1. What is this program?
A personal education plan for young people at risk in Uganda.
2. How are the children chosen?
The mothers of most children have gone through a crisis pregnancy. All are destitute and in rare cases, the mother also returns to education. In most situations the mother is severely undereducated and unable to return to studies – yet the children are all capable.
3. Who is Omu’Omu Uganda?
A community-based organization near Matgua, Omu’Omu means “one at a time” in Lugandan. This is what how101 (help our world one on one) means as well as the “Starfish” story of helping one at a time…Staff and volunteers there are in charge of the program. Omu’Omu was established in January of 2019 to better focus and serve the educational community. (Starfish was founded in 2002.)
4. Is this a school?
No, kids continue to live with the mother or a guardian while they attend school.
5. Isn’t education free?
There are public schools in Uganda, yet they still require costs for children to attend. Schools that are privately run are higher caliber with greater impact on students.
6. What about boarding school?
Yes, as the kids mature, the best education for them is in boarding school. If home life is unstable, younger children will also board. Kids are often “clustered” so that they attend with others from the program.
7. What else is done for them?
Good question! School alone will not produce a well-rounded person. Each child has a mentor to visit them at school and at home during the year. Often groups of children are gathered during breaks for field trips that can include service work – nurturing an attitude of “giving back”. In addition, there is a Holiday reunion in January and August. Annually, we host a Camp for kids and youth who are 5 years and older.
8. What are “Basic Necessities”?
Personal items needed on a regular basis. In the spring, a common gift for each is given. Examples include: a mattress, a backpack and shoes, jackets, etc. These gifts are purchased in Uganda (to aid the economy there and cut down on travel weight). At Christmas, the extra funds are to aid the family for food and staples.
9. How does the community surrounding the children benefit from sponsorship?
One benefit is that we have avenues to help the mothers or guardians of these children. We fund several gatherings throughout the year that focus on overcoming their struggles and meeting needs through training and strategic (uniform) gifts. The sponsor community in the U.S. benefits as well! We are always open to hearing how we can pray for you or anyone in the program. For those who approve, we add these requests (as well as some general information and testimonies) on our Omu’Omu Facebook page (This is a “closed” page only for our community. You will find that many people are happy to support you and we all have personal struggles!
10. What happens at the annual Camp?
Bonding, learning, spiritual development, personal growth and FUN! The kids are grouped by age for 4-5 days. Each year has a different theme. Activities vary from music, games, art, and small mentor groups. The older kids are introduced to career options as well. A highlight is always swimming in Lake Victoria at the end of the day!)
11. How do I become a sponsor?
We take the lives of these young children and youth seriously. Their individual information/photos are not posted on our web-site. A current sponsor who understands the program must recommend a person. A commitment must be made and in most cases we require the ability to pay monthly online (as this cuts down on administration cost on the U.S. side). A how101 representative will then talk to the potential sponsor on the phone before beginning the procedure.
12. What role does the sponsor play?
We ask sponsors to commit to a child for the duration of their education. The sponsor pays a monthly fee to support the child. In addition, we ask for encouragement via letters/photos. Once a year (when a team travels for Camp) Cards and letters are hand-carried over and distributed at Camp. We ask for extra donations twice a year for basic necessities – once before Camp and once at Christmas.
13. Why are these collected separately–and not just included in monthly payments?
The short answer is for accounting and tracking purposes. Some sponsors are not able to give more and we raise funds to ensure ALL receive these extra gifts. Sending funds in a group sum provides ease for Uganda staff to receive and purchase in a timely manner and for the U.S. team to fill in the gaps where needed. 100% of funds go toward this need.
14. What about trips to Uganda?
Annual trips to Uganda are opened first to sponsors. We encourage sponsors to meet their child and we provide training ahead of time. If a trip is not filled, we open to interested others who’ve been recommended by a previous team member. We, of course, do not require sponsors to go! Costs and activities are communicated in January of each year. Camp is generally held in May as this is when Ugandan children are on break. To learn more about trips/teams, please email: email@example.com
15. How is this different than other sponsorship programs?
As you’ve heard, it is quite personal and strategic! The funds go right to the source of helping the child. How101 does not take out any funds from a sponsor and a child does not get into the program until a commitment (first recurring payment) is made from a sponsor.