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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Orphans and Vulnerable Children

"OVC's" is aid-speak for kids whose existence is so marginal as to be threatened. And we have a lot of them here in Bundibugyo. In fact the sheer volume often threatens a shut-down of compassion, as one more sickly, rash-ridden, hungry, or goopy-nosed kid comes across our paths, as needs are presented by grandparents left in charge of orphans or mothers left alone to cope. Then as they grow physically, their mental and spiritual needs flood the churches and schools. Every Ugandan values highly the precious resource of an education, though the options are limited and the costs beyond the capacity of many families. Jesus was able to feed the crowds while touching the individuals . . and calls us to do the same. OUR VISION at Christ School - to build an academically excellent senior secondary boarding school that produces servant leaders, for the good of Bundibugyo and God's glory. 340 teens live and learn on campus. These kids receive the best education in the region, in a context of Christian discipleship and community service. They also receive three meals a day, and beds in a cement-floor dorm (a step up from most homes), and electric power for lights to study by, and a library full of books, and access to a computer lab. We keep tuition lower than any other boarding school (in the country!), subsidized by donors to WHM, so that the poor may participate and indeed own and change this district.
However, for some orphans and vulnerable children, even our low tuition is an impossible barrier to overcome. So every year we look for 60 sponsors willing to cover the full cost of a child's education: 10 per class in 6 grade levels, Senior 1 to 6. These kids are selected based on a combination of need and academic promise. They are the harbingers of Jesus' value-inverting Kingdom, the least of these who will be raised to reign. And sponsoring a child is a way to connect with an individual face and name out of the crowds. In 2010 we know that 18 of the 60 are sponsored . . .but that leaves 42 whom we have admitted on faith and need to connect with resources. We offer two levels of sponsorship: $400/year covers the subsidized costs that others pay in Bundibugyo; $600/year ($50/month) covers the actual cost of education.
Click here for the CSB page on the World Harvest web site; click here to sponsor a specific orphan student (touching the individual); or here to contribute to the subsidy for the general tuition of the other 280 kids (feeding the crowds).
Our investment in the lives of the kids in the post below is probably the most important thing we've done in 17 years . . . it is a privilege we invite others to share.

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