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 and 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 (and its secondary school in 2020), but this only scratches the surface of the need in Namatala. However, it is a start, and by taking mostly 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 and JustGiving are fine too, but we pay some fees).
For UK tax-payers, 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 our own secondary school, or vocational training with a local college if they prefer.
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 any college fees. The overall cost of ongoing education/training is 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.
When does my sponsorship end?
Ideally it's best to sponsor a child right through their education, but if your circumstances change and you are unable to do that, you can finish your sponsorship at any time.
After they finish primary school, you can continue supporting your existing child into secondary education, at the same monthly rate, or increase your monthly donation (by whatever amount you like) to help cover the additional costs for secondary education.
After secondary school, you are welcome to finish your sponsorship, with our grateful thanks for your years of support, or you could transfer your sponsorship to a new young child at the start of his/her school life.