With Christmas just one week away many are getting caught up in the hype of the holidays. Shopping mall parking lots are completely full resulting in you having to walk a mile to the nearest entrance; you run the risk of wanting to punch other shoppers in the face once inside the mall; and come January you’re going to get a credit card bill that will haunt your dreams. So unless you’re one of the lucky few whom are celebrating the season abroad, chances are you’re looking for the perfect Christmas gift. My suggestion? Why not try to capture the TRUE meaning of the season and do something good for others. Why not sponsor a child?
While I was in Lake Bunyoni, Uganda to go gorilla trekking, back in July 2013, I had the incredible opportunity to sponsor a child of my own – a beautiful, shy 8 year old girl named Saviour. Since returning back to Canada, my family has sponsored 3 more children.
Choosing to sponsor a child is something I’ve thought about for years and years – but something about those companies like World Vision and Christian Children’s Fund just didn’t sit right with me. I didn’t want to go through those avenues to sponsor a child because I’m sure a good portion of the money you donate goes to help run those corporations. However when I met Didas Nuwamanya – the founder of the Hope Uganda Orphanage Project - I knew it was finally time to do what I’ve always wanted to. His story touched me, and I knew going through a local would likely be more my style when it came to sponsoring a child of my own. Didas was orphaned as a young teenager and left to take care of his young sister. His entrepreneurial spirit shone through and he would take tourists to the Lake Bunyoni region to make money. One fateful day a tourist decided to sponsor Didas’s education. Didas went on to graduate university as an accountant – and is a shining example of what can happen if you put a little faith into the universe, do good for others, and choose to sponsor a child.
Didas founded the Hope Uganda Orphanage Project because he felt the need to give other orphaned or disadvantaged children in the Lake Bunyoni region a shot at a better life and a bright future. Since it’s inception only a few years ago more than 40 children have been sponsored and are on their path to a brighter, educated future.
Sponsoring a child isn’t a one-off deal though. You have to be willing to commit to paying for their education for years to come. However, at only $300USD per year, I felt that even with my pitiful income as a travel blogger I could afford it.
To put it into perspective- that’s only giving up:
- 60 of your fancy Starbucks coffees
- 1 month of eating out at lunch
- 3 (or so) dinners or nights out
- 1 designer handbag
It’s definitely do-able. Even my 21-year old sister is doing it! So this Christmas season, why not capture the true essence of the holidays and sponsor a child?
The Hope Uganda Orphanage Project currently gives a very basic education and meal to the 150 children it supports and tries to find sponsors for. Many of the children are either HIV positive or have lost their parents to AIDS, malaria, typhoid, etc. Didas recently sent me photos of a few children in need of sponsors
If this sounds like something you’d be interested in – please contact me in either the comments below or via email. I would love to be able to help put you in contact with Didas so you can sponsor a child or simply get more information about the project and the great work that is being done in the Lake Bunyoni region of Uganda.