The Walkers meet their sponsored child
Meeting Katie at World Vision UK for final preparations and advice had been a very real boost to our excitement about visiting Uganda. To be able to visit our sponsored child Timothy had been a dream since we began sponsoring him, but now we were realising that dream.
From the start of our day we felt humbled and privileged to meet so many people for whom life is being transformed. It was also a privilege to be with World Vision staff and project staff who facilitated our visit.
William (our driver) and Anna (responsible for Sponsor visits) had a very early start to their day. They collected Peter and me, together with our Ugandan friend Seremos, and two hours later we arrived at the World Vision offices. We enjoyed a warm welcome, an introduction to the programmes and met with Warren (Area Development Program Manager) and Stella who would also be with us for the day.
It was another half hour journey to the Health Centre, one of the projects our money goes to support. We saw immunisation clinics in progress and were shown the facilities for mothers during childbirth. Many were attending for pre-natal checks. We also spoke to healthcare workers involved with providing a place for pre-teen and young teenagers to meet. In this tent, these children learn skills for life through social activities and learning programmes.
Our second visit was to meet Timothy at his school. We were shown to the staff room and introduced to the head teacher before going to Timothy’s classroom. As we walked into the classroom I was overwhelmed by smiles. I felt nervous, not wanting to do the wrong thing, yet so aware that this was the moment I had been waiting for. It seemed ‘forever’ before Timothy and I spoke to each other and shook hands. Timothy and his classmates were involved in a writing lesson, so we began to go around the class, seeing their work and then meeting each child. We were told to shake every child by the hand, an important cultural lesson ensuring that we would not ignore any child, even if unintentional.
Our excitement continued as we gave gifts of skipping ropes and a parachute, for the whole school to share. I will always remember the joy on the children’s faces. All the children and staff joined us outside to watch and play together. Our time at the school eventually had to end and we were joined by Timothy to go to his home for lunch.
On the way, we stopped at another project supported by World Vision. We met men and women who are leaders within this particular group of small-holder farmers. By improving livelihood resilience for the families within the community, the quality of life has improved for over 60,000 people. Visiting these projects has certainly helped us to appreciate all that World Vision does.
We arrived at Timothy’s home, where he lives with his grandparents. We were overwhelmed by the welcome as we were joined by aunts, uncles, cousins and Timothy’s father. The feast set before us was immense and we know how much love and care went into preparing it. A feast for Kings! After eating we exchanged gifts. Perhaps my most treasured moment was when Timothy gave me a ball which he had made for me. In true Ugandan culture we were able to hear words of appreciation from the family, but also to express our thanks and our assurance of continued support.
After a brief stop back at the World Vision offices, William and Anna drove us back to Kampala. We are so grateful for the time they gave to us. We enjoyed an unforgettable day and it encourages us to continue giving to this amazing charity which not only seeks to improve the lives of children, but impacts families and whole communities with the love of Jesus.