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Highlights of 2012

posted 28 Dec 2012, 17:26 by   [ updated 28 Dec 2012, 17:27 ]

It has been another busy year for the project in Uganda. Many challenges continue to face orphans, widows and vulnerable children in Eastern Uganda, but the project continues to rise to the challenge to provide hope and love where it is needed most.

Some highlights from the last year:

· Christmas 2011 was a busy and enjoyable time with the visit of a small group from Australia and UK. We ran 3 crusades in 3 different villages (Kidoko, Bunganga and Maundo) as well as activities in Tororo and Busia towns. There was much singing, dancing, football, children’s games, tree planting, teaching and preaching on many practical topics from pastors, doctors, and teachers, HIV awareness videos and Christmas lunches Ugandan style. It was an amazing experience for all involved.

· Davan tours was launched to support travel and tours for people visiting Uganda for mission work or for holidays through East Africa. This small company aims to provide employment for young people from Tororo and to ensure affordable and socially responsible travel, while keeping all profits in Eastern Uganda.

· We launched a website for the charity, to keep all stakeholders informed. Please check it regularly and feel free to forward details to you friends.

· Fundraising efforts have significantly improved thanks to our new supporters in Scotland. We thank James Renwick for volunteering to be the main fundraising co-ordinator in UK.

· We have seen significant increases to costs of stationary over recent years, yet we are still able to provide stationary for over 200 children to allow them to attend school. With continued efforts we hope to support over 300 orphans in the 6 villages with stationary. We also aim to provide new school uniforms for these children when funds allow. Many orphans are still wearing the uniforms we provided in 2008, which are looking a little ‘worse for wear’.

· We continue to provide school fees for over 40 orphans and vulnerable children to allow children to attend private schools, where free government schools are not available. Thanks to the international donors, and to the local families that care for these children.

· Two new individual sponsors came on board to support school fees for two of our older students to complete secondary school. We seek more individual sponsors to provide direct support for the older students and encourage them into the workforce or further education.

· The small business ventures in Tororo have seen mixes success. The clothing store is closing down due to lack of business, but the sounds and music business remains strong and provides about half of the funding for our town orphan projects. A business plan has recently been prepared to initiate a motorcycle spare parts business, and we have high hopes that this growing sector will be a promising funding source for future years if microfinance can be obtained to get it off the ground.

We must extend a heartfelt thank you to the many international sponsors that give so generously to provide an opportunity for these children that have nothing. We must also acknowledge the generosity of the local volunteers that freely provide their time, skills and little resources. From administrative work, providing food and second-hand clothes to people less fortunate, travelling to remote villages for crusades and conferences, to taking orphans and widows to hospital and caring for the sick. Most of all, to those individuals and families that welcome orphans into their home and provide ongoing food and accommodation at their own expense. May God’s grace be with the whole ‘Let the Needy Smile family’ this Christmas and throughout the coming year.

Written by Darren Creek

Attached is also our Christmas 2012 Newsletter that you are able to download/view in PDF form.

28 Dec 2012, 17:26