For the past two years, Peter has served at-risk children in Camden, N.J., while earning his master’s degree in organizational leadership.
Peter was awarded a scholarship from UrbanPromise International, which brings young leaders to New Jersey to strengthen or start their own nonprofits in their home countries. UrbanPromise also serves as a beacon of hope and safety for kids in the community. Children attend after-school programming and outreach activities.
While Peter was earning his degree, he worked with elementary school children every day at one of UrbanPromise’s after-school programs. He helped with homework, played games with the children and taught Bible lessons. “Whether you live in the USA or Uganda,” he told the kids, “we were all created by the same God. Even when you’re going through something hard, God knows you.” Peter speaks from experience. He and the children of Camden have been through many hard times.
Even though the crime rate has improved in recent years, Camden is still one of the most dangerous cities in America, consistently ranking in the top five for most violent crimes. Dilapidated houses line the streets, and metal bars cover the windows. Drug dealers, prostitutes and addicts gather on the sides of the roads. “There’s deep poverty in Camden,” says Peter. “There’s a breakdown of the family. Fear and violence keep people in their houses because they don’t trust anyone. So they stay in their houses where there is TV, food and water — but they’re not safe.”