I want to help

CEO John White is reminded what it’s all about on a recent visit to Uganda…

As we bumped along the potholed road, I really felt this visit was not necessary. I was due to get to Entebbe airport to catch my flight home, and wanted a meal before the long process of check-in, security, immigration controls etc. “This trip should have been done some other time, not now,” I grumbled to myself. I really should have known better!

girl in blue and white striped tank top smiles into the cameraWe arrived at the school, a special school for children with physical disabilities, and went to see the headteacher for permission to visit *Appra.

She was having lunch, which gave us time to talk to one of her teachers, as well as the person running the vocational department. It was encouraging to hear of the opportunities Appra has to learn many different vocational skills. These include tailoring, pottery, ceramic bead-making, gardening, cookery and leatherwork.

Then Appra arrived and proudly showed us the skirt she had completed that morning. She’s had some health challenges, but our Ugandan partners have been working with the school doctor and other staff to respond appropriately. With extra feeding and support she is making good progress.

I left there feeling encouraged.

Exam stress is universal – encouragement is king!

The second child we visited was much nearer the airport. I felt pleased to be out of Kampala. Sometimes it’s difficult to get through the traffic jams and out onto the airport road. We got to the school with plenty of time to spare, and went to meet *Patience, who was in very good spirits. She was preparing to take her S4 exams (equivalent to our GCSEs). Although she has prepared well, there was all the usual pre-exam anxiety. Patrick, the manager of our Kampala branch, was wonderful and encouraging.

Patience wanted me to assure her sponsor that she was working hard and had prepared well. She won’t get her results until December, but is hopeful of good news.

These two visits were a powerful reminder of the impact that child sponsorship has on vulnerable children. The opportunities these two girls have had would never have been possible if their guardians did not have someone to ‘come in and help.’

I made my way through security and check-in thinking how much these two girls would want their sponsors to know what a difference they have made.

If you sponsor a child, please accept my heartfelt thanks for caring enough to ‘come in and help’. Your support is truly transformative.

John White, CEO


Child sponsorship is…. a powerful tool for inclusion, advocacy and transformation. Sponsor a child today!