The start of a new year is always a good time for reflecting on the year that has been, and planning for the year to come. At Kids First, 2014 has been a fantastic year. Our kids have been doing well in school, there have been many positive changes in our mothers, and our soccer programme is really flourishing. Not to mention the new music programme that has just started!
Below is Joshua's report on the first meeting for the year:
Dear all, I am happy to let you know that we successfully had our first meeting for 2015. I extended your greetings to the mums who were so happy to hear from you and on what you are doing for the project. We prayed for you all and every one wished you a prosperous new year.
I was happy we manged to have our lawyer, Vicent, join us. Getting registered in Uganda has been a difficult process, but I believe after seeing the number of the beneficiaries and hearing some of the testimonies from our mothers, he will be encouraged to speed up the registration. He hopes by the end of March we shall have our certificate.
SUCCESS STORY OF 2014:
Among the many success stories from Kids First, allow me tell you about one of our mothers, Sarah, the mother of one of our sponsored kids, Swabura. I got know Sarah last year when looking for a child in need of sponsorship in the Bbunga slum area. We came across a beautiful young girl who was playing in a open sewage drain. It was school time so Agnes and I wondered why this kid was not in school. We stopped to talk to this girl and asked her to take us to her home.
No one was at home. The neighbours told us the mum had gone around the village to look for work and food. We found Swabura's young sister who looked weak because she had not had anything to eat all day. I was so disturbed with their condition I insisted we wait til their mum came home.
After an hour, Sarah come back home so dirty and tired. She was happy to see us because she found us playing with Swabura and her little sister. She invited us into her dirty empty house. She told us about her family: how she was abandoned by her husband and she could barely feed her kids or take them to school. I took Swabura's details and, thank God, she got a sponsor from Michigan.
This was a miracle for Swabura, getting a better education than her mum ever expected. This was also a miracle for the family: after getting a sponsor Swabura's mum has been able to save some money during the year, because Swabura gets two meals each day at school. With the little she was earning, by the end of the year she managed to save 70,000 sh (NZD 31; USD 24). With this she has started up a small business selling food in the local market. She is now sure of at least providing two meals for her kids, and she believes by the middle of this year she will be able to send Swabura's young sister to school. While at the market she is able to look after her kids while selling her food. She says her kids now look healthier and don't get sick like they used to. She even looks cleaner, and when I asked she says she is now able to afford soap for washing.
She is so thankful for the opportunity for sponsorship she got that has turned their lives around. As you can see, just paying fees for one kid can change a whole family. Bless all our sponsors.
I personally thank you all for the great work you have done the past year that has yielded great results to our beneficiaries. Without your sacrifice we would not have seen such positive change. We are so determined not put your efforts to waste and we are looking forward to working together in this year. God bless you all.
Note: I have attached a photo of Sarah and Swabura with her little sister in the market selling plantain and potatoes. Sorry that the quality of the photo is not so good because I took it with my phone.
Wahoo! Summer holidays in Uganda have never been more filled with song and dance! We have been so blessed to be able to start a music group for our kids. Here is Joshua's report:
"Dear all, this has been quite a different school break with the starting of our music programme. I have been overwhelmed with how our kids have got so joyfully involved in this program. The training is so good and our trainer, Peter, and his team of trainers are amazing. You can not believe what our kids can do: they have only been training a short time and they will be singing in a kids concert by the end of this month! Isn't that amazing!? This has really been a blessing.
At the moment we are working on a costume for our kids, and a name for our choir."
We hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas and a great start to the new year. Our kids in Uganda are having a great time with their holiday programmes, including soccer and music. We hope you'll be hearing more form our music group as this year goes along.
Wishing you all the best for 2015!