Sponsorship can bring hope and care for children who otherwise would be doomed to scavenge in rubbish dumps for food, or turn to begging on the streets or crime to survive.
While school attendance at the primary level is considered mandatory in Uganda, because everything except the teaching itself has to be paid for – books, uniforms, even toilet paper – the children of Namatala generally do not attend. Their parents, if they have any, simply do not have the money to pay for it.
Child of Hope established a free school for children of the poorest families in Namatala in 2008, but this only scratches the surface of the need in Namatala. However, it is a start, and by taking just one child from each family, more families are able to benefit. Of course it would be far better to take all the children, but with thousands in need, the line has to be drawn somewhere. The faster Child of Hope can expand, the sooner more of these children can be helped.
All the children are aware that a good education can provide them with the means to escape poverty when they grow up, and it is common to see them over an hour early for school every morning, waiting for it to open.
How do we decide which children to take?
Our welfare team is moving around the community every day and knows which families are really struggling. Long before we get to enrollment day, we already know which children we are going to take through the reports we’ve gathered over the previous year from our own staff. In addition, we work with the local authorities, elders, leaders and pastors to ensure a fair system and that the neediest kids are helped.
What might I receive?
Sponsors are allocated a specific child and given a photo and details of the child and his/her circumstances. Children and sponsors are able to write to each other via the Child of Hope offices, and should sponsors wish to make a donation for a small gift to their child these are very gratefully received. Copies of school reports are also distributed to sponsors.
What is the best way to fund my sponsorship?
Child of Hope is extremely grateful to all those who partner with us by joining the Child Sponsorship programme. The most cost-effective means of doing this is by setting up a regular payment by online banking (Paypal via this website is fine, but we pay some fees); and for those who are tax-payers at the standard rate, gift-aiding the donation significantly increases the amount received at no extra cost to the sponsor.
What happens when my child finishes primary education?
Subject to their results in the country's Primary Leaving Examination, children go on to secondary education at the nearby excellent state school or vocational training with a local college if they prefer.
Currently we aren’t able to offer further education in our own facility, although soon we plan to build our own secondary school. Whichever route your child takes, Child of Hope is committed to funding ongoing education. At either school or college, we will fund our children’s ongoing food, welfare and medical care they presently enjoy, plus the new school/college fees. The overall cost of ongoing education/training will be around £25 per month.
It’s an important decision time for the children, and we hope the whole class decides to continue with some form of education or training. The alternative is grim – without further education they could potentially turn to begging, scavenging in the slum, prostitution or crime.
Does my sponsorship end?
• Finish your sponsorship at the end of the primary school – with our grateful thanks.
• Continue supporting your existing child into secondary education, at the same monthly rate.
• Continue supporting your existing child and increase your monthly donation (by whatever amount you like) to help cover the additional costs for secondary education.
• Or transfer your current sponsorship to a new nursery child at the start of his/her school life.