Uganda child intervention program promises hope for the future

By January 21, 2009

Uganda (MNN) — This week, Mission Network News joins sister
radio station WCSG and Compassion International in Uganda to see how their work
is making a positive difference in that country.

We caught up with Compassion International Child Survival
Program specialist Patience Musiime on a couple of home visits today at the
Kitimbwa Child Development Center. 

The families in this project area work as subsistence
farmers earning roughly $11 per month.
Many of them live in houses with
dirt floors, adobe walls and corrugated iron roofs. Indoor
plumbing did not exist in the village we walked to, and the kitchen was outside,
shared by goats, dogs, pigs and chickens.

One family of seven whose home we visited slept in a
one-room building. As our group crowded
into the small, dark warm room with the family, the mother proudly told us what
she had learned with the help of Compassion International.

Before she came to Christ, she explained, she had another
family with five children, but she was no longer with them. When she came to the Kitimbwa area, she
married again and had more children, but that was where things got difficult.

Her new husband contracted polio as a teenager and walks
with a lame leg today. That makes it
very hard for him to earn money on a regular basis or provide for his family.
The mother told our team that when Compassion came to her area, she began to
learn not only how to care for her children better, but also the importance of
hygiene and nutrition.

A regular exposure to the Gospel through a local church
partner also helped her recognize her need for Jesus Christ. As she began her new life as a believer, she
also found that the church was willing to train her so she could earn a better
way of life for her family. 

Over time, she saved enough money digging ditches to
purchase a pig.  That pig will eventually
provide several months' income for her family needs. She credits the love and care Compassion
workers showed her for the brighter future she now sees ahead.

What's more, as a participant in the Child Survival Program
(UGCS27), her youngest child will be part of the sponsorship program when he
turns three. The parents are most
excited about a chance for this child to get an education, good food and a
chance for a better life all around.

Compassion's intervention is the difference between life and
death.  From the most obvious objective of saving a
child's life to teaching mothers a trade, Musiime says their end goal is this:
"First, to give hope for a future spiritually; then seeing a mother commit herself
to the lordship of Christ; and physically, being able to live, being able
to fit in the community that she is in, and even appreciating life." 

Leaders say that for every one Compassion-sponsored child,
ten people come to Christ. It breaks
down to a dollar a day to help a child not only have a fighting chance to
survive, but also to change his culture as he grows up. Click here for more information.

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