Family Gift Changes Lives

By Donna Atola, Kenya Field Communications Specialist   |  Photos by Hope Center staff

The family of a sponsored girl in Uganda already sees better days ahead for them after her sponsors sent them a family gift.

Faimah, center, and her family show their calf, which was purchased with funds sent as a family gift from her sponsors.

Faimah lives with her family in Pulaka, a village in Budaka District in Eastern Uganda. She and her two sisters moved to live with their grandfather, Mweru Mazarimu, after they lost both their parents.

Faimah, the second born in her family, was 3 years old when she lost her mother. Their father passed on in 2016.

Like most of their neighbors in Pulaka, Faimah’s family lives in a grass-thatched house with brick walls. They get their water from a communal borehole that is a short distance from their home.

Because the family lives in poverty, they also do not have access to electricity, so they rely on paraffin oil to light their lantern at night.

Mweru is a farmer. He farms sorghum, cassava, maize, and groundnuts. He sells part of his harvest to earn a living and keeps the remaining harvest for food at home. He earns the equivalent of $23.84 monthly from selling his produce.

According to a recent report by the district’s production and marketing department, a majority of farmers in the region are small-scale who grow both perennial and annual crops. The perennial crops include bananas, coffee, and cotton, while the annuals include maize, sweet potatoes, beans, cassava, and groundnuts. The annual crops are mostly grown for home consumption.

According to Mweru, the income he earns monthly is not enough to sustain his family of 15. He needs the equivalent of $159 to purchase food and sanitary supplies and to pay for his grandchildren’s educational needs.

Faimah celebrates her seventh birthday at the Hope Center. Her sponsors sent her a birthday gift that allowed her to have her first-ever birthday celebration.

In 2021, Faimah’s grandfather heard about the OneChild sponsorship program at a nearby church. He decided to have Faimah registered in the program.

Family Thrilled at Sponsors’ Generosity

Faimah loves going to the Hope Center on program days. The center is less than a mile from their home. At the center, she enjoys participating in different games and dancing, and also loves the delicious meals she receives.

One day as Faimah was at home with her family, Benard, the program manager from the Hope Center, paid them a visit and informed them of a family gift fund they had received from Faimah’s sponsors, Steve and Lynette.

They broke into joy-filled laughter over the good news. This gift followed a birthday gift that Faimah had received earlier.

The following day, Mweru and Faimah visited the center and talked to the Child Champions about the type of gift they wanted to purchase from the funds. They settled on buying a bull calf.

“I thought getting a bull calf would be so beneficial for our family because the bull calf matures up quickly, and once it is strong enough, I can use it to cultivate my land and this will save me the amount of time I spend on my farm,” Mweru says.

Mweru says when the calf grows up he can use it to plow his fields, saving him time and labor.

He also hopes to trade it for a heifer in the future so that it can produce calves as well as milk which his family will be able to consume, and hopefully, also sell to boost their income.

“I am so grateful to Steve and Lynette because I never thought that someone would love my grandchild to an extent of blessing our family,” Mweru says. “This gift has given us hope for a brighter future because it will improve our living standards at home.”

Kids Care for Calf

Little Faimah is now a happy girl because she gets to experience a different life after being sponsored.

“I loved the dress I received as a gift for my birthday,” she says. “I also got to enjoy a celebration that had a cake. I love my sponsors because they love me so much.”

Faimah, her siblings, and the extended family help care for the bull calf by taking it out to graze in the fields and giving it water.

Faimah is in kindergarten at Revival Nursery and Primary school in Kachomo. At school, her favorite subject is math because she enjoys counting. She hopes to become a doctor when she grows up.

The people she says who inspire her are her class teacher, Surupa Alweny, and her grandfather. She says they both care for her at school and at home, respectively.

During her free time, Faimah enjoys skipping rope, swinging on swings at school, and drawing.

Mweru’s hope for his grandchild is that she can achieve her dream of becoming a doctor in the future and also do great things for her community.

Give a child like Faimah living in a hard place love, encouragement, and care. Sponsor a child today!

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