Village Partnership Program off to Great Start in Uganda

04/06/11

When Barbra didn’t show up for class, her teachers at the Children of the Nations (COTN) primary school in Lira, Uganda, grew concerned. They sent staff members to visit her at home, in the village of Anai-Okii, and found she was sick with a rash. Unable to afford medical care, Barbra’s family had not sought treatment. But with help from COTN–Uganda’s new staff nurse, Barbra is now healthy and back in school with her friends.

Barbra has these privileges as a sponsored child in COTN’s Village Partnership Program (VPP) in Anai-Okii. The program has grown to include 195 children in need since it launched in January of 2010. COTN–International Uganda Liaison Sylvia Taussig recently visited Uganda and saw the difference child sponsorship is making in the lives of many children like Barbra. “We visited several VPP homes while we were there in February,” Sylvia says. “What we saw were families struggling to make it and a child being enrolled with COTN in the Village Partnership Program was providing hope to the family and child.”

Another one of those children, like Barbra, is Solomon. Solomon’s grandmother is unable to walk, and yet she is trying to eke out a living for Solomon and his siblings by growing and selling a few crops. Solomon’s enrollment in the VPP affords him an education, giving him and his grandmother reasons to hope for a better future. “This child would not have been able to attend school without COTN,” Sylvia says.

Most of the children in the Village Partnership Program attend COTN’s nursery and primary school at our Uganda Children’s Village. The school began serving nursery students and first- and second-graders in 2010, but expanded this year to include grades three, four, and five. COTN plans to continue expanding the school as the children grow, adding grade six in 2012, grade seven in 2013, and so on. Children in the VPP have improved their academic performance since transferring into the COTN school. “The school that many attended last year was not a good school and many did not pass on to the next class,” Sylvia says. “We are excited to see improved results with children attending our COTN Nursery and Primary School.”

Sylvia says it’s the committed COTN–Uganda staff that makes the difference in the children’s education. “We see that the staff has a ‘can-do’ spirit,” Sylvia says. “One of our staff members, Hardson Ongura [COTN–Uganda Sponsorship Coordinator], comes on his own time to the school several times a week to work with the older students in extra study sessions working on math concepts.”

In addition to the educational, medical, and personal care children like Barbra and Solomon receive, they also get tangible items like food, school supplies, and useful gifts. At Christmastime, each of the children in the VPP received a mosquito net and a blanket—items that can help kids in Africa to overcome threats of disease. All of this fills the children and staff in Uganda with hope and appreciation. “The staff and children acknowledge God as the provider of all things!” Sylvia says.

More children like Barbra and Solomon need sponsors. Visit our sponsorship page to help a child in Uganda, Malawi, Sierra Leone, the Dominican Republic, or Haiti today.

Or, give a child a gift by visiting our online gift catalog.