Updated: Jul 6, 2021
Today— we are thinking about the father figures who have positively impacted the lives of children and youth here at Youth With A Vision. To all our sponsors, child sponsors, donors - one time and monthly, mentors and volunteers! - please let you know, and may it be known that we honor and appreciate you so so much.
And as we celebrate Father’s Day this year, we can't say THANK YOU enough for you have been there for children here at Youth With A Vision! You are all amazing! You sponsored children to go to school, you have donated food and essentials for children in dire need. You have been real fathers!
Fathers play an important role in the development of the children.
And to the:
- dads who cared during hard times, and cheered for us in the good ones…
- men who showed us what it means to work hard and show up
- father figures who offered us timely advice and practical support…
- the men who continue to support, encourage, and inspire us…
Thank you for showing us what it looks like to be a dad. You are loved. You are valued.
However, due to various circumstances, there are many children in Uganda who miss the support of a father and struggle with life. And Father's Day brings pain to them - some children may never have known their dads; others may feel distanced or abandoned by their dads. And we would like to share with you Father's Day stories from some of the children under our programs.
''My mom died when I was 8 years, and I remained with my amazing dad, but sadly, years later I lost him too, to a stroke. And for me Father's Day is bittersweet. I know I have much to be thankful for, and I don't doubt God's sovereignty, but I miss my dad''
Like me, some children out there have been gifted with wonderful fathers who reflect God in their love for their children.
But for others like me, Father’s Day brings pain. When I look at myself as a total orphan, I feel despair. If you have ever lost a parent or both parents, I am sure you know what it means. I was abandoned and isolated and I had no one to turn to. I even dropped out of school for two years because there was no one to pay for the cost of my education. I missed things like a sanitary towel and clothing. I was always weeping and friends around me could not understand me. Whenever things went wrong with me I could say - I wish my parents were alive. It has been so hard for me to cope up. But I am so thankful that I now have nice people to turn to when I need support. People who care when my school sends me away for tuition, and stationery. I am glad that I have people who feel the gap between my father and mother! Thank you, Youth With A Vision. When I grow up and I can earn an income, I hope God will allow me to support children with whom I share the experience. Says Namugenyi Patricia.
Patricia is one of the children that for two years now she has not had the opportunity to get a sponsor. So when you donate to Youth With A Vision, we provide essentials to her and also assist her to go to school.
Before you stop reading this blog, hear the story of Racheal another fatherless child representing several children on our program.
My name is Racheal Nakawooya.
I had lost my mother when I was way too young and I never tasted the love of a mother. Unfortunately my mother died when she had not told me the whereabouts of my father.
So I was abandoned with my helpless maternal grandmother. I witnessed who it was so hard for my grandmother to provide for my needs. Very often we missed food and survived on pieces of sugar cane waste dumped by others at the dumping site opposite our home.
It was so because grandma had no income to provide for our food and other needs. I started school late all because of the lack of someone to pay for my education. I often feel envious of my peers who have fathers that provide for all their needs. In our community, we are among the poorest family. In the hard times I cry whenever, I see my friends eating bread and treasuring their dads when my grandmother can't even afford a sanitizer or a mask or daily food me and my two siblings.
What hurts me more is that whenever I try to socialize with children who have fathers and money, they isolate me and shun me because we have a bad house that is deemed prone to infections. I often can't control tears from rolling down my chin whenever I hear my friends sharing stories about how their fathers treat them and with pride showing off some of the gifts bought to them by their fathers when at my home we very often sleep on an empty stomach. I admired my friends a lot, and their stories but they make me feel envious and wished my father was available.
When my grandma heard of Youth With A Vision she engaged the team and I am glad that they took me on. I am so happy that I was accepted and taken back to school. I wish they take on my siblings too and also take care of my grandmother. My dream is to become a lawyer so that I plead for the suffering children. When I get money, I want to build a nice home for fatherless children.
We had just taken on Racheal when Uganda experienced an outbreak of the new strain of Covid-19 and all schools were closed. She currently goes to Bright Angels Primary School and her in Primary 2. But she can't go to school now due to the second lockdown as a measure to stop the worsening situation of the new coronavirus strain. Racheal is a hardworking and ambitious girl. Like other children who can't go to school due to the pandemic, we provide her homeschooling opportunities.
Fatherless and abandoned children like Racheal and Patricia really need someone - a father figure to turn to for essentials, guidance, care, and education to face many of their trials and thrive. However, as Youth With A Vision, we can't alone help them to achieve their wonderful dreams; but with your support we can.... we are looking for someone who can sponsor them, and if you can help with our search for a sponsor for them, we would really appreciate you so much and we would like to hear from you.
This year’s Father’s Day like that of 2020 has happened at a time when Covid-19 is at its peak in Uganda. The situation currently here in Uganda is alarming. We are under a second lockdown for 42 days. This time the coronavirus is on rampage. People are dying in large numbers every day, businesses and schools have closed down. The 42 days of a new lockdown here in Uganda are becoming harder!
At Youth With A Vision as non-profit serving children and youth, we are really hitting a rock. When the president of Uganda first announced the lockdown which started on 7th June 2021, our major focus was on the education of children especially those in the final years whose blended online learning started straight away on 10th June 2021. For students from financially better homes have the equipment needed to access online learning and they are already learning but those from financially poor backgrounds, have to just look on and stay behind while their counterparts are steadily advancing.
While we were still looking for learning equipment including radios and batteries, iPad, laptops, smartphones, and a regular supply of internet data to connect students on blended online learning facilitated by their respective institution, the President of Uganda showed up again and declared a total lockdown. No private or public means of transport for 42 days. Not even motorcycle ‘’taxis’’ for passengers – these only carry cargo. No movement in a vehicle without permission. No access to medical facilities for the majority of the people. And it is extremely costly to pay for an ambulance.
We are now in a dire situation. Many people including children on our program are sick. Several people have died, many die every day. Hospitals are now full. Sadly most people here in Uganda live a hand-to-mouth kind of life. With no daily work, and without a reliable government bailout, many are now worried about food and essentials for their families than the coronavirus itself. And many have already become prone to hunger, diseases, or even death.
The tightened lockdown has resulted in prices for essentials and transport for cargo going up and automatically affecting us as a non-profit. Food prices and medical charges for Private Hospitals which are well equipped than public hospitals have gone through the roof. Private Hospitals currently charge from UGX: 2,000,000 to 6,000,000 (£450 - £1,335 /$570 - $1,715) per day to provide oxygen and treatment for people suffering from Covid-19. So we are trying as much as possible to prevent the spread of the pandemic as it has been proved that curing it is very expensive for an ordinary Ugandan.
I tell you what - we are stuck with final year students who need require more laptops, internet data, and stationery to access online learning which started last Monday the 10th June 2021. Given the need for social distancing, the equipment and materials we have are not enough for all the students that need to use them to access their blended online learning.
Now, on top of providing blended online and homeschooling opportunities, we are faced with another challenge of food for the children on the program and their families. More than 156 children and young adults have to look up to us for their daily needs - sanitizers, food, sanitary ware for girls, and homeschool. Some students on our program are in their finals and their institutions are now providing blended online learning which is not accessible to them due to a lack of equipment and materials. Other students who are in continuing classes are already with their respective foster families. And we are already supporting them with food and homeschooling opportunities to control depression and stress as a result of school closures and idleness.
Life is sometimes a double sword - for some men, the dream of being a dad may never become a reality. We work with our community of supporters to connect childless men to do with us distant adoption of children who can run to them for guidance, understanding, and care they need to face many of their trials.
Thanks to your donations, guidance, and support to the Youth Finance Scheme has continued to serve deserving youth even in the hard times.
Ever since the outbreak of COVID 19 in March 2020, we have been supporting beneficiaries in different ways through giving them food to feed their families, liquid soap for a sanitizer, advice, and knowledge to those whose businesses were still closed to start up small businesses to get an income to buy food and basic needs for their families and free interest loans in form of recapitalization to boost their businesses.
We are working the clock round to empower young people whose lives have been shattered by unemployment and hit hardest by Covid-19 to get back on their feet. Among the many young people is Norah Nambaziira and Michael Muzinda who are the latest to enroll in the program. The couple enrolled in April 2021 after being thrown out of the house they were renting due to accumulated rental arrears. In May 2021 we provided them an internship, financial literacy, and business management skills for £40 /$52 to start up their own enterprise and become sustainable. This month of June 2021, we have given the couple a loan of UGX: 500,000 £110 / $142 to start up Michael and Norah enterprise which deal in Chapatti, Rolex, kikomando, and tea. Their enterprise has now opened and it is located at Mitemula a remote but busy village in Masaka. Norah and Michael have now started on their journey to self-employment. We believe their lives will be far better than the life before when they had no source of income and were in total lack.
The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified pre-existing social inequalities in resources such as income, employment opportunities, access to food, access to health care, and access to other supporting services resulting in an unequal impact on youth. This second lockdown has affected the pre-planned Youth Finance Scheme activities. We had planned to stimulate enterprises that collapsed due to Covid-19 and enroll more unemployed youth on the program, but it appears all our plans are falling short due to lack of enough resources.
Most of the beneficiaries are struggling to pay back their loan installments because their business collapsed and are closed respectively. They are not working yet some of them are parents with families to look after. In these hard times, you can imagine how difficult it might be for them to choose between paying back a loan and providing food and other basic needs for their families. We had planned to enroll more new beneficiaries for the scheme at the end of June and the beginning of July but the situation is worsening every day and due to limited resources, we are likely not to support much unemployed youths to start up their enterprises this year.
With this situation holding us up we can't avoid coming to you again for the support. We need your support to create more avenues and opportunities for young people to get out of the poverty they are trapped in.
As you celebrate Father's Day this year and think about that someone who you have turned to when you needed guidance, understanding, and care, would you consider gifting fatherless, abandoned, and disadvantaged young people here at Youth With A Vision with essentials and an education to help them thrive?
These are some of our wishes.
-We are in need of laptops for finalists - £350 / $450 (we would wish to get 2)
-We are in need of iPads - £130 /$170 (we would wish to get 4)
-We are in need of smartphones for continuing students - £65 /$85 (we
would wish to get 10)
-We are in need of food and sanitizer kits for children in foster families - £16 / $20 (we would wish 156 kits)
-We would wish to provide face Masks to children, youth, and families who
can't afford them - £0.67 /$0.86 (we would wish to get 250)
- In memory of special dads, we are in need of a sponsor for Patricia
Namugenyi - (£35 per month) - https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=JU9PPMYNE35WG and Racheal Nakawooya - (£24 per month) - https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=5NSYKQ7D644ZN
Otherwise, we are in need of a sponsor for the other many children who have also waited for so long without getting sponsored https://www.youthwithavision.info/sponsor-a-child
- We would like to provide internships, distribute startup capital, and
ongoing mentorship for youth who are looking forward to starting their
own enterprises and become sustainable.
Join our monthly giving community "Team Youth With A Vision" to empower young people to get out of poverty. https://www.youthwithavision.info/become-a-team-youth-with-a-vision
We will appreciate whatever you are able to do to help the children through the lockdown and the pandemic.
Happy Father's Day to all of you the loving, hard-working, and supportive dads wherever this blog post finds you.
Buy from our Online Shop and Gift catalog
Our Online Shop youthwithavision.info/shop and Gift Catalog https://www.youthwithavision.info/gift-catalog are great places to pick up lots of great gift merchandise for you, your friends, and family, all of which is just another way that you can make our vital work with the vulnerable children, youth, and families possible.
Do Something on the Dine So They Can Day
It has been a hard but rewarding one in various ways. After 2 years without hosting, we have planned to host this year’s Dine So They Can Day on 01, 02, and 3 October 2021. We are keeping our fingers crossed for light to finally come through the tunnel and you are able to participate in our Dine So They Can Day events. All you need to do is to host a meal let it be breakfast or lunch or do something in your community or donate or ask your networks to donate to raise funds for the work of Youth With A Vision. All funds raised on this day add up and help to fund our non-sponsored projects targeting disadvantaged children and youth here in Uganda.
It will be so nice to gather together again in our different communities around the world to support children and youth turn a vital corner in life.
We warmly invite you to Dine So They Can.... - the more the number of participants, the merrier it becomes!
If you would like to know more about the Dine So They Can Day and how you can participate, please go to www.youthwithavision.info/fundraising
Donate to our feeding program
Please support the fundraising put up by our friend and supporter on GoFundMe to raise funds for lunch meals for starving children at https://gofund.me/c73f7f9a