I have sponsored children for many years through various organizations and have never missed the small amount of money it costs me. I did wish I had a closer connection to the children and a better understanding of their life circumstances. I also questioned how much of my money went towards the child, and how much to the necessary costs of running the large organizations. These organizations do wonderful work but I wanted to find a smaller grassroots opportunity to sponsor a child.
This past summer we met two groups in Uganda that provide child sponsorship opportunities and we met some of the children that benefit from it. Both of these groups operate in slums where people live in conditions that are hard for us to fathom. We visited several homes which consist of single room, mud brick buildings. There is no electricity, water is kept in yellow carboys, and parents eke out a living chipping rock in a quarry or making paper beads to sell. Education is a necessary key for children to escape from this life of poverty.
Youth Sport Uganda (YSU) (http://www.ysuganda.org/) is a grassroots registered Ugandan organization run by volunteers. Joshua, the founder of Youth Sport Uganda, was raised in one of the many slums of Kampala. His athletic ability gave him access to scholarships and he is now an educated, successful young man. He is giving back by running sport programs for kids in many disadvantaged communities. Among other community development projects Youth Sport Uganda has set up a child sponsorship program enabling disadvantaged kids to attend school. We met some of these kids and visited a school they attend. The kids are very anxious to get an education and for a very small investment you can ensure that a child has that opportunity. Only $23 US dollars a month (that is about $24 Cdn) covers school fees, scholastic materials, one meal a day, basic medical care, shoes and a uniform for a primary student. Secondary students cost a bit more at $42 USD/month due to higher school fees.
Missionaries of the Poor (MoP) (http://www.missionariesofthepoor.org/uganda-kampala.php) is a much larger Catholic organization which started in Jamaica. They now operate in many countries around the world. In Uganda they operate two orphanages which are home to many physically and mentally disabled children, as well as children without disabilities. We visited these orphanages and were very impressed with the dedication of the Brothers and Sisters as well the other volunteers. They also have a school sponsorship program for the children in their care, as well as for needy children in the surrounding slum. There are various options for sponsorship ranging from primary student with no boarding, to university students.
If you visit our “Education – Sponsorship” tab, you will learn more about how you can sponsor these children through ISEE Solutions and receive a tax receipt. There are descriptions of the costs as well as outlines of the university training. There are also profiles of some of the children seeking sponsorship. If you would like to sponsor a child, please contact us and we will arrange the sponsorship. You can specify a boy or a girl, approximate age or grade, and whether you want to sponsor through YSU or MoP. We will find the best match possible. All the children involved will be interviewed in order to follow the CRA’s guidelines for student sponsorship. Please be aware that this commitment should continue for the full academic career of the child (primary and secondary school.) Post-secondary will be at your discretion but can still be arranged through ISEE.