I recently had the opportunity to visit Uganda with World Vision USA to experience and learn about the work that they are doing for local communities. Going into the trip I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew that we would be diving into some really hard subjects and that I would be on a roller coaster of emotions. Prior to leaving for Uganda, we decided to sponsor a 9-year-old girl named Shanita who lives in rural Uganda.
Sponsoring a child with World Vision truly brings hope to communities I learned during my time in Uganda. I truly didn’t know how the money we donate each month was spread to our sponsor child or to their local community.
What I learned is World Vision does not send the money directly to each sponsor child’s family. Instead, they focus on the community and making sure the community is sustainable, safe for kids, and has their needs met.
They work on 10-25 year plans depending on the community they are working with to bring necessities like safe water, education for all children, and education for parents on nutrition, farming and child protection.
The money you donate each month truly makes a huge impact in the lives of not only your sponsor child but their community.
During the time we were in Uganda we visited so many communities that have been impacted in amazing ways by World Vision. I asked a community group that focuses on child protection what they thought about World Vision. They told me that World Vision has given them the tools to make positive changes in their lives.
That the tools World Vision has given them through nutrition classes have helped them make sure that their children are fed properly and healthy. They have also learned how to protect other children in the community by trying to prevent child sacrifices and early marriages.
We visited a local school that was adding additional buildings to support more than 800 kids in the community. They were building a portion of the school for kids that are learning disabled, visually impaired, hearing impaired, or physically disabled. This is a huge step forward for Uganda! We learned that in the past children who had disabilities were often sent to witch doctors.
One of the coolest programs we visited was an after-school club that is co-ed and works together to sew reusable sanitary pads for girls at school. So many girls were missing 3-5 days of school each month due to their periods. The reusable pads are sewn by this club and the head female teacher helps young girls understand how to use them and care for them. Young girls are able to stay in school and receive their education thanks to this program. This not only keeps them in school but also protects them from rape, child marriage and child sacrifice. They are kept safe in school!
World Vision also builds bathrooms at the schools and within communities. They educate the students and teachers on the importance of proper hand washing after using the restroom.
World Vision has signs on school grounds that remind students and teachers of proper hygiene, abstaining from sex and the importance of their education. These simple signs are a daily reminder for students and teachers of the importance of taking care of themselves and each other.
World Vision sponsor donations help to build staff housing at a local Uganda school. The staff housing is fitted with solar panels to help produce electricity. This staff housing helps this large school provide space for teachers who live far from the school. They can be on-site for emergencies and not have to commute for hours to get to work.
We met this amazing farming co-op that works together to not only feed their families but make money by selling their produce in bulk. They told me the classes they took from World Vision helped them understand the best beans and produce to grow. They now know which beans have the highest levels of nutrients to feed their families. They showed us their business plan that included growing their co-op to help additional families in the area.
The work they are doing is not only helping their families but the local community. They are able to provide produce to the school to make sure that kids have food for lunches, they can get loans from the co-op if they need money for their families, and they are learning new farming practices to move from sustenance farming to be able to produce enough produce to sell in the markets.
These are just a few of the many ways we learned that World Vision is working with local communities in Uganda! If you would like to sponsor a child through World Vision check out these great kids in Uganda! We are sponsoring two children in Uganda and are already thinking about adding another. The impact of the $39 donation each month is truly amazing!