This afternoon, I travel to a village just outside the town of Soroti to visit Agnes. She is a beneficiary of MADI child sponsorship program and has recently had the opportunity to enroll into school thanks to the generosity of her sponsor, Paula Koykendall. Agnes receives a total amount of $35 a month from her sponsor towards her school needs.
When i visited Agnes she has a smile that lights up the room despite the extreme poverty conditions her family endures constantly. Agnes’s mother is a widow and is HIV positive and has recently been showing signs of health deterioration. Her father passed away and she has three other sisters; two younger and one elder. With her mother’s condition, Agnes sees herself becoming an orphan in the future. They live in two small grass houses that in my view, is not fit to house anybody let alone a family of five. They sleep on small matrasses made of grass which often inhabit small bugs that bite and make them sick. Sometimes she prefers to sleep on the bare ground. During my visit, her little sister was sick and has been sick for more than a week. They have no source of income and live on small subsistence farming practices but always face the challenges of extreme droughts conditions. Despite all these problems, Agnes still finds so many reasons to smile. “I can go to school now and become a better person and help my family” she said, and later added “thanks to the nice lady who pays my school.”
As we were visiting with Agnes, about 15 other neighboring kids showed up and in talking with them, i discovered that most of them do not go to school and face similar situations like that of Agnes.