As adults, many of us look back fondly on the memories we made as young children. Remember those family vacations, Saturday morning cartoons, and chasing after the ice cream truck?
Of course, every childhood has its ups and downs … but most of us can reflect on our childhoods with at least some positive memories.
Linda’s childhood looked much, much different.
Many families have been torn apart by the LRA’s attacks in Uganda
Linda and her family live in a part of Uganda ravaged by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a terrorist group that kidnaps children and inflicts violence on innocent civilians.
When Linda was just a little girl, her father was killed by an LRA soldier. This left her mother as the sole provider for Linda and her four siblings. But because her mother is HIV positive and very sick, she couldn’t work.
Unable to survive on their own, Linda’s family went to live with her grandmother. But even there, they couldn’t afford what they needed to survive. Without land or crops to sell, they didn’t have any way to make money.
Things grew worse and worse until eventually, Linda and her siblings even had to stop going to school.
“Without money, my siblings and I had to drop out of school because we couldn’t pay school fees,” Linda said.
It seemed as if hope was lost for Linda. Reeling from her father’s death and struggling to survive, she felt as if she had nowhere to turn. The situation was grim, and Linda didn’t have a much hope that things would get better.
That’s when Linda discovered Village of Hope, one of our child sponsorship partners in Uganda.
Because of sponsorship, Linda now has hope for her future
Founded by Cindy Cunningham in 2007, Village of Hope began with a mission to help children exploited and abused by the LRA. Some were made to fight as child soldiers, and others were even forced into sexual slavery. Many were orphaned by the war. Some, like Linda, simply had nowhere else to turn.
Now, Village of Hope is funded by generous supporters and child sponsors who ensure these precious children get the childhood they deserve.
When Linda came to Village of Hope almost three years ago, she received nutritious meals, trauma counseling, and a chance to continue her education. But most of all, she found hope.
Hope for her family, hope for her future, and hope for eternity.
Since it began, Village of Hope has seen incredible growth. In addition to education, clean water, and access to a medical clinic, the program provides children with opportunities for secondary and vocational schools where they can pursue degrees like nursing.
Linda is just one of hundreds of children whose lives have been transformed.
“We have seen our kids who were former child soldiers now have a dream fulfilled,” Cindy said. “I can see in their eyes that glimmer of excitement. Of, ‘I had just a dream. I never thought I would be here. But now I am here.’”
Village of Hope has had an incredible impact on children like Linda, but none of it would be possible without child sponsors who directly invest in these children’s lives. Sponsors are why children can come to Village of Hope to receive essentials like food, clothing, and an education.
Most of all, because of sponsorship, they have the chance to hear the Gospel.
Other children like Linda are still waiting for a loving sponsor to come into their lives. Will you be the answer to their prayers today?