Returning to life in Garstang gets more difficult each time I visit Uganda. There are so many experiences, images, challenges and times of sheer delight to try to express.

One of the main reasons for my visit was to meet with the children who are being  sponsored.

There are 55 children in sponsorship at the moment, and there are two groups:-

1. Children of the clergy and church workers;

2. Orphaned and/or needy children

Clergy children – Kumi Diocese is a very young diocese, being created in 2001. The vast majority of  people within the diocese are peasant farmers and so the monetary giving each Sunday is very low. Gifts of beans, groundnuts, eggs, maize etc are auctioned off at the end of the service, maybe raising a further1,000/= (Uganda shillings). Clergy salaries come solely from the weekly giving so they may receive 10,000/= per month, or even 3 months, (£1 = 3,000/=). Lay workers receive nothing. As one priest has oversight of 5 or 6 parishes the churches are actually run by the lay workers, whose faith and love for the Lord sustains them in their ministry.

There is often very little money for school fees. In talks with Bishop Thomas we felt that one possible way for people to assist the church in Kumi was to provide sponsorship for school fees for the children of those working for God, one in each family.

Orphan children – we were especially concerned for the plight of orphans, especially as older orphans are expected to care for their younger brothers and sisters. These young people need help to achieve their true potential, to flourish and become useful members of their community.

Needy children - these children are not technically orphans but parents are sick or they have been abandoned.

I arrived in Uganda at the beginning of September, just as they were to report back to school.  I was only able to see the children whose schools were nearby as the others had already left for the new term. However, many came to see me. I have photographs, copies of school reports and letters for sponsors and receipts for the money. We have children from nursery school to Senior 6 (year 12) and also at Technical College and University; children wanting to be teachers, nurses, a doctor, a lawyer, a mechanic, a priest. Young people who are so grateful to have been given a chance and who will work hard to show just how grateful they are. It was lovely to spend time with them and to realise the importance of  this gift. To them this chance means a future of hope and opportunity.

To us it gives an opportunity to be blessed in giving a child a chance.

Reporting to Sponsors -letters to sponsors, report cards and exam results are sent at the end of the school year. We usually receive them in February or March. All correspondence should go  through me to the 2 Co-ordinators for the chid concerned and comes back through me. It is better not to give out too many addresses.

The cost ?  - Any amount which you wish to give is accepted with great joy. Money is sent through a charity organisation Uganda Development Services (UDS) so Gift Aid can be claimed from the UK Government for those donors who pay income tax. A suggestion is:-          

            £15 per month for primary school              

            £20 per month for secondary school

The value ?    -  immeasurable.

Money can be given by

1.  Standing Order monthly and is sent 4 monthly by UDS or

2.  By cheque annually or as you wish to send it, via UDS

Details of sponsorship can be obtained from  01995 60484

Thankyou for your concern    

Elizabeth Swarbrick                                                            

News of previous sponsorships

David Nangoley - graduated with B.A. in Education from Makerere in 2000. 
Now runs a school for children who have difficulty in finding school fees. 
Has written a text book on European History which is used in Secondary Schools and Colleges.   Has recently completed his M.A.  Now married to Sylvia and has 2 sons.

Miriam Nangoli – graduated with B.A. in Social Sciences in 2001.
Works for Compassion International, caring for the children who are sponsored through that programme.   Married to Godfrey and has a daughter and a son.

Simon Patrick Olupot – graduated with B.A. in Education.
Worked for the Human Rights Commission (United Nations) amongst the people fleeing from the terror of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Northern Uganda. Saved his salary and is now:

Undertaking Management Studies, in Kampala.
Married to Dinah and has a daughter.

Alex Okurut - completed a course in car mechanics and now owns  his own garage.

John Francis Ojakol - just completed his course in mechanical engineering and is about to start his first job.

Emmanuel Omoding - working in I.T. with M.S.N. Uganda’s telecommunications network

Aluka Jesca Loy - just completed her education and is seeking nursing training. She is also getting married.


The Parish Church of St Thomas, Garstang