Founder's Story

Founder's Story 1

Heart for African People (formerly called Deo Ministries) was founded by Pastor Deo Mwanje in 2001. Here is his story:

“My name is Deo Mwanje, a Pastor, married to Fiona S. Mwanje, with whom I have 6 children, that is, 2 girls and 4 boys. 

In 1972, in a banana plantation down in a small village in Uganda, my life began as my mother could not afford hospital bills, and besides, there was no hospital nearby anyways. 

I have two siblings. Unfortunately, I lost my father and sister to AIDS.

My education life was a gamble as I spent a period of only 4 years in school during which I attended 4 different schools, yet had to walk distances of 5-10 miles to attend school on a daily. At the age 14 years, I dropped out of school since my mother couldn’t afford school fares any more.

At that age, In 1986,  I was brought from the village to the capital city, Kampala, to work as a street vendor to sell snacks. I was only exploited by my boss who never paid my wages and, in the end, kicked me out of his house and that’s how I ended up on the streets. The very first night on the street, I was arrested and put in jail for 4 weeks and on release, my onIy plan was suicide but by God’s grace I met Christ. That’s when the transformation of my life started.

After jail, still on the streets, I met a missionary who took me into his home and gave me a place to stay. He didn’t have a lot of money but he gave me hope for another chance to life and taught me to live as a servant of God. I slowly learnt to attend the Sunday services in the local church nearby and gradually continued to grow spiritually for the next 10 years. I was enrolled in the church Bible School for pastoral ministry. 

In the year 2000, Billy Graham through my local church, invited me to Amsterdam and covered my ticket costs and there I made a vow to serve God at any cost. 

When I returned to Uganda the Spirit of God and the desire of my own heart led me to start the ministry of reaching out to needy families, individuals and communities to transform their lives, just as HE (God) did the same for me through the missionary I met, way back, on the streets, who turned the story around and gave me hope when I was hopeless.

In 2001, I started Word of Life Community Church with only 3 people. Right now the church reaches over 700 kids on a weekly basis and 300 adults. It has given birth to 10 other local churches and oversee 20 churches in our community.

In 2004 I started Treasured Kids Primary School in the slums of Kosovo. We started supporting 600 needy children. Since its inception over the last 17 years and right now, we have supported over 5000 children and youth.

In 2016 we started a micro-finance bank to support our community through teaching them about savings and loans and by training them in practical and business skills to help eradicate the poverty around them.

In more than 17 years that I have been a part of Heart for African People, I have been blessed to witness many extraordinary stories of transformed lives in the slums where we operate.”