Read stories of children whose lives have been turned around thanks to their incredibly kind and committed sponsors. Sponsor a child here
'My mother and I used to dig other people's land for money,' explains Jolly. 'But it was never enough - I used to be chased out of school every other week for non-payment of fees. Me and my siblings were the shabbiest children in the village, vulnerable and malnourished.'
Everything changed when Jolly was sponsored through Amigos - she could go to school every day, she received a hot dinner and help with buying pencils and books.
Through her hard work and determination Jolly is now employed as a teacher and is able to support her single mother, she is paying for some of her younger siblings to go to school and is saving money at the end of each month as she dreams of building a house with a tin roof for her mother.
'I’m very grateful for Amigos. I was in a hopeless situation, with no vision. Today I am empowering next generation of Uganda’s mothers and fathers through education!' says Jolly.
‘My mother, a teacher, passed away when I was 4 and my father, a hotel manager, passed away when I was 8. If I hadn’t been sponsored I think I would have been a street kid because my sister couldn’t afford to look after me. It’s all about survival when you’re orphaned. Without the sponsorship programme my life would have been a living hell'.
‘Right now I’m studying for my A Levels. I get up at 3.00am every day and study till 5.00am. I’m at school from 7.00am till 5.00pm and then we have lessons for a couple of hours in the evening. I believe everyone should think about sponsoring a child – God will bless them through sponsoring others.’ Find out more
Amigos' sponsored child, Resty, has had a difficult start to life, largely because her father is an alcoholic who doesn't support his family. For a while a neighbour allowed Resty and her family to sleep in a dilapidated mud hut, but when he forced them to leave the family spent months sleeping in the open under a mango tree.
Some time later, Resty's UK sponsor bought a small piece of land for the family. Her mother started building a mud house but was unable to complete it. Thankfully an Amigos supporter, Gareth, caught wind of the situation and generously donated £2500 towards a new house for the family. Today the family have a roof over their heads and a place to call home.
‘Before I joined the child sponsorship programme I often used to miss two or three weeks of school at a time because I couldn’t afford the fees. I would always borrow books and try to catch up - it was a big relief when I was sponsored at the age of 12,’ says Emmy, 20.
After school Emmy went on to study art and design and today he runs his own shop selling necklaces, shawls, bags and jewellery that he’s made. Emmy is helping to support his younger siblings so they can go to school and he is contributing to the rent for the family home.
‘Outside of school, life is very hard,’ explains Emmy. ‘If you can get an education it makes such a difference. If I hadn’t been sponsored I’d probably have three children now, or be on the streets. Education gives you hope. I feel so good that I can support my family. Amigos supported me and now I support them.’
Marvin is part of the Amigos' child sponsorship programme but he was always late for school because he was so busy fetching water from the well. To make 8-year-old Marvin's life easier, his mum Nora was collecting water during the day too, but she really needed to be working.
'I'm so excited to have this water tank, it's a huge thing for us,' says Nora. 'Now I'll have more time to work in the market selling peppers, onions and tomatoes. I expect to make USh 20,000 (£5) a day with this extra time and that means I will be able to afford to send my other two children to school. With the extra income we'll be able to have 3 meals a day, instead of one. And I hope to buy some utensils for our home so that everyone has a plate to eat off and a cup to drink out of.' Humble dreams, yet life-changing stuff. A Rainwater Harvesting Tank costs £250. If you would like to donate one, we will install it! Find out more here
Irene, 18, wants to focus on children's affairs at university so she can speak out for children like Joseph Sabiiti, the Amigos Child Sponsorship coordinator, has done for her.
Irene was 13 when she joined the child sponsorship programme. Her single mum was struggling to pay the school fees for Irene and her two siblings. Her dad died when she was in nursery and her orphaned cousin also came to live with the family.
'If I didn't have a sponsor I would have been forced to drop out of school, I'd just be in the village digging other people's land for money,' says Irene. This young lady is determined to make a better future for herself - she gets up at 4.00am every morning to study, before she walks 3 km to school. In the evening she studies for another 3 hours. That's commitment!
Amigos Worldwide is a registered Charity/NGO both in the UK and Uganda.
Amigos Worldwide, Registered in England, Company Number 6122350, Registered Charity Number 1119450
Registered Office 7A Beech Grove, Pilton, Barnstaple, Devon. EX31 1PZ
(Amigos International and Amigos are working names of Amigos Worldwide)