My Sense of Humanity is Back, Because of You: Robbin's Story

11/30/12

Human is the last word you would use to describe the wreckage of family and community in which Robbin grew up.  He was born in Barlonyo, an Internally Displaced Persons camp in northern Uganda, supposedly a safe haven from northern Uganda's worst terrorists: the Lord's Resistance Army.  

But on February 21, 2004, Barlonyo was suddenly no longer safe.  Hundreds of rebels surrounded the camp, killing everyone in sight.  Robbin's father was a soldier charged with protecting the camp.  He was shot as he helped his wife and six children escape the massacre.

With nowhere else to live, six-year-old Robbin and his family returned to Barlonyo after the attack.  But his mother, who was from another region and had no family in Barlonyo, was denied access to anything her deceased husband left the family—a common plight for widows in a country where the strongest often get their way.   

Determined to support her six children, Robbin's mother took small jobs weeding gardens.  She didn't make enough to feed the family, let alone provide for any other needs.  "She would spend the little money on food rather than soap," says Robbin, remembering how his mother had to prioritize their needs.  "Washing clothes in my family was a very rare thing because a piece of soap had to last us a month."  

Eventually, Robbin's mother fled to her home village, and Robbin had to find food for the family.  "I would walk to a nearby swamp to look for fish with my one net," he says.  "But because the swamp was small, I would just end up swimming at the shore, which was very dirty.  Getting out of it, I would be smelling very bad, yet I had no soap to wash myself."  Desperate for food, Robbin sometimes resorted to stealing.  "I did not like it," he says, ashamed.  "But I could not avoid doing it for survival."  

After telling his heart-wrenching story, Robbin looks up, and says with confidence, "God is the provider of everything we need, and when we face desperate situations and ask God for help, He answers."

God uses people like you to answer those prayers.  It is because of you that Robbin can smile today and say, "My sense of humanity is back."  In 2008, a ragged, dirty ten-year-old Robbin was identified by Children of the Nations (COTN) in-country staff, and he came to live at the beautiful new Children's Village that partners like you helped fund and build.  His new sponsors began providing for his needs—from food to school to spiritual development.

"My life is so different here," Robbin says.  "I can read in English and write now.  I do not worry for meals, because they are provided."  Best of all, Robbin no longer has to choose between food and basic hygiene.  "Now, I can tell when I'm dirty, and straight away I go to bathe or wash my belongings, for soap is provided for me."

It's because of you that this once-hopeless boy can dream of his future.  "I want to be a doctor, to help save lives, and to provide medical services to the village people," says Robbin.  "May God stand with your families as you support me."

Do you want to provide for a child like Robbin?  Sponsor a child today—it will change their life forever!