If you've donated a vehicle to Donate a Car 2 Charity in the past year, you have played a part in helping to build a home and school for over a hundred Gulu children attending the Family Care Uganda School for Orphans. In early 2013, Robin Yamaguchi and the Project Gulu staff secured the use of 14 acres of bare land in the war torn, Gulu area. Over the course of the year, thanks to funding and sponsorships made possible by car donors and other financial contributors, the Project Gulu team took that piece of land and built a 3 acre school complex, which includes 9 classrooms, staff houses, a kitchen, dining area, dorms and bathrooms for 100+ children. They also built an attached 10 acre farm which is farmed and cared for by students and staff to grow food for the school. And they're not done yet. This year building is continuing, with plans to build more dorms, classrooms, a library, an infirmary, a court yard where the kids can learn to play sports. More children are on the way, so their team is working around the clock to prepare for the new students. To help put a face on the students at the FCU school, how about a few introductions?
With her beautiful smile and her cheerful spirit, you'd never suspect that Credie is an HIV positive orphan. Her father had been abducted from school at an early age and was forced to be a child soldier. The Kony war eventually claimed the lives of both of her young parents leaving Credie an orphan. In spite of the hardships and loss she has faced, including living with HIV, Credit doesn't let that get her down. She spends her days studying, playing with friends and enjoying life to the full. She is a brilliant student who is fluent in English. Her favorite pastime is racing. In fact, she is the fastest girl runner in the school.
Credie is a classic example of a Positive Living Child studying at the Project Gulu School. Thanks to funding from donors, a number of HIV positive children at Family Care Uganda get the care they need, including the essentials of a clean, safe place to live and three meals a day. Each HIV positive child gets their medication regularly and medical attention as needed - something most children in their condition do not have access to in Uganda.
Mercy, another war orphan abandoned as a young child after her parents were both killed, was being kept at home by some unrelated step parents who treated her like a maid and demanded that she help with the babies, cooking, laundry and farming. She desperately wanted to study and begged the staff at the FCU school to find a way for her to attend school. When the FCU team discovered her living situation, they negotiated with her guardians, offering to pay for all her school fees, provide mattress, uniform, books and all if they would allow her to attend school. Mercy is so thankful for the opportunity to study that she is now one of the tops in her class and is excelling academically. Sponsorships and donations, both car donations and financial contributions, offer students like Mercy the opportunity to get an education.
At first glance, Kilara seems like another enthusiastic fourth grader going about his studies at the FCU school. However, he's faced more than his share of hardships and tragedy in his young life. His father was an LRA soldier who had been abducted as a young boy and his mother passed away when he was a young baby. His father eventually managed to escape the LRA army and came to claim his son, however, he too passed away a few years ago from a heart attack leaving Kilara an orphan. Kilara now lives and studies at the Family Care Uganda School. Despite the many challenges and hardships he has been faced with, he's a cheerful soul who does his best to keep everyone around him laughing and focused on the bright side of life.
This is just a sampling of the now 100+ students living and studying at the Project Gulu, Family Care Uganda School. To read more about progress on the school and farm and the day to day activities and challenges faced by the FCU team in Uganda, click here. Over the past year, thanks to the generosity of donors, Donate a Car 2 Charity, together with Activated Ministries, contributed over $40,000 towards the school. Thank you for helping us effect change in this war torn corner of the world.