Children can achieve so much, but they need someone willing to give them an opportunity. By sponsoring a child today, you give the gift of hope to a child in destitute circumstances. Your gift of sponsorship provides a child with food, education, medical care, opportunities to learn about Jesus, and a social worker to walk beside them. You also can develop a personal relationship with your sponsored child through prayer, letters of encouragement, sending photos or drawings, or even visiting your sponsored child while on a short-term mission trip.
ACM provides nearly 2,000 meals each school day. This works out to be almost half-a-million meals each year! ACM works with the local schools to provide lunch to the entire school where sponsored children are in attendance. Lunch is even open to preschool age children and nursing mothers. For many, this is the only adequate meal they receive each day and its importance reaches far beyond improving a child’s learning capabilities, attention, and attitude. This lunch also boosts a child’s immune system, encourages children to come to school, and influences parents to make school a priority. We have found when lunch is provided the daily school attendance rate increases by as much as 35%.
To help this ministry be sustainable each partnering school has a garden. ACM plows the school gardens but the schools and parents are responsible for providing vegetables to help supplement the children’s lunches. This gives parents and families of the children a sense of pride and ownership while helping prevent dependency.
Clothing is a valuable commodity in our rural part of East Africa. Our children typically have one set of regular clothes, one set of nicer clothes, and a school uniform. They wear these clothes every day and wash them once a week! Providing clothes for them, especially underclothes and socks, is so important. Your sponsorship donation helps provide additional clothes and a school uniform.
We know education is the primary key to ending the poverty cycle and creating lasting change. In the rural areas we serve, 75% of children in elementary school are too old for their grade and only 14% of children attend high school. We want to see as many young and vulnerable children have an opportunity to attend school as possible.
Sponsored children are enrolled in school from first grade through university. Our students work hard and do not take sponsorship for granted. Often students will study well into the night using kerosene lanterns since their homes do not have electricity.
Many of our partnering schools have outdoor classrooms and during the rainy season class is often delayed or canceled due to weather. Working with the local community, ACM is able to provide items such as funds, laborers, or materials to build classrooms so children can continue to learn even when it is rainy.
We want to provide every opportunity for students who excel to continue in school. Therefore, ACM’s sponsored children who earn a scholarship to university will remain in the sponsorship program until graduation.
We are proud of the hundreds of sponsored students who have graduated from high school and are now employed and self-supporting. We also delight in the fact that several of our national staff members are former sponsored children who have graduated from university. These staff desire to make a difference in the lives of other children. ACM’s National Director in Uganda is a former sponsored child himself!
Each month ACM hosts a Vacation Bible School (VBS) day at each of our partnering schools. The children who are a part of the sponsorship program are invited to attend for a day of fun! The children gather together to enjoy singing, games, Bible stories, arts and crafts, and snacks. This is also a great time to teach a character class and learn more about nutrition, hygiene, and health. They may also write letters to their sponsor, make Christmas cards, or have a holiday-themed day. The children love having short-term mission teams take part in this exciting day when they visit!
Around Christmas time, all of the sponsored children and the ACM staff gather together for a Christmas party. They eat a special meal of rice, vegetables, meat, and a Ugandan favorite chapatti, a thin flat bread cooked with oil, together. Staff members sing songs and share the true meaning of Christmas with the children. And, it wouldn’t be a Christmas party without gifts. These special presents are made possible through additional Christmas financial donations. Some past gifts have been: blankets, shoes, a Bible, hygiene kits, a mattress, and a live chicken!