A Childhood Improved Through Sponsorship
By Kate Andrews, ChildFund Staff Writer
Annet, 21, was sponsored through ChildFund while growing up in Uganda, a politically unstable country at the time. Today, she is studying to become a nurse. In this conversation with ChildFund, Annet reflects on the value of having a sponsor.
Where did you grow up, and what was it like?
I grew up in a lot of different places. My family had to move from our village when I was 8 years old. I stayed behind to live with a neighbor because my parents wanted me to remain in the ChildFund program. Eventually, I had to leave when I was 12 because war broke out. I went to live in Soroti town [in eastern Uganda] with various family members.
How many siblings do you have, and who raised you?
I had six siblings, but one of my older sisters passed several years ago. I'm the youngest of all my brothers and sisters. Because of the instability in Uganda, I was raised by various people, including my grandmother, auntie, older brother and neighbor.
How do your parents make their living?
My father is a farmer. He grows peanuts and maize. My mother sells
fish in the market.
I want to work in health care, because if you have your health, you can do anything. People here lack basic information about prevention of diseases, and I want to be part of the group that helps educate people.
Annet, 21, formerly sponsored Child
Help a child like Annet.
How old were you when you received a sponsor?
I was 6.
Do you recall particular ChildFund programs that helped you as a child?
I remember my sponsor sent money for a uniform and books. I had no money for it, so it helped then. When I was 9, I received a cow and a few goats, which later helped me with secondary school. It helped me pay for tuition fees, books and after-school tutoring. Unfortunately, the goats were stolen from our family during the war,
but to this day we still have the offspring from that cow. We still
get milk and breed the cows to sell. My mum also used to attend
meetings and training sessions. Some of it was to do with agriculture
and farming practices. I was 8 or 9 when ChildFund built new
classrooms at our school and provided desks. I remember before,
we used to sit on the floor or study under the trees. When it rained,
there were no classes.
What changes did you experience after being sponsored?
Sponsorship made life easier because I could remain in school. There were several children I knew who weren't sponsored who couldn't always go. Things were difficult for them.
Do you have any fond memories of a letter or a gift from your sponsor? How did this person make your life different?
My sponsor never wrote a letter, but he did send money for school uniforms and books.
How long did you attend school, and what do you do now?
I'm studying to become a nurse now in Kampala [Uganda’s capital]. I do a combination of attending lectures and working on the wards.
Do you have a message for people who are considering sponsoring a child?
I would tell them to go ahead and sponsor. There are very many people with potential who need help to realize their goals. ChildFund gave me a strong foundation and helped prepare me for who I am today.