UCCEF finds individuals who agree to support the education of a former child soldier. They understand that their support must continue as long as the child remains in school. Given their history of trauma and the psychological damage they have incurred, we do not expect high grades but we do expect their best effort. Several of the children have developed a rich relationship with their sponsors and often being orphaned, consider them their parents. These children, not surprisingly, are the ones who do well; their willingness to keep in touch with their sponsors and be open about their worries and concerns, their hopes and their struggles, gives the sponsor an opportunity to make a real difference in the life of the child.

Following are examples of these relationships:

Dear C
In the first place I give thanks to the Almighty Creator of heaven and earth who provides everything to his people. Hope you are very fine. Back to our Uganda, we are fair to say because there is peace talk still going on between rebels and the government. We are hoping to have peace this year if the peace talks become successful.

I am only writing this letter to wish you a happy new year, 2007. I sat for Uganda National examinations for ordinary level last year and am still for my vacation waiting for the results.

Actually, whenever I write to you I feel I am blessed to have you helping me. I am full of gratitude and I don’t know how to express it. The only word that comes to my minds is thanks. I thank you very much for your support of me. I pray that God reward you with long life.

I don’t have a lot to say but I wish you all the best this year. Greeting to you and your wife from my mother, brother and sisters.

W.D.


Dear
It’s a pleasure to say hello to you. How are you and life over there? I am still fine. I am Acholi by tribe, my home district is Kitgum. I am currently living in Gulu town with my uncle because of the political insecurity. I felt a lot insecure to go back to Kitgum because I was abducted from my village in Kitgum on the 7th of September 2002 and I escaped in 2003. While in captivity I was trained and became a soldier. It was against my will but I had to do it to remain alive. I also witnessed several bad things like killing and beating. Sanitation was serious and at times one would go for days without tasting anything to eat. I was also given a name by the rebel commander. That name, O.W. is not my real name. My real name is K.A. and that is the name I use in school. I am now 17 years old and in senior one. I went back to school but my uncle could not meet the school fees because he is just a market vendor. I lost both my parents, it was sad to return from captivity only to learn I had lost my parents. I am now a total orphan. But I thank God for sending you as a angel to support me to continue with my education. God bless you.

K.A.


To lovely Mom
It is a great pleasure to have this time to email to you. How are you and all people from there? I have an idea in my mind that we the students under your programme especially during long holidays like third term we should start doing activities which can earn us small money. I always see people laying bricks and selling them, because the bricks do not need any capital to begin apart from getting a small piece of land. And when we are in group we shall be able to do. Am saying this because when I was analyzing a proverb given by a certain old man in our place that when we have a big tree other young trees tend not to grow well and are dependent on the shade provided by the big tree. This tells me, Mom, that you are giving a great support to us and we have to learn how to make money but not only how to use money. I have a lot of sympathy toward you support of the Ugandan children. I came with this idea because I am seeing school fees are going high each year which call for additional support from there.

K.C.


Dear Mom
I was very happy to read your letter. Thank you very much for your constant tremendous efforts to pull me out of my troubles. Really my words are not enough to show the extent of my appreciation. But surely I know God is seeing me.

I pray that God helps you in whatever you do and bless you abundantly. It’s a big challenge to me to make you people proud. I know really my success is your joy and happiness. I am working harder.

Convey my sincere thanks to the church fund raising group for the contributions and love for me. God bless them and given them what this world cannot give.


Dear Sponsor,
...for quite some time I have been thinking. As for me, what will I do to help my brothers and sisters whose future is in the seam of doom right now and after the war. My question has never got an answer, though I tried to give some possible answers among which includes:

After my study I should help them to get a better future

I should share our problems with people who are able to help them

Write a project to help lobby some support for them or

Pray for them so that God help them get a long lasting peace.

I really think a lot about my people how their lives are wasted for 20 years including mine. The condition of living in the refugee camps is leading to cultural erosion and AIDS is finishing our people.

L. Justin


Dear Sponsor,
Am again happy to have this time to email to you and the city at large, mom, hoping that you are still fair, mom. I want to know from you the class that K. Joseph is in this year. I have never met him and do not know him physically and I wish to request that A. Irene ( our worker in the field) should organize such that all of us under the same programme to know each other and will be possible to advise young ones. Mom, advice is knowledge and some young students may think they are not able to perform well in school but people like me, I can use my testimony to teach others and guide them. You are investing a lot of money on us and for me, myself, I feel no student should abuse this opportunity.

K. Charles

 

Dear Sponsor,
I am very happy to have great time to meet you through this letter. First and foremost I would like to thank the almighty God to give me time to meet you at this particular time. How are you together with your family at large?

Dear sponsor, I really have a great pleasure for what you are doing for me, and without you I don’t think I would have bright future in my life. Now because of you who have thought it wisely to sponsor some of poor African’s children like me I am now very sure that I will have a good future in my life. And I wish if I could see you would be better because you are now my father and mother who is taking responsibility in paying my school fees and supporting my education.

I still thank God for letting me to send my high appreciation to you for supporting my education. Although I miss your company too much because we are in the world of education. So it’s the key to everything and today if you are not educated you will be nowhere.

I have much to say only sending high congratulation to all of you. I expect to hear from you.

Thank you, Yours faithfully,

O.A.


 

Dear Sponsor,
Thank you for including me in your programme for formal education.

I am B.F. and I am a formerly abducted child. I live with my mother and sister called J.A. in two huts in the suburbs of Gulu town.

I stayed with my sister in captivity for two years and we both managed to escape separately. After being re-united to my family I joined school again and did my primary learning examination and passed, the results are hereby attached. I became so worried about school fees and other requirements but thanks to God who has blessed you to sponsor me! I am now relieved. My mother is also overwhelmed with joy and said I should pass her thanks to you for your kindness.

I now only hope to study very hard and my sister also is doing well, she has joined primary seven. So thank you very much for accepting me to be your sponsored child.

May God bless you abundantly.
Yours sincerely,

B.F.