Empower A Child believes education is the key to changing a child’s life from a life of poverty to a life of possibilities. Many children we meet in the projects have a desire to be educated, but simply cannot afford to go to school. Most of the time those asking for assistance are orphans who have had either one or both of their parents pass away. Some live with aunts or uncles who cannot afford to send both their own children and their nieces and nephews to school. In some cases, all of a child's extended family has passed away and they live on their own with the responsibility of raising their younger brothers and sisters.
Many of the bigger sponsorship organizations only accept children into their program if they are under the age of 12 years old. This is usually done for two reasons. One, it is usually easier to form and influence the life of a younger child and two, it is easier to get a sponsor for a cute 5 year-old than a rugged 15 year-old. However, children over 12 years-old also lose their parents, so we accept children of all ages into our program. Many of these older children demonstrate a strong desire and passion to finish their education and go on to make a better future for themselves and their country. They are the next generation of leaders for Africa. The tools and education they receive today will determine the state of Africa tomorrow. Even a generation of orphans has the ability to stand up and make a difference in their country; they can help mold a different Africa - one that has less of the suffering and pain they had to endure as children. With your sponsorship, you can stand in the gap for these children who cannot receive assistance otherwise.
Attending school in Uganda and Kenya is not free. The countries' internal revenue tax systems do not generate enough money to support all schooling, so the funds to run a school have to come from the students. Students are required to pay school fees for each of the three terms in a school year. School fees pay for things like teachers’ salaries, building costs, and student lunches. Beyond that, children are required to pay for their school uniforms, pencils, and notebooks. The government has provided assistance for primary schools all over the country, which has decreased school fees and allowed students a chance to complete primary school. However, secondary school is not provided for and is often very expensive for these children.
Children usually start nursery school around the age of 3 or 4 years old. There are 3 levels of nursery school before they start primary school. Primary school consists of 7 or 8 levels, and children usually begin at age 6 or 7. After primary school is secondary school, which consists of 4 to 6 levels, and children should begin at age 13 or 14 and complete by the time they are 18 or 19 years old. If a child cannot pay their school fees they are not allowed to attend school. This is why so many children are 14 or 15 years old and still in primary. Some of these children have been unable to attend school for the past year or two or three because of their circumstances.
Empower A Child believes in a holistic approach to reaching the children and youth of Uganda and Kenya. Through sponsorship, each child in the program is enrolled into formal education school, whether government-run or private. We ensure the children are attending school daily, receiving meals at school, and have the schoolbooks, pens, and pencils needed for their education. The program also provides for the basic needs of the children, such as blankets, mattresses, mosquito nets, shoes, and soap. Each child receives provision for any medical needs that arise. Above providing for basic needs and education, Empower A Child also believes in meeting the spiritual and emotional needs of the children and youth. Monthly Bible studies and mentoring programs are provided for the children and youth. At each Bible study the children and youth are taught valuable Bible and life lessons, have a time to share and discuss what they learned in small groups, get the opportunity to write to their sponsors, and receive a nutritious lunch. Many receive the foundation for their faith at these Bible studies, as well as counseling and love from our staff on various issues they may be facing in life.
Sponsoring a child will only cost $35 a month. Your money will pay for the child’s school fees, books, pencils, and lunch at school. Empower A Child also offers meetings in which tutoring, counseling, mentoring and discipling will be offered to the children.