In the ten years I have been helping Child Initiative International, I have been asked several times, “Why Uganda? “ And my answer is always, “because they want help”. They don’t tie up help with red tape and receipts. They don’t expect handouts but will accept a helping hand to rebuild.
There are a recorded 2.5 million completely orphaned children in Uganda. To put this in perspective, this would mean every person in the city of Chicago would be parentless. Every man, woman and child.
The word completely should stand out to you, because in the United States, we have approximately 2 million orphaned children. However, in America, we consider children who have not only lost both parents (approximately 320,000) but those who have only lost one parent to be considered orphaned.
So to look at that number, 2.5 million, and to think these are children that have completely lost both parents. Completely orphaned children who are living on the streets, who are taking care of younger siblings, and who are being farmed off to equally poor relatives. Who have no opportunities open to them because of war, HIV/AIDS and so much more.
Child Initiative International helps to support 4,000 children in Uganda. Only four thousand of the 2.5 million reported children. CII pays for school tuitions, houses, clothes, feeds and prays for these children every day. Our hope is they will receive this education and go on to do something to give back to their village or community. We have seen this in children like Patrick who continues to keep his goal in mind of becoming a doctor and opening a clinic in his village. Or Angela who wants to be a nurse. We know names and faces and dreams.
Even with all the organizations in Uganda, there is no possible way to help all 2.5 million children. However, there is a way to start a change by educating those we can reach. Those four thousand children that CII helps every day can grow and will make a difference.
This is why Uganda.