VOH INCLUDES A WORKING FARM. The orchard surrounded by barbed wire has banana, guava, and orange trees. Maize covers about 30 acres, with some of it becoming feed for the farm’s 28 cows. The farm also includes 200 egg-laying chickens, 400 broilers, and 80 goats.
The agricultural products feed the children and supply the restaurant, which displays a sign promising “Fast Food. Quick-In-Quick-Out.” Inside, scones, samosas, and other snacks fill display cases. Behind the counter, a chalkboard lists food items and their prices. The restaurant also includes a minimart with some toiletries and other amenities. Outside, unpaved land serves as a truck stop for drivers traveling along the busy highway. One night 26 trucks parked there. The businesses generate daily average sales of $200 in a country where the average daily wage is only $2.
As needs arise, VOH has established businesses to meet them. The village produces some of its own furniture and bricks used in building the cottages. Its tailor shop manufactures school uniforms for the children. The jobs have provided needed support for people like Anna Gatawa, a 58-year-old widow who works as the senior housemother. Her husband’s death left her the sole provider for her two children. Gatawa said her job at the village helped her send her two children to college: “I was very young, but God helped me manage.”
Children also develop business acumen. Some rear their own birds and gather eggs from the hens’ pen. Schwartz said VOH teaches the children a “45:45:10” money management policy. They save 45 percent of their earnings, spend another 45 percent, and tithe the last 10 percent.
Eighteen-year-old Shaibu Chanda works part time at the restaurant’s kitchen. Chanda used to herd cows to make money for his family before he came to the village with three of his siblings. He started to save money and sends some back to his widowed mother: “Every time I go there, she’s always happy.”