Who We Are
Imprint Hope works to eliminate the neglect, abuse, abandonment and death of children with disabilities in Uganda by educating communities on childhood disability, providing medical and rehabilitative services to the children affected, and educating and empowering caretakers to care for their child and earn a living wage for their families. We envision a world where all children with disabilities are appreciated for their unique talents and provided an opportunity to actualize their full potential.
What We Do For The Child
During the live-in 6-week program, children receive daily physical and occupational therapy, orthopedic equipment and nutritional and medical support. While their child is being cared for, Imprint Hope families embark on a journey of their own, participating in daily classes on the types and causes of disability, proper hygiene, parenting techniques, and human rights of children with disabilities. In addition to learning about their child’s disability, families participate in start-up business training, agricultural lessons, and tailoring to be better equipped to pay for their child’s medical expenses upon their return home.
What We Do For The Families
One way the Imprint Hope team equips our families to earn consistent income is through our newest program, Imprint Microfinance. This program seeks to combat the difficulty in raising a special needs child by bringing hope to our families through small business training and micro-loans. Each mother that attends Imprint Hope’s 6-week program is equipped and empowered in business skills via mentoring and community training seminars. Upon graduation from this course, each mother is given a micro-loan that is expected to be paid back over the next twelve months. This loan serves as a mechanism to help each mother start her small scale business in her home village with the hope of combating poverty. Upon return to the village, Imprint Hope’s staff assesses the mothers regularly to ensure they are thriving in their new businesses, while meeting the essential needs of their child.
What We Do For the Community
Imprint Hope’s responsibility extends far beyond the 6-week educational and rehabilitation program it offers to children with disabilities and their families. Progress made during the program is only successful if families and communities at large have the education to accept children with disabilities in their community. This program is merely a stepping stone in the pursuit of our greater goal --- to change the social stigma surrounding children with disabilities in Uganda.
Imprint Hope strives to accomplish this vision through implementing educational outreach programs in rural villages, schools, health centers and hospitals throughout Uganda. These programs focus on informing the community about the various types of disabilities, educating on treatment strategies and providing resources for families to seek support.
At Imprint Hope, we believe God created every human soul with a different fingerprint for a reason and that we all have a unique set of gifts to share with the world, and children with disabilities are no exception. With God’s grace and the generosity of others, Imprint Hope is striving to leave a lasting mark of hope on the Ugandan people, so that they may better understand the inherent potential of every human soul.
Learn more about the children, families, and community that we serve alongside through our blog and by subscribing to our newsletter!
About the Founder
Clare Byrne was born and raised in northern New Jersey and graduated from Seton Hall University with her Masters degree in Occupational Therapy in 2012. Ever since Clare could remember, God had etched in her heart the desire to serve children with disabilities. However, how this service was to take place, was always a resounding question in her mind.
In 2013 an opportunity arose for Clare to travel to Uganda, East Africa. There she volunteered for a year as an Occupational Therapist to a severely disabled population of children.
When Clare was in Uganda, her heart was forever captured how the children with disabilities were filled with boundless joy, compassion, and love, despite the obstacles they face on a daily basis. Clare was struck how these children seize the present moment and embrace it with gratitude. In their humble nature, they reveal that in order to live fully alive, the past should not rob you of the joy and gift of the present moment.
Clare’s heart was also torn how the children with disabilities in Uganda are marginalized, abandoned, rejected by society and their basic God-given dignity is not recognized. This disparity made her heart so restless and empowered her to want to do something about it.
In 2016 in Uganda, East Africa, Clare founded Imprint Hope, a non-profit organization, designed to raise awareness, break down barriers, and overcome the stigma that children with disabilities in Uganda face on a daily basis.