Education, Motivation, Transformation is the motto of the Children of Uganda. Uganda is a country in East Africa, along the shore of Lake Victoria and in the Great Rift Valley, on high plains, which intersects the Equator. It is a country of the young, with 50% of the population less than 15 years of age. There are more than 8 million orphans due to HIV-AIDS and even more vulnerable children due to poverty and disease.
Today after Church, friends were sharing recent letters received from our sponsored Ugandan students, excitedly describing news in their lives to their second “far away” family.
A Children of Uganda child sponsor describes a relationship where hearts are opened and lives are changed. That is what I became 9 years ago, when I began the educational support for a little girl, Josephine, in a Primary school in Western Uganda. Josephine is one of 4 children in her woman-led family. Her mother and elderly grandmother are the sole support of the group. This family has a deep faith in God and they have managed to press on through droughts, illness, thefts and poor crop yields. Hard work, determination and hope for a better future have sustained them. Josephine just completed her advance Secondary school and will be headed on to study for a future career as a Biomedical technician.
Encountering a new culture and developing a friendship with long-term commitments across continents has been an important part of my life.
Through the years, over a dozen other families in our Church took on this amazing role and responsibility. Letters are exchanged 3 times per year and we learn of their varied lives. Another young student, Francis, aspires to be an artist and he proudly sent pictures of his garden plot displaying its bounty in vegetables and fruit to his sponsor. He also expressed in his letter his gratitude for his new pig and her 15 piglets (a gift from his Grandmother). He wondered about the livestock and garden plot of his American family. The differences in our lifestyles are staggering, but the sparkling eyes, warm smiles and future dreams bind us in a common humanity.
Our sponsored kids are the face of the future in Uganda. It is a privilege to contribute and to be an agent of change in the lives of young people across the globe.
More information about Children of Uganda is available here.