Maj for a Mission 2023
We recently celebrated our 8th annual MFAM Austin on October 25th at the Central Austin Public Library. Over 200 people gathered to play Mahjongg and learn more about the work of the Kamukama Foundation.
The vibe in the room was full of fun, laughter, community, and friendship. To top it all off our generous supporters donated wonderful prizes that made winning so much fun! After many games had been played and prizes had been won Christine Stewart gave a beautiful presentation. She inspired others to make a meaningful impact on the life of a child by joining our sponsorship program or by donating to support the work of the foundation in Uganda.
Our hearts are full of gratitude for our committee who made producing this event so easy, for our supporters who gave from their hearts the prizes that made it so fun, and for all who attended making MFAM 2023 a great success. None of this would have happened without all of you and for that, we are forever grateful.
We hope you will take a minute to enjoy the attached video and note from Christine that was shared at this year’s event. See you next year when we Maj On…for a mission!
Carol & Jeanne
A word from Christine Stewart:
Grow Your Hearts
Thank you all for gathering here today as we come together to play Mahjong and support a cause that is near and dear to my heart, and the hearts of so many in this room. It is a priviIege to stand before you to shed light on this remarkable charity and the impact it has on the lives of children in Uganda. I had the privilege of traveling to Uganda with Jeanne, Carol and Ann in February and witnessing up close the impact the Kamukama foundation has had on these children’s lives.
Uganda is a land of beauty and resilience, but is also a place where many children face significant challenges everyday. Poverty, lack of access to education, and basic healthcare are just a few of the hurdles they must overcome. Yet despite these challenges, Ugandan children possess boundless potential, dreams, and aspirations that deserve to be nurtured and supported.
The Kamukama Foundation aims to do just that, one child at a time. It’s not just about providing financial assistance, it’s about forging a lifelong connection between sponsors like you and the children you support. You are not supporting a school, you are forging a lifelong unique one on one relationship with a child.
Traveling with the Foundation and witnessing firsthand the profound impact our sponsors have had on these children and their families has changed me forever. (Many of you in this room that know me well, will be relieved to hear that).
Meeting the children that I have sponsored, face to face, after a decade of exchanging letters was an experience I can hardly put into words. The complete joy and immense gratitude expressed from these kids and their families was so great that it was at times, completely overwhelming.
You have to remember that these are parents just like you and me. They want the exact same things for their children that we want for ours.
One of my duties in Uganda was working the school registration table, and registering children for school. Each child is registered individually with our volunteers and school staff. You have a photo of that child and you match the name with the photo to ensure you indeed have the right child. In a sea of children, trust me, it’s more complex than it sounds.
You then hand that child their sponsors letter. If you could somehow transport the smiles you see on these kids faces when you hand them that letter it would light up this room.
But it wasn’t all sunshine and roses. One of the more difficult parts of this journey for me, was seeing the physical and emotional differences between our sponsored children and those still waiting for sponsors. You definitely noticed that our kids were visibly healthier, cleaner, and just happier overall. Think distended bellies; the ever-present poverty was palpable. It was a stark reminder that the two meals a day that your sponsorship pays for, is two meals more than many of these children are getting.
There is no such thing as free education in Uganda. 25% of children in rural Uganda receive no education at all, and 3 out of 4 children who start primary school never complete 5th grade. Astonishingly, for every 100 girls who start primary school, only 6 ever complete the secondary level. Our hope is to change that, one child at a time.
When you sponsor a child, your sponsorship pays for uniforms, 2 meals a day, healthcare and school tuition. But it is today’s event and the generosity of all of you sitting in this room that helps cover the cost of so much more. Your generosity at this yearly event allowed us to travel in February with STEM games, puzzles, art supplies, books for a new library, feminine hygiene products, and basic medical supplies that so many of us take for granted here in the US.
At the risk of sounding like Sally Struthers, but here it goes, for just $50 a month you truly can alter the course of another human beings life. Don’t worry, we aren’t going to start playing Sarah McLachlan’s “In the Arms of An Angel”.
But think about this:
When you chose to sponsor a child, you’re not just giving a child the chance to go to school or receive proper nutrition and healthcare, you’re giving them hope, inspiration, and the belief that they can indeed DREAM BIG and achieve those dreams. You’re not just donating money, you are investing in a child’s potential, and that investment can have far reach ripple effects. I truly believe that through education, we are empowering these children with the tools and opportunities they need to break the cycle of poverty and create a brighter future for themselves and their communities.
It is a miracle to behold what the Kamukama foundation has been able to accomplish in 10 short years through our generous donors. Today, the foundation sponsors more than 650 children, across 14 different schools, but our work is far from over. There are still many children
waiting for sponsors, waiting for their chance to DREAM BIG. By choosing to become a sponsor today, you can change a persons life forever.
I encourage you to take that step, to make a lasting impact, and to be a part of this incredible journey. Together we can break the chains of poverty one child at a time, and empower these children to shape a brighter future.
If I can leave you with one message today, it is this: that one person truly has the power to change the course of another persons life. We may not be able to help everyone, but we can effect profound change, one life at a time.
Thank you for your time, your generosity, and your commitment to making a difference in the lives of these incredible children.