How exactly can Christians best follow the commandment to “Love thy neighbor”? Andy Mills, President of The King’s College, founded the 5810 Project to help answer to this question in Uganda. On December 11th, President Mills returned from a trip to Africa, where he acted out the answer to poverty by meeting and partnering with leaders in business, the church, and government.
During his most recent trip to Uganda, President Mills visited the city of Kampala to support growing businesses. On December 5th, President Mills visited a school a small slum on the outskirts of Kampala founded over five years ago by Jesus Commissioned Ministries. Over the years, President Mills and a few friends supported the continued development of the school. What once was a couple of plywood partitioned rooms is now a seven classroom school built on brick with metal roofs. The school now has with it a playground, a head teacher, and over 100 students.
Clients of later meetings included the owners of a passion fruit farm in Fort Portal that will be fully producing by April. Through the “Mango Fund”, Project 5810 helped equip this farm with critical irrigation equipment. Another small business owner in Kampala spent the last year buying and selling maize, and is trying to add cleaning, drying, and storage to his business.
The 5810 Project developed partially due to the failure of American welfare policy. In recent decades, the United States spent millions on what President Lyndon Johnson called the “war on poverty.” Yet in the almost 50 years since Johnson coined the phrase, poverty seems only to have increased around the world, even as money sent overseas has increased dramatically.
Instead of just sending money to those in need, the 5810 Project holds that in the words of Isaiah 58:10, “…if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed then your light will rise in the darkness and your night will become like the noonday.” According to the project blog, the vision of the project is to “provide an opportunity for business people from developed countries to share the love of Christ with their neighbor by ‘spending’ themselves on behalf of others who are trying to build businesses and break the poverty cycle.”
On the project blog, President Mills said of his trip, “I think this was probably the most encouraging trip that I have been on in recent years. I had a sense of real progress that is being made, by us and by our friends in both Arua and Uganda.” President Mills has supported an array of projects in Arua and Kampala, including investing in a Medical Center, rice an maize milling, egg production, dress making, printing, honey production, mango juicing, beef production, construction and transportation.
The King’s College educates students in the ideas upon which nations rise and fall. With a focused curriculum in the liberal arts tradition, students are prepared to help shape, and eventually to lead, the institutions of government, civil society, media, law, business, education, the arts, and the church. King’s is a Christian college located in New York City.