In Uganda, more than a third of the inhabitants live below the poverty level. Children are the primary victims of this deplorable economic situation as their families cannot ensure their health or well-being, particularly in remote regions of the country. Some children are sent to live in towns and cities as it is thought that they will be better off living in urban areas. Instead, they often end up living on the streets. Astonishing is that 50% of the population in Uganda is under the age of 14. With such a low age, it is the world’s youngest country. The average life span of Ugandans is 50-60 years.
Due to extreme poverty, access to education is a privilege from which only the most fortunate children benefit.
The objective of our program in Uganda is to help children between 6-18 years of age. It is designed to assist young underprivileged population to attend school by providing them with school tuition, uniforms and supplies, as well as casual clothing. The outreach began in 2017 supporting 10 beneficiaries with plans to expand as resources permit.
With the mentors in the Reaching Beyond Words-Uganda who are committed to seeing the children succeed, positive results have already been seen. The mentors visit the children both at home and at school with an objective of checking on the social behavior, spiritual life, and health of each child, establishing the challenges/issues the child is experiencing both at home and at school and seeing the way forward on how to help him/her.
Reaching Beyond Words-Uganda has rented a compound in Kampala where the children in the program can live in safety and receive physical as well as spiritual needs. The children are taught Bible stories and Biblical principles. Each child is also enrolled in school from elementary to vocational training.
Even though our program in Uganda is relatively young, we can already see positive outcome in the lives of the families we serve. The overall attitudes have been changing not only in the children but also their parents/guardians. A case in point is Samuel’s mother, Ms. Annet. She never used to greet people in her neighborhood and when other people greeted her, she would not respond. However, since her son was enrolled in the school, she has transformed completely and now she smiles at people. Her neighbors testify to this transformation.
We thank God for the great change He is causing in the lives of these children and their families. We look forward to witnessing more testimonies as we continue our program in the years to come.