The Ugandan Princess: Your Help Really Matters
The bus came to a stop, and we waited as the dust that had been kicked up from the unpaved road took a moment to settle. As I carefully walked down the steps out into the open air, my eyes tried to comprehend everything that was going on around me.
I had never been to Africa before. I had no idea what to expect. And that day would change everything.
There was activity all around me. To my right, all of the adults in the village of Nadgga were cheering in celebration. In front of me, a kind elderly man was handing out flowers to each member of our group, and continually gesturing in gratitude and affirmation. A woman near me cried, and joyfully hugged a friend who had been on the bus with me. Joy. Tears. Thankfulness. Hope.
Through the stream of people, bright colors, dancing, and the celebratory sound of drums a girl standing alone caught my eye.
She couldn’t have been more than 8, and was much thinner than the other kids around her. She was wearing a pink princess dress that was worn and dirty. Holes had ruined the lace, and the few remaining sequins reflected the light as she stood observing the joyful scene around her.
I felt a tug on my heart.
Something about this girl was special. I didn’t know her name. I didn’t know her story. But I KNEW that God was trying to get my attention.
“She is my Princess,” said His gentle whisper.
I tried to ask her name, but she didn’t speak or understand any English. Grabbing an interpreter, I began to find out as much as I could about the Ugandan princess in front of me. When I asked the girl’s name, I learned that God’s whisper was more accurate than I could have imagined.
“Queen,” was the interpreter’s response. “Her name is Queen.”
I asked more questions, and tried to gather as much information about Queen as I could. I learned that Queen’s father had abandoned her, and her mother had died several months before. Her very aged grandparents, who were now in charge of her care, were struggling to provide food for her and her sisters.
I learned that this type of scenario was all too common in Uganda. Parents who didn’t have jobs or a way to provide food would abandon their children with grandparents, or even teachers, who they felt could provide a better life – or at minimum, food – for their kids.
I asked if Queen was able to attend school, and as the interpreter relayed my question, Queen’s face said more than words ever could. Despair. The interpreter went on to explain that Queen couldn’t afford school, and was not one of the kids in Ndagga village who had a sponsor.
Something in me clicked. I felt a tug on my heart again, and I knew God was asking me to sponsor Queen.
“She is my Princess,” said His gentle whisper.
I had faithfully done child sponsorship before through other organizations. I knew the drill. In my limited view though, I always thought I was simply paying $30 a month to minimally help a sweet girl who I may never see again. I was wrong. It was so much more than that.
Throughout the rest of my time in Uganda I saw first hand the difference that sponsorship makes to these kids. Queen went from tattered rags to a school uniform. She went from having sores on her head and her skin from bacteria – caused by lack of access to soap and basic hygiene – to having access to medication, soap, and even clean water. She went from eating several times a week to having 2 meals a day. Even more noticeable, Queen went from a cycle of despair to radiant hope. She positively glowed with joy. And that was just the beginning.
In April, almost a year to the day I met her, I was able to go back to Uganda and see Queen. The difference was incredible. The princess who was crowned in poverty was now crowned with joy. We hugged, cried, and jumped with excitement. We were even able to have a conversation without the help of an interpreter – after only 1 year of school, her English was amazing!
As many of you don’t know me personally, I think it’s important to mention that my day job is to help nonprofits. I’ve been blessed to help many organizations, big and small, all over the world. This also includes getting to know the leadership of said organizations on a personal level.
However, I can honestly say I have never seen anything as God-orchestrated as what Fountain of Life Foundation is providing in Uganda. It isn’t just the number of students whose lives are being changed; it is God’s perfect timing and coordination behind it. This organization is unlike any I have ever seen. Never in my career have I seen people from literally all over the world come together like this to change one village.
While many organizations provide education and a start to life for kids, Fountain of Life Foundation has gone far beyond that. Their goal is to make the entire village of Ndagga, and the surrounding area self-sustaining. That means food, jobs, education, clean water, and even medical care would be available to the people of Ndagga, Uganda. While that sounds so basic to us, in Uganda this is literally world-changing.
Queen went from a cycle of despair to radiant hope. She positively glowed with joy. And that was just the beginning.
I can’t thank you enough for your support. The impact is both immediate and eternal. I hope that you are encouraged by Queen’s story. I also hope that it has given you a glimpse of the difference you are making in the life of the child you are sponsoring. The impact is profound, and to them it means everything.
After meeting Queen, it is my personal goal is to ensure that each child in Ndagga, Uganda is given the opportunity to experience the hope of sponsorship. This is just the first step in creating life-long change in Uganda.
It’s an honor to be a sponsor for Fountain of Life Foundation. This is an organization who is truly committed to building the right kind of sustainable change that will reach far beyond one village. This cannot be done without your continued prayers and support. Thank you! The change your gifts create is real. You are making a difference.
FOL Child Sponsor