Childhood should be about playing and being brought up by loving parents, but for many kids in the African country, Uganda it’s not the case. Instead, these orphaned children have to grow up quickly to work from a very young age, and often have no access to basic education. The award-winning local charity, Vision for Vulnerable Communities Foundation (VIVCOM) aims to bring back real childhood to the vulnerable youngsters who are in their care.
The 12 year-old Abu Famawo was found in a pit latrine of a public toilet where an unknown parent threw him in a plastic bag at the age of one week. VIVCOM charity founder, Syrill Kizza was called to the scene who took him to hospital and put him under charity care. Abu’s friend, the 7 year-old Nakityo Zainah lived with her mother, who was a prostitute of the neighborhood. After Nakityo’s father’s death, she couldn’t support her daughter, thus she had engaged in commercial sex work as a fast solution to get money. The charity has granted Nakityo a scholarship to study in school and her mother was given startup capital to start a small business herself which brings back the family to self-sufficiency.
Both Abu and Nakityo are sponsored by individual donors – and thus currently they are able to live a similar childhood that is given to those kids who are born into luckier circumstances. As of the the current lookout, the financial support will last only until finishing their primary school, but VIVCOM’s goal is to find more funding for further education so they can make their dreams come true: Abu wants to become a pilot, Nakityo a lawyer.
The current sponsorship amount is enough to cover the school fees, clothing, food, health care and most importantly, a place to call home. Most of the money – about 50% – is used for school fees, the rest for food, medical care and administration. Unfortunately, there’s no money left for other essentials, such as educational field trips, sports kits and entertainment equipment, just to mention a few.
A typical day of these kids start early in the morning when their careers prepare them for school and later they take them to VIVCOM charity’s wooden school. There are classes until 4pm with short breaks and lunch at 1pm. In the afternoon the children prepare their homework and attend some extra-curricular activities, such as playing football, listening to their elders telling stories before dinner and bath time in the evening.
The sponsors of Abu and Nakityo come from Australia. They visited the organization in Uganda a few years ago, and having seen the circumstances that the children live in, they decided to fundraise money to build the wooden school. Since then they keep sponsoring children who are the most in need. They are sending their donation in a quarterly lump sum via bank transfer and they receive school reports regularly of the sponsored children.
To the life of vulnerable children, like Abu and Nakityo sponsoring makes a huge difference. It gives the chance to realize their dreams – just like other children who were born in more affluent families.
Find out ways of sponsoring children, giving a donation or our activities in general by visiting the Get involved section.