You can help Every Child Ministries in ministering to children of the Ugandan slums
Ugandan Children of the Slums
Photo report--Summer ministry in the Kamwokya slums of Kampala
A team of summer missionaries from Every Child Ministries began ministry to the children of the Kamwokya slum in the summer of 2007. The slum was chosen because it is home to a large number of families displaced from the north because of the LRA terror, and because it is the largest slum in the capital city of Kampala with a large number of children living in poverty.
Jane Kansiime, the headmistress of KCC Primary School in the area, kindly allowed us to use the main meeting hall of the school to minister to the large numbers of children who cannot afford to attend school. About 180 eager unschooled children waited each morning for our program to begin, sometimes arriving up to 2 hours in advance!
Every morning the team taught this group of lively, rowdy, but thoroughly enthused children. There were desks to seat only about half the children, so the others sat on the floor in front. There were six members of the ECM teaching team--Cheryl Bockstahler (team leader), Heather Hernandez, Leanne McKitrick, Lance Bernhard, Amanda Kedzierski, and Megan Towell, in addition to supervisor Lorella Rouster. The school provided translators into the Luganda language. Even so, keeping this many children under control kept the whole team hopping!
Each morning's program consisted of a Bible lesson with songs, a story and a memory verse, review, and concluded with learning, recreational and developmental activities. We were all amazed at how much the children learned and remembered. There were so many children, but we did our best to make each one feel special, shaking their hand, patting their shoulder, or "high-fiving" them as they left each day. We could tell that the children considered it a special privilege to be there.
The 180 children who attended ECM's program live in deep poverty that prevents them from attending school. Even though Uganda now has universal free primary education, parents still have to pay for books, pencils and uniforms. Many families of the Kamwokya slum live in poverty that prevents them from taking advantage of the free tuition offer. Yet the children learned easily and eagerly in ECM's summer program. Now ECM's sponsorship program will make it possible for many of these children to attend school for the first time. They are so excited they can hardly wait!
After Bible teaching in the large group, each ECM summer missionary took a smaller group of children and did a variety of learning, developmental and recreational activities with them. Here Leanne McKitrick reviews the alphabet with an eager group of children.
The team tried to give children as much individual attention as possible in such a large group, and the children ate it up like cotton candy. At the left, Heather Hernandez reviews basic vocabulary flash cards. On the right, she analyzes pictures with the children.
The Bible lessons included the Gospel message--the only message that offers real and lasting hope for children (of all ages!) anywhere. Countless children responded by inviting Jesus into their hearts and lives as their personal Saviour and Lord.
At the left, Megan Towell shares the Gospel story using the Evangecube. At the right, a crowd of eager children listen.
Some of the ECM team also observed and assisted in afternoon classes at the school, and all of them taught an after-school class for the 6th and 7th grades.
At the right, Amanda Kedzierski helps students with their math homework. She found that in addition to helping them, she also discovered a few new math tricks herself--one of the many advantages of intercultural exchange.
Children who are sponsored through Every Child Ministries' Child Sponsorship Program will attend KCC School where the summer ministry was held.
Cheryl Bockstahler served as ECM's team leader for the summer missionaries in both Ghana (in June) and Uganda (in July). This was Cheryl's third summer mission with Every Child Ministries. Cheryl discovered a very special friend in one of her classes. Although the girl sat us straight in her chair during class, when she walked out, Cheryl noticed she was bent over like a hairpin, and walked holding her ankles. Cheryl was so amazed at the girl's wonderful spirit that they soon became fast friends. ECM summer missionaries sometimes feel it's hard to know who is more blessed--the children they teach or they themselves, for the privilege of teaching such children.
The children were glad to stay for the afternoon classes. One boy in the classes identified himself as Muslim, but he still listened.
At the left, Amanda Kedzierski and Leanne McKitrick lead their classs in enthusiastic singing. At the right, Lance Bernhard and Heather Hernandez discuss a topic of interest with their class.
The ECM team ministered freely and charged nothing for any of their services. They were overwhelmed when the poor families of the area started bringing them eggs as thank you gifts. Their appreciation was so great for the teaching Every Child Ministries summer missionaries gave their children! The team was eating in a hotel, so we gave the eggs to the school to enhance the children's lunches.
To God be the glory for all that was accomplished, and a special thank you to everyone who supported the team in prayers, gifts and encouragement.
To sponsor a child from the Kamwokya slum, click here.
To read more about the problems in Uganda, click here.
To read about the rest of the Uganda summer team's ministry, click here.
For information on becoming a summer missionary with ECM, click here.
To go to ECM' Home Page, click here.
UPDATE: November 11, 2011
A group of 54 children from Kamwokya have been sponsored and started to school. Will you make it one more?
Sponsorship is only $32 a month, and the joys of sponsorship are many. Give your first sponsorship gift now. Just Click "Donate Now" above and designate "Choose a child from the Kamwokya slum". THANK YOU!