Edgar Ojiambo is 4 years old and lives in the Samia District. He has three brothers and sisters. His father died two years ago and he stays with his mother where they all unfortunately live in abject poverty.
Edgar was sadly born with one hand missing and has some stomach problems.
Edgar says -
At home there are lots of problems, his mother cannot afford much food and finds it difficult to get even the smallest amount, this means Edgar nearly always goes hungry and without food, especially during the rainy seasons. He says he doesn’t sleep well because the rain seeps into their house making the floor wet where they sleep.
Edgar goes to school at Uzima, even though he likes it, sometimes he’s afraid to go, since his teacher found a snake in the classroom while teaching class; the teacher managed to get rid of it, but Edgar didn’t go back to school for three days, because He’s extremely frightened of snakes and ‘jiggers.’
Edgar says – “I want to be a pilot and fly into the sky and see the stars. I want to take flowers to all the good people in the UK who help us when they visit and give us lots of presents.”
Edgar is happy at Uzima Orphan Centre because they take care of him and because of the things received from the UK. He says “I like playing and feeding the cows, goats and chickens that were given to us by the UK, I like eating the eggs and milk they give us. I pray God blesses Uzima and the UK volunteers.”
The Story of Tabitha Anyango
Tabitha Anyango is 10years old in a family of 12 siblings. She stays with her mother. She collects firewood for sell to a nearby market centre to raise her living; the family also works cultivating people’s farms to earn there living. Tabitha’s mother was introduced to Uzima 6 years ago and got enrolled at the centre a year after.
‘Since I was registered at Uzima my life has had a difference as I now balance between very hard life at home and a bit of soft life at Uzima. I can now get cloths, food and education at Uzima, before then, I used just to stay at home, my mother couldn’t cater for us all well ‘since we are a large family’.
Tabitha’s mother is happy because she doesn’t need to strain much catering for the everyday’s needs for her children for she knows that they get some support at Uzima, she is also sickly and weak.
Tabitha is very bright at School and loves sports, at school she like singing and has been on forefront teaching other children in school choir.“Life is very hard for me and my family, we most of time lack most of basic needs, and I would like to progress in my studies to beat the poverty chain, this is why I must use this opportunity to work hard’ she says.
Tabitha is very happy about her sponsor and prays for her very much.
“God is good, I have now a sponsor to help me,” conclude Tabitha happily
The Story of Fednant Oucha
Fednant had run from home to the street life, as a street child due to the associated poverty at home, no proper place to sleep, no beddings, little food and much hardships endured at home. Fednant has 3 sisters and 2 brothers. The mother is poor and can't provide for the family. She was helpless, when she sought support from the well-
Fednant now stays with the mother at home and attend Uzima regularly. "At the street I used to sleep in the cold the whole night, eat dirty food from the dust-
I want to be a volunteer to help reach street children and transform their lives and make a difference in the world, the way Uzima has helped me.
I thank Uzima for making me come back home to my senses and our volunteer from UK for enabling Uzima help us and I am very happy about my sponsorship. God bless you very much.
The Story of Miriam
Miriam had a very harsh beginning. She was found abandoned and thrown away to die by her parents afterbirth in the bush, had it not for the harder who was grazing and noticed a cry of a baby, she would not have been a live. She was later taken to her grandmother who struggled with her to save her until when she was to be enrolled to Uzima. Uzima enrolled her and put her on a special case for vulnerable children, giving that household a regular bit of support.
'I have never seen my parents since then, they threw me in the bush at birth time, I would still forgive them and love them when I meet them because they would still be my parents, she says.
"I am happy to stay with my grandmother as she cares for me, I'm also proud of Uzima for their support without which life would be a misery for most of us. Special thanks to our volunteer UK who enable Uzima to help us'.
The grandmother is also poor and weak. She finds it hard raising Miriam; they both work in a quarry breaking stones for construction to earn a living.
Miriam is very happy about her sponsorship and thanks the sponsor very much.
"I am going to work very hard at school, go to University, get a job and help my grandmother and other poor people in our society". says Miriam.
Glory. A. Faith is 10 years old -
She says,“My father was a teacher before he died. He loved us very much. He committed suicide after he discovered he was HIV positive. It upsets me very much knowing he killed himself. He was always loving, kind and supportive; he made sure I went to school and had clothes and food. He made sure I had love. I really miss him.”
Glory cries when telling her story, she continued to say that since her father died, and life has been very hard for all of them. In her family they have to collect firewood to earn a living, working in neighbours farms and sell to the town nearby, that’s 7 kilometres away. This is very difficult because her mother is also HIV positive and very weak, so Glory has to work constantly, even when she’s tired, to feed the family.
Glory says “I want to be a nurse when I finish school to treat and help people when they are sick, so they don’t lose hope and commit suicide like my father.”
She goes to Sunday School and likes to sing and worship God, and is thankful to the volunteers from the UK who support the Uzima Orphan Centre, because they are kind and loving; giving her hope and putting a smile back on her face.
She says “I’m happy I’m in the Uzima Orphan Centre, where we get support from the volunteers from the UK. Sometimes they visit us, helping us in our homes. This is good, because it means that the other people in the village respect us because they see we belong to Wazunga from the UK. We feel accepted and safer in the village, because they look at us differently now.”
Glory prays that more volunteers will visit them in their homes because it means they will be accepted by people……
She prays -
This is Debra age 6 years. She attends Uzima Orphan Centre and has been an orphan for nearly 3 years. She now lives with her aunt who has 6 children of her own and looks after Debra's brother too. Both Debra and her 8 year old brother have AIDS, their parents died of it. She had a serious eye injury when she was 4 years old from a cow's horn. Uzima got her treatment at that time and help her access treatment for her AIDS.
Watch her full story on the video.
This is Lawrence, he attends Uzima orphan centre. Lawrence is 8 years old and is one of nine children in his family. He lives in extreme poverty and often says he goes hungry at home. His teacher at Uzima says his concentration is poor because his stomach is empty.
He says he wants to become a volunteer like the ones he sees visiting from the UK. He wants to be able to help others like they help Uzima by being good and kind.
He says "through their help we can afford cloths, toys, sweets books, pens and above all food! Now I can drink milk and eat eggs at Uzima, this has been known as food for the rich but now we have cows and chickens from UK and we can afford them too. God bless the volunteers from the UK" Lawrence concludes
Charity is 10 years old has 6 siblings; the father died 5 years ago. The family lives in abject total poverty. Uzima has saved Charity who was forcefully getting married due to poor condition at home. It took our intervention to report the matter to the Local Authority and we undertaken to carry the responsibility of taking care of the girl with whatever support we had.
"I was being forced to get married to a man who offered to help raise our family, he took advantage of poor situation and poverty at home but when I learnt about the whole scheme I ran to Evan's home who then accepted to intervene and help me continue with my education, I'm now safe under the care of Uzima, and thankful to Evans and our volunteers.
I thank our volunteer from Uk, Who help Uzima to take care for us.
Charity is very thankful to Andy and Ange to sponsor her
Tabitha is 4 years old in a family of 4 children. 2 boys and 2 girls, she is the last born in the family. She stays with her mother, her father was a fisherman and went fishing in the lake and sadly never came back. Tabitha was enrolled to Uzima in the 2011, but could not attend classes till 2012 due to pneumonia which nearly killed her. Her mother works in gardens and burns charcoal to sell for her family.
“When I come from school and I don’t see mother at home, I’m so sad because she takes a lot of time out looking for food while I’m hungry. I like Uzima because I get some food, clothes and education and I like playing with friends at Uzima. My teachers are kind and good, and I want to work hard and become a teacher to teach more children, says Taby, as she is called by her friends at Uzima.
Tabitha’s family lives in small grass thatched house and usually sleeps on the floor where she complained she is usually bitten by small insects and she has rashes all over her body. She has been prone to malaria due to the conditions at home. Her mother says sometimes they develop pneumonia due to the cold during rainy season and due to the nature of their house.
“Jiggers has been a big problem in her life, but thanks to UK volunteers who gave her shoes this has resulted in a big improvement in shaping her feet” said her mother.
When I told the family about the good news of Taby’s sponsor family called Cody, the mother shouted in jubilation and ululations and said “God has seen us. I can’t hide my happiness and we are thankful and grateful to the Cody family” says her mother. When Taby learnt of the same news she danced and sang a song, in appreciation to the Cody family, “God bless Cody and my mummy, God bless Cody” Taby says thank you for giving her hope for her future.
Austin aged 4 years has 7 siblings; the father died 2 years ago and left the mother to take care of the family.
The family is in abject poverty since they lost a bread winner. He says, "I lost my father our bread winner in the family, I want food, I want cloths but no more".
I like Uzima because I get food, sweets and dolls from UK Volunteers. I am thankful to my sponsor.
"I like my teacher and Evans because they are kind and loving to us taking care of us all".
Lennie is 9 years old from Nanderema, Samia District. She has six siblings, both her parents died due to HIV/AIDs 6 years ago. She has been left in the hands of the grandmother who is poor and never able to raise her on her own. She says " Life for me is indeed very hard because I'm sick all the time and lack support and care, I work after school to raise a living, I collect firewood and burn charcoal to get food and cloths as my grandmother is unable to feed the family".
Lennie was abused by a stranger who took advantage of her situation and raped her before he fled.
This sad case was reported to Uzima and we acted swiftly taking her to hospital to be treated and saved her from contracting HIV/AIDs as the stranger was HIV positive.
"I passed through a very terrible ordeal when I was forced to have sex with a man who cheated me with food because I had not eaten for 2 days at home; he raped me and ran away".
Thank to Uzima who took me to hospital for medication.
Lennie is happy to be sponsored by Laura and hopes to meet her one day.
Devason is 3 years in a family of 4 members; the father was a fisherman before he died 2 years ago. Devason does not understand much about the family but generally, they live in total poverty.
The mother is a peasant famer raising the family is a challenge for her.
"I never see my mother as she wakes early in the morning to go farming with my brother, I get one meal a day and these make me hungry and weak".
I'm happy to have someone like a father in UK and love to meet them one day', says Devason.
Vincent is 7 years old and HIV positive. He stays with his mother who is also HIV positive. Vincent got the virus following a fierce fight which erupted between the parents. The father was violent and when he came home drunk he started beating the mother because there was no food in the house and didn't like the mother to share with the children as he thought the children were not his. During the fight he hit Vincent on the face and the blood started coming out. The mother who is positive was also bleeding and it happened that during this time both Vincent and his mother wound's came to contact resulting into Vincent getting infected.
"I'm sickly because of poverty at home which resulted into my condition. But I'm hopeful that God heals and will make me well".
Vincent says that he uses ART drugs which are very strong when taken.
"When you take ART you need more food to be strong. Unfortunately there is no food at home so this makes me come with the drugs to take at school when I can get some food.
I'm thankful to our volunteers from UK who has made improvement in our lives. God bless you all. Many thanks to my sponsor. I'm sure with their support our school will never close and will continue to offer support to all of us."
Vincent is the last born in the family of 6 siblings
Margaret age 8 years is in the family of 5 siblings. She is the second born. Margaret was rescued from child labor where she was employed to take care of other children but later it turned out that she was to work in a maize plantation. It took sometime before Uzima could afford to bring back Margaret to school. The parents separated and abandoned Margaret with her weak and sickly grandparent.
"My life is hard to bear. I once worked like a slave and now at home I have to work very hard to support my grandmother and the rest of the family. I have never seen my parents for long. I live a bitter life.
My parents abandoned us after realizing that they were HIV positive. I don't know their whereabouts now and not sure if they are all alive.
I would like to read hard to become a nurse and help more people like the good work done by our sponsors from UK. I'm happy to have a sponsor to help all of us at Uzima. God bless you."
Bravix is 10 years old, from Mumbaka village near Nanguba hills. Bravix has been a charcoal burner ever since he lost the father three years ago.
"Life for me is very tough. Making charcoal is not a joke; making money is equally not easy thing, it's very hard.
I have to balance between school and home life. I know nowadays at school life is reasonably fine as it has improved and life is good. I'm proud of our centre Uzima and thankful to our director Evans and the teacher and our UK sponsors for helping all of us.
At home it's survival for the fittest. Life is a competition but I thank God for the support and care we get from UK volunteers."
Bravix has two sisters and one brother. The mother is poor and it has been very hard to raise the whole family.
Bravix is in class two and would like to become a pilot.
"My father was a fisherman and he used to bring a lot of fish from the lake to help the family when he was alive. This has since changed to the worst."
These are the words Mark starts narrating to me.
Mark is 12 years in a family of 4 siblings. The family stays with their aged grandparents. The grandfather was paralyzed with a stroke and the grandmother is old and frail. Mark work most of the time at home to raise a living for the family. He helps the uncle whose work is digging pit latrines.
Mark is very thankful to Uzima for having offered to help him secure a place at the centre.
"I'm happy that I have a place I can be proud of as home. Where I can be taken care of and I thank our UK volunteers for keeping Uzima open and supporting all of us without them, life would be completely miserable for us.
Thank you my sponsors for helping Uzima. You are touching many lives. Your support makes us feel loved, cared for and this adds more life to us. God bless you."
Brenda is 11 years old. She lost both parents due to HIV/AIDS. Brenda stays with her aged grandparents.
Brenda is engaged in roasting groundnuts and selling to people when she is at home, in order to earn a living for the family.
"I'm forced to work hard to earn a living since my grandparents can't afford all the things to raise our family.
I'm happy to be here at Uzima since I can get some help. I'm thankful to our UK sponsors and pray that they continue supporting us through Uzima."
Brenda has been on and off the hospital. She has been suffering from pneumonia. She also complained about jiggers affecting the family but thankful that this is improving since the UK volunteers treated the children and now the teachers keep treating then after every two weeks.
As an orphan there is a lot of hardship but above all God is on our side and has touched sponsors in a far place to help us. God is good all the times". Ends, Brenda happily.
Diana stays with her grandmother who is old and sickly. She is the one who assists with all house chores and work for the survival of the family. She was once employed as a maid to care for the households and the children of the employer.
'Life when you are employed is not easy. You are rebuked and threatened even without mistake made. I have lead a harsh life and now I'm happy to stay at Uzima where there is a friendly environment'
Diana says she has not seen her parents for years and she wonder why she was born to endure the kind of suffering. She would like to read hard to become a doctor/ nurse so as to help other less fortunate people.
'I have been mentored by the humble spirit our volunteers from UK have. Imagine they spare their time to come and help us above all washing our dirty feet like Jesus did to his disciples, what a wonderful people!! And I would like to be like them to help others in my life'
Diana is happy because her life at Uzima has significantly improved and happy because of sponsorship.
'A million thanks to UK supporters and Evans our director'
Ian has 5 siblings and stays with his mother who is the sole bread-
'Whenever there is rainfall, it spills into our house making each one of us stand till it is over, this has made me sickly most of the time and not attending school regularly, getting a meal at home is another miracle in life, water is equally hard to come by, everything is very rough and I beg for your prayers" says Ian.
I'm thankful to Uzima and our UK sponsors for constantly putting a smile on our faces, when I'm at Uzima, I forget all the burdens,I sometimes endures in life because the Director has made the centre lively by ensuring we are taken care of well. I can eat well and learn and even get medication whenever I'm sick.
I pray that now our classes are renovated so that jiggers don't attack us. Ian wants his other siblings to be accepted and be enrolled at Uzima.
I humbly request that my brothers and sisters be also enrolled because they are just suffering at home, I would be happy if this request is granted.
The Story of Merci & Sandra
This is Merci (15) and her sister Sandra (16). Merci is deaf and Sandra has Cerebral Palsy. They both live with their elderly grand-
Until she was sponsored through Uzima in our Hands Sandra had never had the opportunity to attend school. However, a 'special needs sponsorship' of £15 a month has provided her with a place at Nangina Special School along with her sister Merci.
Both girls are doing amazingly well. If you would like to sponsor a special needs child at Nangina School through Uzima please email firstname.lastname@example.org