Monday, June 25, 2012

Helping African Orphans the American Way

UNICEF estimates that nearly 1.2 million orphans in Uganda have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS related diseases. Many of these children do not have other relatives to help them thrive and thus are left alone in dust bins, out on the streets.

That is, until Jackson Kaguri, a Uganda native was inspired to help.

Kaguri is living the Cinderella dream: a young man who was freed from poverty, attended an Ivy league university in America and retains successful full-time employment in Michigan while he lives in Indiana.

His inspiration began when he learned that some grandmothers would take in children after losing their own children from HIV/AIDS. These women, however, were not only poor, but they were in need of their own healthcare.

These are women who had seen me grow up in the village," he said. "They carried me when I was hurt, they prayed for me when I was away studying. What was I supposed to do?"

Knowing that education was the gateway to Kaguri's success, he and his wife built a two-acre brick school, free for children. Not only would this school allow children to receive a free education, but it would also provide them with free health care as well as other necessities, too.

"We provide them uniforms. We provide them pencils. We give them shoes," said Kaguri, 41. "Everything we give ... is to try and eliminate as many obstacles as possible, so children can be successful and focus on education."

But, that's not all: Now the school provides two free meals a day, after seeing many students falling asleep in class because of hunger and malnutrition. And, after learning that one such student walked 30 miles each day to attend the school, Kaguri got to work on building a secondary school in a nearby village.

"Today, between the two schools, there are 587 students -- kindergarten through 12th grade -- receiving a free education and health care. Nearly all of them have lost either one or both parents to AIDS-related illnesses." (CNN Cashing in the American dream to help AIDS orphans, those who raise them

More social work organizations need to work harder to ensure proper orphan care, as well as be inspired by stories like this one. Maybe then, we can rid poverty and create a better life not only throughout Africa, but the world.

1 comment:

  1. Many should give their smallest help, it will give a big part.
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