Today was AMAZING. We were able to visit Rosene - a girl who has only recently been sponsored. Her sponsor, Robyn, has been instrumental in spreading the word about Kids First in New Zealand, and has sold lots of crafts for the Kids First mothers. When we weren't able to get Rosene's most recent term reports and letters to her sponsor, Joshua simply told us: wait till you get here, and I will explain...
The road slowly changed from a dirt track to ... a tiny dirt track ...
Finally, we arrived at a clearing where Rosene lives with her mum and siblings.
Rosene's family came to Uganda hoping for a better life and more opportunities. When they were struggling the the slums in Kampala, one of the Kids First family who has some family land out of the city, offered Rosene's Dad a chance to work on the land to provide for his family. He did just that. Then sold all the crops and kept the money for himself. On the motorbike he was loaned, he left with a new girlfriend leaving his wife and children in a new country speaking a foreign language, with no support.
It was heartbreaking and a huge privilege to sit with Rosene's mum and talk to her about her life: what has happened, where she is at now, and her hopes and fears for her kids. Rosene's older sister (14 years old) had already been sent out (alone and vulnerable) to work the land nearby to help with money for the family.
Rosene is fortunate - she is in school. But given her living situations we realised she will never reach her potential and her opportunity of education would be wasted if we can't provide more support for her and her family.
After long discussions with her family we decided on moving Rosene into boarding school. This way she will have education, a regular bed and "space" of her own, as well as regular meals and access to toilets and water. We will post an update of this move soon!
This was such a humbling experience, and we are so grateful to be able to play a small role in helping out families like Rosene's. If you are interested in being involved, please get in touch!
Here at Kids First we all have something to say, so this blog will be updated by members of our team as our work progresses to keep all of you in the loop!