Jamaican Sharon Brown, the founder and president of Son Shine Global Partners (SGP), is on a mission to teach young people in Uganda how to make a living. The nonprofit Son Shine Global Partners has as its goal to train 100 disadvantaged youth in Uganda to become successful entrepreneurs in farming in 2019. The group of young widows and orphans ranging from 18 to 25 years of age, will be offered courses designed to help them obtain food security and success as farmers. Brown said they will learn to raise animals and to make enough money to leave their current lives of poverty. For over ten years, SGP has helped young people in Africa by providing food, clothing, livestock, and counseling, but the organization wanted to go further to help the group of 100 participants in a more sustainable way through training in agricultural business.
Each of the young adults in the group has lost loved ones in terrorist attacks by the Lord’s Resistance Army, an African group that has terrorized sections of Central Africa for some 30 years. According to Brown, these are the most vulnerable people in the region because they have no outside support. SGP partners with the Malku Institute of Technology and Makerere University Africa Institute for Strategic Services and Development (AFRISA) to train the young Ugandans in everything they need to know to be successful in farming and raising animals. The program includes two weeks of intensive residential training and several farming visits over the coming year. Brown noted how little effort it takes to make a difference in the lives of young Ugandans. Dr. Sharon Brown, who is known for her straightforward and compassionate style, is an attorney and entrepreneur in South Florida. She believes that SGP’s goals should be taking education to the community, promote strong family relationships, and provide practical education focused on solutions to train people and uplift their lives.
Dr. Brown became vice president of the Son Shine Christian Association Scholarship Fund in 2008. A visit to South Africa in 2002 made such an impact on her that she participated in yearly short-term missions to Benin, Togo, Umbanda, Sudan, and Ghana. Her visit to Sudan in 2008 influenced her to commission an assessment by Gulu University’s Faculty of Agriculture to find out what was required to bring food security to the region. In 2009, the assessment revealed that more manpower was needed to cultivate the land, and the key to improving agricultural production lay in improving the delivery of agricultural extension services. This work in African became the fund’s focus after Brown became its vice president. Currently. SG works in Uganda and Ghana through a variety of partnerships. SGP is actively looking for partnerships with individuals and companies interested in helping these young people.