An inspiring Spalding couple have just returned from Uganda where they met the girl they have been sponsoring with child development charity Compassion UK.
Rachel and Paul Wilson met five-year-old Blessing for the first-time while on a trip to visit their daughter Emily, who is currently volunteering in Uganda.
Teacher Rachel (57) said: “I knew the day would be an emotional rollercoaster. Meeting Blessing was wonderful, a very humbling and moving experience.
“I was introduced to the project staff and I was very impressed by the work they do, reaching out to the poorest of the poor in the community and giving children and their families so much hope and practical help.
“Together we drove a short distance from the project to Blessing’s home. Blessing and her father came out to meet us, and it was very emotional to meet face-to-face.
“We got to see their half-built house which Blessing’s parents are currently constructing from mud.
“Then we went to her grandfather’s home, where the family is temporarily living. We gave Blessing and the family some gifts we had brought with us.
“She was delighted with the two dolls I gave her, complete with hand-knitted outfits. Afterwards, we returned to the project where we had lunch, saw her file, including her school report, and played with bubbles with her. All too soon it was time to say our farewells.”
Blessing lives in the hillside community of Kashenyi. Typical houses are constructed of dirt floors, mud walls and corrugated iron roofs. Most adults in Kashenyi work as subsistence farmers and earn the equivalent of just over £3-per-month.
In most parts of Uganda education is encouraged and viewed as important, indicated by the government making the first two years of secondary education free. However, large classes of up to 75 children are common, along with a lack of teaching resources and equipment for the classrooms, leading to a poor quality of schooling.
The Wilson’s sponsorship of £25-a-month enables Blessing to be part of her local Compassion project where she receives nutritious meals, emotional support, medical attention and the chance to get a good quality education.
Now back in the UK, Rachel reflects: “I was humbled by the warm welcome and generosity of those we meet who have so little.
“Child sponsorship is very personal. You know the investment you are making each month is helping to change that child’s life by ensuring they have healthcare, education and emotional support.
“We can’t, as individuals, solve the issue of world poverty, but we can make a difference to one child, and their family and together we can start to change the world.”