December 21, 2015
Kicking off the sponsorship program in Uganda could not go without taking time to celebrate this grand moment, not only for children and their communities but also for the entire staff of the Uganda Country Office.
The children and communities in Uganda face many challenges, such as abject poverty, health hazards like malaria and HIV/AIDS, low access to and quality of education, and abuse of their human rights. For them, the start of a sponsorship program is like a new dawn of hope coming alive from a terrible night of wonder.
Children and their caregivers could not hide their joy on realizing that the long-anticipated sponsorship program had finally kicked off and children were actually being enrolled. The enrollment was initiated after several sensitization meetings with local leaders, community members, teachers, caregivers and children, during which Save the Children staff told about the organization, the sponsorship program and the ways of partnering for the wellbeing of children. The inauguration of the sponsorship program is envisaged as a long term opportunity for joining efforts in addressing issues affecting the welfare of children, with a special focus on better education.
The enrollment exercise included caregivers signing or thumb-printing on the consent forms, staff filling in the biographical information for each child, and the taking of the children’s portrait photos. The day was full of fun and excitement, especially for the kids upon seeing their individual photos in the camera. I observed that the way sponsorship activities are conducted can always be made fun for the children.
It was a worthwhile moment for Save the Children staff to set aside a little time to celebrate the effort and support. Everyone had contributed towards bringing us to that moment in some way, through proposal writing, carrying out feasibility studies, supporting “go” or “no go” decision making as we selected our communities and programming, plus the many other steps involved in the startup process.
After enrollment, Uganda Country Office staff were able to gather, clad in their amazing red Save the Children t-shirts and caps, to toast to the day’s event, dubbed “Uganda Sponsorship Go-Live”. We all watched as our Country Director Barbara Burroughs pressed the enter button that finally launched the webpage showing children from Uganda being promoted around the world.
The day’s celebration closed with cake cutting and some refreshments, as well as a group photo. The whole staff held up their caps in glee towards kickstarting an 8 to 10 year program aimed at promoting the wellbeing of children through strong, focused and proven programming.
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