Simply put, Hope of Africa’s Gap Year Program is a leadership program focused on raising emerging leaders. 

We completed our first Gap Year Leadership Development Program in Uganda in May 2017! We had five male students and seven female students from all different backgrounds. This program gave them practical life skills training in agriculture and cooking, and construction. 

Leadership skills training was done using the Seven Habits of an Highly Effective Leader by Covey and John Maxwell’s 21 Laws of Leadership principles and students actually had practical training to do Awana ministries with primary school children. They also served at a local orphanage and did various community outreach programs. The students had a final outreach mission to Kenya to work with youth and children that are a part of Baraka PreSchool. 

Entrepreneurial training was provided by Work for Life and students collectively started a business doing all the steps of writing a business proposal, electing key leaders in different roles, organization production, marketing, and accounting strategies. The business was successful and continues with some students that decided to continue it. We also provided practical coaching to assist students to utilize their resources to strategically improve the quality of life for their families. 

Gap Years don’t just work hard together, they play hard.  Students and staff had lots of fun together as a family playing volleyball, slack-line, music/singing, and marshall arts. The students, lived with us 5 days a week and participated in leadership, business and computer classes as well as community outreach every day.  We also had Bible study, character development, group devotions and family time.  

After graduation, some students were immediately able to receive placement for university, while others have done internships, and participated with small business projects that will assist them in raising funds for their future schooling. Currently, seven of the twelve students are attending university. Two others are working full time. Several are heavily involved in ministry in their local churches and they have been doing children’s camps on holidays together as a family. 

The major goal of this intensive program is to prepare these students to either start their own business or be more qualified for employment, while helping them follow Jesus more passionately. We couldn’t have been more pleased at the outcome of this pilot program. Hope of Africa hopes to be able to sponsor many more to come!

Our Partners in Uganda

We are partnering with several organizations and individuals in the Kampala area who are helping to make this program a success.  One of these organizations is the Joy Centre, a community center run by a Pastor and his wife. We set up a computer lab there, and used this center for our program (classes, meals, devotions, family time, etc).  The girls stayed in a cottage on the property and the boys stayed at an apartment in town with a volunteer chaperone. Cornerstone also sent some of their more vulnerable leaders to join our team. Also, Music for Life had gap year students that they sent our way. 


Why is Leadership Important?

“People say you will be leaders of tomorrow, but you are already leaders of today.” (U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon). 

Uganda has the youngest age structure in the world, with 77% of its population under the age of 30. Young people are a critical resource for Uganda’s future, yet schooling and higher education is known for it’s lack of equipping them with the skills to get employment when they graduate. Institutions are too focused on academics and being result-based, and not enough on practical vocations, ways of thinking, and applying oneself.  What marks young people is their innovate ability, creativity and dedication;  youth are society’s most essential and dynamic human resource. The key to increasing the resilience of youth is recognizing them as leaders who have the capacities to be engaged in the decisions that affect them, who are well-in formed, who can organize themselves, and who can be engaged in their churches, communities, and in the larger economy as a whole. 


Future Plan

Our long-term plan is to build a house on our property in Wakiso (just outside Kampala) and run year-long gap year programs out of the ministry house, conducting leadership programs, youth development programs, and community outreach throughout the year.


Training Young Leaders Matters!

We believe that God can move mountains with young people with a vision and purpose. Every individual we invest in will impact their villages and communities beyond what we can think and imagine. This dream of ours has already begun and is happening before our eyes. Thank you for considering partnering with us, whether through gifts, prayers, or volunteering.

Q & A

Q: Does it really work?

A: YES!!! We piloted this Leadership (Gap Year) program in South Africa in 2014. Since then, we have seen God miraculously open doors for students that faced major obstacles with employment, internship, and university opportunities. 


Q: What does the weekly outreach look like? 

A: Students participate in a variety of projects serving the orphan and vulnerable, elderly in the community through the local church, local non-profits, and community groups.


Q: What are the leaderships goals/ life skills incorporated with outreach?

A: Students will apply what they have learned practically with opportunities to serve the local church and their communities. During these intentional projects, students will be exposed to needs in their community and they will develop skills in areas below.



 -Teaching techniques/methodology

 – Classroom management

 – Literacy development

 – Child development 


Social Awareness with Biblical World View

 – Social problems and solutions

 – Drugs and alcohol, violence and abuse

 – Health and social care

 – Welfare/nutrition

 – HIV/Aids

 – Corrupon


Introduce Aid Agencies & Their Roles

 – International governments

 – National Government

 – Local government

 – Churches and NGOs


Communication Skills

 – Developing literacy skills

 – Letter wring/resume writing

 – Public speaking

 – Form filling & telephone communication

 – Banking


Counseling Skills

 – Individual and group mentoring program

 – Conflict resolution


Entrepreneurship and the Business World

 – Business studies

 – Advertising & marketing

 – Agriculture basics/gardening

 – Products and retail

 – Accounting & budgeting


Computer Skills: Students practically use

 – MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint


Team Building 

 – AWANA, camps, youth events and sports & outdoor/wilderness training



 – Skill improvement & life saving



 – Students will lead Bible Studies

 – Cell groups

 – Seminars


Trade Skills

 – Construction projects

 – Car Mechanics Basics

 – Carpentry and Painting

 – Sewing, Crafts, Cooking


Q: What does the classroom syllabus look like in the Gap Year Program? 

A: Students have morning and some evening classes that cover these topics:


Devotions & One-on-One Counsel Weekly

One of staff members sets the pace for the day with a devotional lesson. Prayer and objectives for the day are communicated, family values discussed, and prayer journaling will be done and shared each week.


Work for Life Curriculum (Certified businessmen teach business as mission)

Students participate Entrepreneurship Training program that helps them fight poverty with entrepreneurship and business skills, with character. At this course students will have a business plan that will include company overview, market overview, competitor overview, problem solving, sales and marketing, management, and finance.


Cornerstone Leadership Training (Non-profit with 20 yrs experience training Ugandan youth)

Students will be applying principles of leadership for their own personal interests and spiritual walk. Students will identify the 7 Habits of a Highly Effective Leaders and 21 Laws of Leadership. Practical application of these skills will be developed with daily outreach into the community. Students will be given opportunities to serve children, youth, and those with practical needs.


SHAPE: by Eric Reas (Spiritual Gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experience)

This curriculum helps students establish an understanding of their God-given purpose for life, based on the way He has created them. This is a character development course that applies natural personality, skills, and spiritual gifts with God’s mission and their purpose for your life. Students will be given opportunities to practice and develop areas of interest.


Creative Arts

Students will be given opportunity to express themselves through music, dance, drama, and the arts to impact and motivate their communities. A worship team will lead during events.

Navigators: Level One

Discipleship curriculum based on Titus 2:7. Students will identify a book of the Bible they will be studying to teach. They will also memorize up to 60 verses that apply to sharing their faith and mentoring another. All students will be challenged to identify one person that they can regularly disciple.


Computer Courses

Students will learn typing, Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Students will be given practical application with these courses, which includes resume wring, biography, strategic planning using excel, budgets and spreadsheets, and logistical templates for ministry outreach.


AWANA: (Approved Workman Are Not Ashamed) Leadership Certification for Children’s Ministry

Students will learn teaching strategies to organize and teach children spiritual truths. Modules including group discussion, games, story-telling, team building, and scripture memory will be addressed. Students will attend both a Seed Planters Training and Train the Trainer Training, which certifies them to train new leaders in the church.


Skills Training

Students will be exposed to different practical life skills that will allow them to be exposed to agriculture, construction, cooking, and other practical household duties.