Our sponsor child, Josfa, turns 15 today. We’ve been sponsoring him through Compassion for about six years. I love thinking about him on his birthday; wondering if anyone will sing happy birthday to him and if he will have a special treat. What will he spend his birthday money on? Will he get to play with his friends today?
We recently received an update on his progress. We were so proud to see how far he has come and how hard he is trying in school.
The life of a child in Uganda is tough. Only the fighters survive birth and making it to five years is a huge milestone. Many children aren’t named until their 5th birthday.. with so many dying during their first five years, it’s too painful to name children before then. AIDs and malaria are pandemic and common illnesses like diahorreah and worms can be deadly. Children walk for many km’s to get water – water which is usually filthy and makes them sick. Schooling is a tough one; children are often required to work so the family can eat, preventing the children from gaining an education and breaking the poverty cycle. Homes are typically made up of dirt floors, wooden walls and corrugated iron roofs. Crimes of rape, violence and homocide are rife. Then there’s the rocky and violent history. Uganda is not a safe environment for children to be growing up in.
Josfa has to live with all these factors but through Compassion, he is hugely advantaged. He has access to counselling, domestic assistance, tuition, literacy training, opportunities for community service, recreational activities, nutritious food, health and hygeine education, medical checkups and Bible teaching.
What I love about this is that Josfa, as well as performing his chores and gaining an education, now has time for hobbies. He loves playing soccer and I love imagining him running around a dusty field under the hot African sun, laughing with friends as they frantically chase a ball. This is, to a small measure, a childhood for a child who otherwise would have missed out entirely.
I also love that he is applying himself and working so hard to make the most of this opportunity. I love that he’s so grateful and prays for us ‘all the time’. I love that his whole family is impacted by his sponsorship. I love that, thanks to a healthy education and many heart-felt prayers, he may grow up to be a man of God, capable of changing his nation for good. I love that he now has the opportunity to be a strong, loving husband and father. I love that he can now break the the cycle of poverty and abuse. I love that his life has been forever changed by our sponsorship.
Facts about Uganda
- Of every 1000 babies born, 134 die at birth (down from 197 in 1970)
- 72% of Ugandans are literate – a huge improvement
- 82% of primary aged children attend school – also a big improvement
- 36% of 5-14 year olds used in child labour
If you want to make a positive impact on a child’s life, visit Compassion and think about sponsoring a child like Josfa.