Nearly 10 years ago Sharon Brown, the vision bearer and project coordinator, first visited Uganda as part of a summer mission trip organized by The African Christian Fellowship - Eastern Region. During that trip the group visited households headed by children as young as 12 years old. Their parents had died of HIV AIDS and the children were now living off of the land. They brought them clothes, paid their school fees, fed them and gave them livestock to care for. The caretakers on the ground would follow up with them during the year and the group would return the following year to see them. Unfortunately, this was not sustainable.
In 2006 Sonshine Global Partners started as a Florida non-profit organization. They continued going to northern Uganda and added a medical component to the mission trip. They visited approximately 10 communities in a period of two weeks bringing medical and dental care, psychological counseling and evangelism.
Their first trip to South Sudan was in January 2009 where the situation was much worse than in Uganda. They commissioned a study by the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment of Gulu University to determine what needed to be done to bring food security to Kajo Keji, South Sudan.
After seeing the results of that study the team members decided that what Sonshine was doing was inadequate. If they wanted to see real transformation in Africa they had to make a greater commitment.
In order for people to become self-sustaining, knowledge needs to be accessible so that skills may be learned. Invariably, this would lead to an increase in their living standards and would make Sonshine's missions more impactful. Out of a desire to bring a long-term solution to the problems in Uganda and South Sudan the team decided to establish agricultural based universities in the nations of Africa. No one on the team had ever participated in such an extensive, long-term project. The question on everyone’s minds was: ‘Where do we start?’ We called the project the Kingdom University Project.