, but we heard testimony after testimony of how the program had bettered them as men of God and as husbands, fathers, and community members.

We also heard from several of the wives, who expressed their extreme gratitude for the program, but more importantly, how their husbands had changed so dramatically as a result.

These men began their journey in July of 2018, and participated in three different phases of the program:

  • Phase 1 – 12 lessons on Authentic, or Biblical, Masculinity;
  • Phase 2 – 10 lessons on Income Generating Activities, plus 2 weeks to write and rewrite a business plan;
  • Phase 3 – Distribution of the micro loans, then a 26 week repayment period, including continuing lessons on authentic masculinity, accountability, and Cohort Covenant.

When we started this program, we had no idea what the Lord would do. Our goals were guesses, because we know the historical data that says men will not pay back their loans.

In spite of all this, we are thrilled to report to you these numbers.

# of men – Actual # of men – Goal
Men Enrolled – Phase 1             63               60
Men Graduates to Phase 2             57               45
Men Graduates to Phase 3             56               34
Graduation: Certificates of Completion             17               9
Graduation: Certificates of Attendance            24               9
Amount of Loans Repaid           51%              50%

To those in the West, a 51% loan repayment rate would be considered below average. But since men in the developing world rarely have access to loans (without paying 200-300% interest), we were thrilled to see this number. Truth be told, 50% was a lofty goal, so we give God the glory for empowering these men to find a way to pay back their loans.

So what’s next? For the men who repaid their loan in full (completed the course), they have the opportunity to form a Collective Savings Group (CSG) or a Joint Business Venture (JBV) with their graduating members. Man Up is committed to seeding each group – savings or business – money to start their endeavor. They have been faithful with small things, and thus we know God has much bigger things in store for them.

For the men who received a certificate of attendance, we are encouraging them to pay back their loans. Once they pay back in full, they become eligible for future benefits from Man Up.

Of course there were several men who did not grow as we had hoped. In many ways, however, we made it too easy for them to make it to the loan distribution phase. We have adjusted accordingly and will strive to mitigate future non-repayments.

With all that said, we’re most excited by the reports from the wives of these men! So many gave encouraging testimonies of how AMP had impacted their marriage and family, and regardless of loan repayment, those are the stories we long to hear.

Thank you to everyone who has given to this critical initiative. There are over 250 children represented in the number of men reported above. Your giving is paving the way to see Less Orphans, More Families, as these men commit to protect and provide for their families as God has designed.

Man Up 100 #ServeSaturday

Some of our men from the Man Up 100 Tampa Bay Cohort were out this past Saturday fulfilling their commitment to serve foster families in the area.

This particular foster family has been doing it for 3 years and have seen over 15 children come through their home. “Janie” (name changed for privacy) says,

This is a hard road but I love being an example for the children and co-parent when possible with the families who have temporarily lost their children.

Yes! Janie and her husband are living examples of the love of Christ to those who’ve seen life smack them around a little bit. They are all about seeing these children restored back to their mom and dad, and are wholly vested in people who are perfect strangers before coming into their homes. This is truly a James 1:27 family.

So what did our team do? It’s amazing what 6 guys can do when they get after it for a couple of hours.

Earth is getting into this family’s main water pipe going into the house, but they didn’t know where the access point was to be able to root out the problem. It was basically guessing.

So our Man Up 100 team members took turns digging for a couple of hours and were able to pinpoint the access point, saving Janie and her family hundreds of dollars. Now we’re going to pay for the plumber to come out and flush out the sludge.

Simple, small, but they were so thankful. They even prayed with our team afterwards, as we all recognize from whence our strength comes! Praise God for families like this who are willing to do the hard work of fostering, and we’re grateful for men in the Man Up 100 Tampa Bay Cohort who stepped up to serve these families.

Read more about the Man Up 100 initiative in Tampa Bay. 

Man Up 100 Launches in Tampa & Springfield (MO)

If you’ve been following Man Up and Go for any amount of time, you know we want men to “man up” for children in the foster care system. We are pleased to announce that we have officially launched our Man Up 100 program in Tampa (FL) and Springfield (MO)!

On August 21, we had over 50 men come to the launch breakfast in Tampa, and currently have 44 men signed up for the initiative. Just this past week, we had 26 men come to the launch breakfast in Springfield (MO), and are praying for at least 20 of those men to commit.

Over time, we believe both of these groups will grow to 100!

So What Is Man Up 100?

Just this – we want to see 100 men in a given location at any given time fight for the fatherless! Specifically, we want to affirm Authentic Masculinity and demonstrate it by serving foster and adoptive children, foster and adoptive parents, and the agencies who provide oversight for their care. Not only that, but we’re asking men to give of their treasure so we can fund the initiative without relying on grants.

The below graphic gives examples of how the men will serve – each man must serve at least 5 times over a 10 month period – as well as how one man’s gift of $100/quarter (that’s just $33/mo) can be leveraged to raise $40,000 to help families over the course of one term!

The men will also be required to go through Man Up’s Authentic Masculinity curriculum over the course of the 10-month term. They’ll meet with one another quarterly to share what they’re learning, encourage one another with stories of impact, and recruit other men to the initiative.

We’ve already seen impact stories in our first month of operation in the Tampa area as men are serving foster families with work projects around the house. They’re also learning more about the need in Tampa by attending foster care orientations and recruiting events like the Wait No More event with Focus on the Family that Man Up is bringing to town.

If you’d like to learn more about our Man Up 100 initiative, please submit a form on our Contact Us page and we’ll be sure to reach out!