Let me start with giving credit to my sister and brother-in-law that initiated this project.
These are the people that love unconditionally without expecting anything back. After our parent’s passing, my sister and my brother-in-law took care of us even though they were not rich and they have continued to give to the needy children that they find on their way to work and in the extend family. My sister is a school principal and a teacher by profession and my brother-in-law a priest. My sister works in rural areas of Uganda where she has witnessed poverty in the areas she have been a teacher, whereas my brother-in-law in a teacher in two universities in Uganda and well as working with an NGO for teaching lay-leaders.
One day, my sister was driving to work and she met a school age child who was hiding in a bush near a school. When she stopped and asked the little boy why he was not in school, the boy responded that he did not have scholastic materials, uniform and a fee for lunch. My sister and brother-in-law put the boy in the car and took him to buy scholastic materials and they paid for lunch deposit, this was in 2013 and they have continued to take care of this boy up to now. When they shared this information with me, I asked them to identify two more children that could benefit from small help from me, and that was done so now we have a total of three (3) children fully supported by us.
In 2014, I sent used clothing to Uganda with no instructions and my sister and brother-in-law took the liberty to donate them to a school where my sister was a teacher, and the tradition continue with me each year sending whatever I can afford as some kids did not have clothing, leave alone the much required school uniform. Last year, 2016, a guardian requested my sister to ask if we could get them shoes for children. I was touched when my sister told me and at the same time stressed, as I did not see any way I was going to be able to collect up to 300 pairs of shoes. I took it into prayers and I gave it to God as I felt like I could not handle it by myself. I spoke to few friends who encouraged me to start a gofundme as well as speak to my closest friends. I have found favor from people who have not only contributed but given me encouragement. Since then, I have been able to collect 200 pairs of shoes for kids and I continue to campaign for more.
Among the most important needs in the rural areas in Uganda is;
Text Books, Exercise books, pencils, school uniforms, shoes, sponsoring education field trips.
I was informed that most children are sent to school without books or pencils and they are sent back as they are not allowed to sit in class without those items. With this, my sister being a principal and she is does not want to see any kid miss school under her watch, she has been buying a pencil and cut it into 3 pieces so 3 kids can be allowed to be in class. She cuts a book into two, for two kids mostly in low classes.
Uniform creates confidence, and in most schools children are not allowed to attend school without a uniform and in the case of the school like where my sister is a principal, some kids do not have fairly decent shorts to wear. One of the boys in our pilot programme used to come to school in three rugged shorts combined together to make a complete short. Children in these situations are under-looked and have no confidence due to their situations.
So far, we have been able to provide uniforms to over 50 children since the beginning of September.
For shoes, most of the kids have never owned a pair of shoes yet there is a big problem of worms that penetrate the body through the feet. So, providing shoes will not only promote confidence but prevent infection. This I experienced the last time I visited Uganda, my little boy got the worms through open areas in his feet after playing in dirt water.
There is no single library in rural areas so we are planning on building at least a library one community at a time. Due to lack of exposure to books, rural area children have a hard time to assimilate when they get a chance to go to high institutions where they have to study with urban children. We would wish for at least children to have access to story books and dictionary to practice the English language and interpretation and an early age. We would like to at least have a computer or two in the library for children and teachers.
As we all know, the brain does not work well without glucose, so for a child to be in class with an empty stomach affects their comprehension. So would like to be able to provide porridge for lunch through this campaign.
Uganda have only one zoo and one major airport, so for a rural child to be able to visit and have a chance to see areas, they require transportation which, some parents cannot afford and there is no funding for such educational trips. So our intentions is to identify those children that cannot afford to pay for these trips so we can make it possible for them to go.