THEN: Four months ago AAI's Uganda Coordinator, Salem Richards, put out a plea for help for 7 precious sisters in Uganda who were in a desperate situation. These seven sisters were living alone, in desperate poverty, in rural Uganda. The oldest girl is thirteen, the youngest, just a year. Their mother had passed away and their father was not caring for them. Their home was being attacked at night and things happened to these precious, unprotected girls that should never happen to any child. Their story broke Salem's heart, and the hearts of many others. Through the generosity of friends and families of AAI's Uganda program, we were able to raise enough money for these seven girls to be rescued by social workers in Uganda and taken to a safe place!
The six big girls are now in a boarding school while the baby is being cared for by a missionary in Uganda who assisted with their rescue. We are told that the girls are doing very well at their boarding school. We want to enable the social welfare officer dealing with their case to keep them there until a permanent family situation can be found for them in Uganda.
NOW: We found out yesterday (5-14-12) that the next term's school and care fees are due immediately and without payment the girls risk immediate expulsion! We weren't expecting this and have not yet found ongoing sponsors for the sisters. You see, when we (AAI) told the social workers we would help, we became responsible for them. For EVERYTHING they need. We've paid for them all to go the doctor and have medical tests done. One of the girls was hospitalized. Another needs to be evaluated by a cardiologist. We provide money for them to be cared for during school breaks, all their meals, personal items, etc. We are responsible for all of their needs.
When we found out on such short notice that we needed to pay the school for their next term, "L," our amazing in-country coordinator decided she could not allow the chance of these children being kicked out of school with nowhere to go. Without us knowing about it she took her own money and paid the fees so these precious children could stay at their school and continue being cared for. We are overwhelmed with her generosity and so grateful she stepped in to provide for these children until we can get the money to Uganda. HOWEVER, the funds she used to pay the school was money provided to her by her other job to go on a work related business trip at the end of this week! WE MUST REPAY HER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! Our fear is that "L" may have put her other job in jeopardy in order to save these girls from being put out on the street.
There are two needs here. The first and most urgent need is to pay/repay $1200 ($200 per girl) to cover the girls' care and education fees that were due on Monday. We hope to raise this money in two days, as crazy as that sounds! Friends and families of AAI are just that crazy and generous! ANY donation amount is appreciated. If 120 people donated $10, we'd meet our goal! The preferred way to donate is by calling our office and speaking with Kathy to make donation by credit/debit card by phone. 360-452-4777. Alternatively, you can CLICK HERE to make a donation on our website. Choose "other" then note "Uganda, 7 sisters."
The second need (just as important in the long run), is to find ongoing sponsors for each of the 7 girls until a long-term care plan is created for them. We recognize that boarding school is not the best long term solution for these girls. Social service professionals in Uganda are working with the goal of this sibling group being cared for in a family. Until that time, they must be cared for and kept safe. If you are willing to sponsor one (or more) of the girls at $65 a month (or $200 every 3 months), please contact Salem to discuss which child to sponsor and CLICK HERE to set up your recurring donation. Choose "other" then not "Uganda sponsorship, 7 sisters."
Thank you for considering this VERY immediate need in Uganda. Please, post about this on your blogs and facebook pages. Pass it on to your email contacts. Without your help in spreading the word about this need, it will be almost impossible to reach our goal!