By Maxine Kampire & Charlotte Muhwezi
For every child sponsored, four more benefit through World Vision’s programming. Our interventions focus on strengthening the entire community to create an environment where children can enjoy life in all its fullness. So when Regina was sponsored, her entire community of Kawolo, Buikwe benefited.
“Everything both at home and school was hard. My home and school needs were lacking,” Regina says of her life before sponsorship. Regina’s parents, Robert and Moreen make an honest living on a humble income. This income, however, does not cover their family’s needs. “We have five children, but our small income does not meet all of our basic needs,” Regina’s parents explain.
This pain was not only felt by Regina’s family but her whole community in Kigenda Parish. This region has the second-highest poverty rate in Uganda with 38% of children in the Eastern part of Uganda living under the poverty line. Poverty affects every facet of a family and child’s life, as Regina further explains: “We lacked home and school supplies like food, clothing, shelter and scholastic materials.”
World Vision is committed to fighting the causes of poverty. In the Kawolo Sub-County, the community needed to be empowered. “Among the issues affecting the community was lack of practical skills and sensitisation on how to develop themselves,” Gladys Odongkara, World Vision's Education Officer in Buikwe explains. When World Vision enters a community, we stay up to 15 years. We partner with the community and empower them to champion their own transformation. As we work with the Government, we implement programmes in Education, Resilience & Livelihoods, Health, Child Protection, and Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH). In this way, we promote sustainable transformation.
Thus, when World Vision entered Regina’s community in 2017, the community started to change for the better. It all began with the sponsorship of children like Regina. “World Vision improved our school buildings and we received materials for school,” she explains.
In addition, the teachers at Regina's school received training to enable them to deliver lessons and connect with their students better. “Teachers at the school are now more effective at work. The children are now more disciplined and their literacy and numeracy has also improved, “Gladys shares the benefits of the pieces of training.
These improvements have made Regina gain more interest in her studies. “I now love school and my best subjects are English and Social studies, “she says smiling. Regina now has the courage to dream about her future. “I want to be a journalist in future,” she reveals. “I am a leader at school and in my community. My friends and I even started a savings group which helps take care of some of our school and home needs,” she adds.
Just like Regina, children in this community are now empowered. “The children have acquired life skills necessary for survival in a challenging environment. They are now able to protect themselves, care for themselves, their families and the community at large,” Gladys reveals. Now, the community cares for them too. “The community has become dynamic, active and participatory in children's development.,” Gladys adds.
Thanks to sponsorship, Regina and her schoolmates have benefited from the development of her school. After Regina leaves primary school, all the children who attend her school will continue to benefit. That's the power of sponsorship.