Uganda (MNN) ― Today, MNN writer/producer, along with her team from the USA, trekked several hours into the bush to visit the Baale project. She reports: "The project location is only 48 km west of Kampala, but the roads are unpaved, muddy and filled with car-sized craters.
"Most of the people in Baale are peasant farmers. As we drove into the area, we noticed that the children are fairly healthy, unlike some of the slum children in the urban areas. When we asked the Compassion specialist about this, she noted that the children often ate banana, pineapple, guava, nuts, avocado and other fruits that grow in the area.
"However, poverty is rampant. The average household income for this area is roungly $10-14 annually. Families make their money selling surplus agricultural produce and related food stuffs. Due to the poverty and the lack of education (which we'll explore in tomorrow's report), many of the young people find themselves married off as young as 12-years-old in exchange for dowery.
"Pastor Kigozi Francis has been working for seven years to see a church plant grow into a healthy body of Christ. As that has come to pass, he decided it was time to branch out in ministry; he is now the project overseer for Compassion International.
"UG-553 is a new project for Compassion International, and sister station WCSG from Grand Rapids, Michigan is helping to launch it by helping get sponsors for the 221 children.
"The kids lined up as we came in and welcomed us to their village with song and chanted, 'African Church, African church, we are no longer fatherless. We are no longer motherless. Now, we'll live with Compassion International. We are no longer helpless. We are now recognized. Praise God, praise God! African Church, African church, your future is bright and shining. Your bellies are filled with solids and liquids. So, so, Compassion International is in this place. You are free from child labor and torture. Praise God, Praise God!'
"The anticipation of change is like the scent of ripe fruit in the air. Parents in this area know that Compassion's Child Development Center will nurture the children into spiritually committed Christians. It will also enable them to develop into economically self-sustaining adults by providing a school in the immediate village, promoting the social and emotional development of the children and helping them maintain good health with medicine and vaccinations.
For these children, there is hope for a bright future. A sponsor can make all the difference in the world. Click here for more information.