It is always good to hear about youngsters who have completed the Care for Uganda sponsorship programme.
Moreen started on the sponsorship programme in 2001, when she was seven years old. Her father had died and her mother was struggling to bring up Moreen and her three brothers on her own.
Moreen's sponsor has been privileged to visit Uganda three times and was able to meet Moreen on each trip. She writes, "In 2006 I was introduced to Moreen in her old school classroom. The next morning, a Saturday, our party was going to be walking around the area and making home visits - I was moved when we arrived at the school to find Moreen had got up early and was waiting to greet us in her best dress. She insisted on carrying my rucksack for me all morning. We chatted as we walked along and Moreen told me of her ambition to be a teacher.
When we arrived at Moreens home, I was shocked to see how poor it was - a windowless, one-roomed concrete shack, little bigger than a garden shed and right in the middle of the Kampala slums, where many homes were crowded together with an open sewer running along the muddy lane outside. They had very few possessions and it was upsetting to see them living with such little comfort - I marvelled at how Moreen had managed to turn out so beautifully presented in her white dress that day.
As the years went by we continued to receive news of Moreen. In one letter she wrote, "I am always happy because I got the chance to study." She ended all her letters by asking God to bless our family. Her school reports were not so encouraging. In Ugandan culture reports tend to emphasise what must be improved rather than what is going well - even with this knowledge Moreen's progress seemed poor and we feared she was unlikely to achieve much academically.
On my 2013 visit it was wonderful to meet up with Moreen and her Mum again - I was relieved to see they had moved out of the worst slum area and now rented a slightly larger home with a little land to grow a few crops and keep chickens. Care for Uganda report that sponsoring a child, by relieving financial pressure, often brings positive benefits to the whole family, and this did appear to be the case for them. Moreen had just sat her school leavers exams and was awaiting the results - she seemed optimistic but I confess that, based on her reports I worried that she might not have done too well. Our sponsorship of Moreen ended soon after that as she had left school.
On visiting Uganda in July 2016 I was delighted to learn that Moreen had indeed passed her exams, been to college and gained a certificate in Nursery Teaching. She is now teaching in Kairos primary School - the school in Kampala she once attended. On hearing we were in Kampala that day Moreen made the effort to find us and I was greeted with the warmest hug - she expressed her sincere gratitude for the support she had received through sponsorship.
We are so proud of Moreen and so humbled but delighted that our 18 pounds a month has enabled her to achieve her dream. Proof that sponsorship really can transform lives!"