Thoughts from Our Sponsors, by Andrea Edwards
A God Thing
by Sponsor Andrea Edwards
A few years ago my friend Sally told me about a foundation her sister Jeanne had started following a visit to Uganda. That was my introduction to the Kamukama Foundation. And they, in turn, introduced me to Donamu Nyinansekuye, a student at Victory School in Buhoma, a small village near the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in southeastern Uganda. Donamu is the smart, beautiful girl I’m privileged to sponsor. Over the last few years I have exchanged letters with Donamu and have been the recipient of several wonderful handmade gifts from her family. I also loved reading about the great work the foundation was doing in conjunction with Victory School. But that was the extent of my involvement—a small charge to my credit card each month and a letter I would write to Donamu once a year.
Fast forward to the summer of 2017 when I planned a trip to Uganda and Tanzania. I wish I could say that I went specifically to meet Donamu or see Victory School, but the truth is I went to trek with the gorillas and go on safari. The fact that Victory School turned out to be less than 10 minutes from the lodge where I was staying was what I like to call “a God thing.”
Visiting the school, meeting Victor, the director, and his wife, Sylvia, seeing the beautiful faces of the children, watching the dedication of the teachers, and getting a sweet hug from Donamu are experiences I’ll never forget. The teachers and children welcomed me so generously, even putting on a show with songs and traditional dances. Although I will say they failed miserably in teaching me one of the dances. Of course that probably had a lot more to do with my complete lack of coordination than with their teaching ability, but it was definitely fun trying! And the pride they had in showing off their test scores made me proud to be a small part of this. I’m grateful I had the opportunity to see first-hand the work being done by the foundation and the school. And it made me want to do more.
My visit was a lovely reminder that you get out of something what you put into it. I’m not saying that sponsoring a child or making a donation isn’t enough, it’s a big thing that makes a significant difference. But there’s so much more we can all do. We can’t all travel to Uganda, but we can share our stories and bring more people into this circle.
In addition to the great work being done at the Victory School, I also got to see the reality of daily life in that part of Uganda. What I saw was that there are still too many children who don’t receive adequate nutrition and too many children who don’t have the opportunity to go to school. I know that the Kamukama Foundation wants to change that, and I’m looking forward to being a part of it.