Hello, all my friends from all over the world!
As Christmas is nearing, we have been evaluating our families we serve and assessing where the greatest need is. Let me explain the Christmas culture here in Uganda. Toys are not given to, nor expected by children. The focus, rather, is on family time–many people travel from all over the country to gather with extended family. Church and religious services also play a big part throughout this festive holiday season. On Christmas Day, if they have the means, the whole family gathers for a large meal. For many of the families, Christmas and Easter are the only days of the year that they eat meat or chicken.
Below are some of our most pressing needs during this time of year (cost is in US dollars). If anyone feels led to give a bit extra towards any of these things, I would be happy to send you some pictures of these things being received. Not all of the sponsored kids and their families are in such desperate shape, but we have many kids and families without sponsors, and my staff will discern which families in our program have the greatest need. With your help we can bless even more families this Christmas.
–For many of our very needy families, we like to purchase a food package that will provide a good meal for Christmas and will provide enough extra food staples to last a few more weeks to help alieviate hunger. For a family of 6 or 7, $25 would purchase that package.
–The rainy season is so cold and we still have families who lack blankets. A good, warm blanket runs about $15. A good mattress which many are in need of, as well as a sheet set to go with it, is about $30.
—Kids are always outgrowing shoes. For $15 we can get a good pair of shoes to a child.
–Some families are in such dire condition, even household basics like soap are hard to get. For $20 we can provide a packet with sugar, soap, salt, paraffin for lanterns, and other essential household needs.
–Another important need here is eye exams and eyeglasses which are crucial to the children’s success in school. Also, we often have urgent, medical situations and illnesses to provide for.
–Lastly, it will soon be back-to-school time again after the holiday season, and in addition to tuition for the over-200 children in our program, there is always a need for more school supplies that we send with them for the new term, new uniforms when the previous is outgrown, shoes, etc. for the students.
For those of you who currently sponsor a school child, if you would like to know more about their background and the family situation, please do not hesitate to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask for these details. I will star your email and try to respond within a week at the most.
This is a bit early to wish you a Merry Christmas, but at least let me wish my US friends a great Thanksgiving and autumn season.