A Chance to Learn: Lawrence's Story

04/20/12

Imagine growing up in a house with no adults.  This has been 10-year-old Lawrence's reality for as long as he can remember, and sadly is not uncommon in northern Uganda, where a two-decade-long rebel war has decimated the adult population.   Lawrence's father was a soldier and both his parents became sick and died in the army barracks.  Without parents, Lawrence's older cousin has taken on the role of both father and mother in their tiny, grass-thatched home.  The family relies on subsistence farming for food, which means when the dry season comes they often go to bed hungry.

Lawrence was a shy boy, but he managed to make some friends in his small village.  But others chose to tease Lawrence because he stuttered when he spoke, and struggled to express himself.

When Lawrence turned eight, his friends began attending school.  But Lawrence, unable to afford the meager school fees, stayed home.  Already shy, Lawrence lost hope when his friends left for school.  He thought if he could only go to school, maybe one day he could learn to speak clearly.

Lawrence's prayers were answered when Children of the Nations (COTN) opened a school near his village, and sponsors began enabling children like Lawrence to go to school for the first time.  Thanks to his sponsors, and the partners who continue to fund construction of COTN's school, Lawrence has been attending school for two years now, and is in first grade.  "I now talk very well, and people can now get my words clearly," he proudly states.  Listening to the confident, bright young boy speak today, you would hardly guess he struggled with a speech impediment just two years ago.

Lawrence says he likes writing, but his favorite part of school is getting to eat lunch every day.  As a part of COTN's Village Partnership Program, Lawrence eats a hearty meal every day at school.  Lawrence looks forward to his meal all morning.

When school is over, Lawrence goes back to his child-headed household.  But no matter what happens there, he knows he will always have that meal at school.  He also has some adults to look up to at school—COTN staff members who love and support him and teach him about God.  "I have learnt to pray," he reports, "and that God alone is to be worshipped, for He is great."

You can change the life of a child like Lawrence.  Sponsor a child today!