World Vision child sponsor Matt Pritchett recently travelled to Uganda to meet his sponsored child Jasper.
My trip to the Aboke project in Uganda is something I will cherish forever and never forget. I’ve been wanting to visit my sponsor child for probably eight years … bucket list item ticked!
I deliberately went into the trip without expectations because I’ve learned in developing countries that having expectations can lead to disappointment. The Aboke project is a long, five or six hour drive from the capital, Kampala. I ended up being there (the Aboke project) for nearly four hours which was great, but I could have definitely stayed longer with the family and community. Meeting Jasper and playing soccer with him was pretty cool. Football is a universal language.
Most kids tend to drop out around the age of fourteen when education is no longer free. I found out that Jasper’s older brother Benson had to drop out of carpentry school. Speaking with Jasper’s family and to the broader community (through a translator) about the importance and value of education was pretty special. I discussed Benson’s situation with staff from World Vision, who agreed to help him return to carpentry school. Benson will be able to earn more and bring it back for their whole community (that’s how things work apparently), which in turn will help them live better, and keep kids in school for longer.
Through my visit, I now realise my funds go into a pool which is then spent on benefiting the entire community, which I agree is the best way to operate. We drove past the school and hospital which World Vision had built in the area, but due to time pressures we could not tour the facilities or see inside them.
I would certainly recommend others to visit their sponsored child. Down the track, finances permitting, I would love to go back. It was a dream come true for me and I am forever grateful for the experience.