Food, Shoes and Tuition for Poor Ugandan Kids!
Organized by: Jeff Kimera
Hello All, I recently traveled to Uganda, a small third world country in East Africa. I was to help start an NGO that would be helping orphans and less fortunate children get into school. We started our work in the most stigmatized parts of the country, Eastern Uganda, where recently people started running out of food and were only surviving on "green Mangoes." We did needs accessments in these communities to find out exactly why a huge percentage of children didn't go to school. Well, we never had to look much. Day after day and night after night we listened to sad stories of how this family and that family went to bed without food and how the father of the house was never available. These were families with little children. Kids would be seen physically pressing their little bellies in order to feel better on empty stomachs. We visited some of the schools in the area and spoke to the leaders. Their stories were equally devastating! Children were sent to school without any lunches (cause parents didn't have money), tuitions were never paid and 69% of the children in school came barefoot, they couldn't afford shoes. In between we paused for pics with the simmingly happy kids, but the guilt of us being in these nice shoes seeing little 3yr olds walking around barefeet in 120*African summer heat overwhelmed us. A few times I would excuse myself just so the kids or my traveling partners wouldn't see me wipe tears. It was just way too much!! Poverty, might be a word we hear in the west, but in Eatern Uganda it is more than a grim reality. Some children we ran into had giggers infesting their bodies (feet, hands and belly). These are small parasites that enter and start feeding on the body from the inside. They get itchy and so uncomfortable. Imagine this in a three year old's feet!! It costs less than $1 to buy the equipmemt and simple medication to treat oneself, but this is money that the entire family never had. So they would let their poor selves rot away. Now, how were we supposed to get these kids into school if they didn't even have a life in the first place? Charity begins at home. We found out that poverty in the home/ community had to be eradicated in order for the parents to find a life and work to send children to school. After we had successfully registered the NGO (Pellegrino Mpagi Foundation) in Uganda, we knew where our work was of course. I sold every cloth and nice stuff I could get people to buy during my last weeks in Uganda and donated All the funds to help the poor children. I saw tears of joy and temporary happiness as we walked through these little angels. I promised myself that i would do everything in my power to share happiness with these little angels. I knew that in America we are a blessed nation, we love and give! I want to give... But because I can only do much, I came Here to ask for your help! Any donation is useful and every well wish takes us a step further. I'm kindly asking you to not only donate but save a life and restore hope in these families. A mother who watches her kids go hungry is one like us, and a child that goes to school without shoes could be ours. Please... remember, that what you give makes a miracle in a child's life in this poverty stricken land. I cannot thank you enough for your sacrifice... May the good Lord bless you! Jeff K Founder Pellegrino Mpagi Foundation Kampala, Uganda