The children in rural Uganda are like children everywhere; they have hopes and dreams of a brighter future, but they need your help. Sponsoring a child will profoundly change the future of your child, and will change your life as well. You will personally experience the positive change you are making in the life of a young child and their community. When children find out they’ve been sponsored, the joy they feel is indescribable; your sponsorship means more than you can imagine.
Sponsorship fosters sustainability. Child sponsorship works by bringing change to more than just one child. The benefits you help provide extend to each child’s family and community. That’s because SSFOH works alongside community members to help build and promote healthy communities and foster empowered children.
The Power of an Education
Illiteracy is common in Uganda, particularly amongst females. Although some primary education is compulsory under law, in many rural communities girl children, specifically, are held back. Many families cannot afford the costs associated with sending a girl child to school in addition to the tuition, such as required uniforms and writing equipment.
Research shows that educating girls in third world countries leads to positive social and economic changes for their villages and countries at large. Communities experience improved standards of living, and suffering and hardship diminish. Empowering females with education leads to longer life expectancies and a decrease in infant and child mortality.
Ugandan Educational System
The education system in Uganda has a structure of seven years of primary education, six years of secondary education (divided into four years of lower secondary and two years of upper secondary school), and three to five years of post-secondary education. In primary education, children sit exams at the end of each academic year in order to discern whether they are to progress to the next class; this leads to some classes which include a large range of ages.
Every Child Sponsor Receives
• A welcome kit with photo and information about your sponsored child
• The opportunity to write and receive letters from your child
• Progress reports after each semester with updated photos as they are available
Contributions are tax-deductible under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3).
Frequently asked questions
1. How much does it cost to sponsor a child?
The cost varies depending on the level of education, but typically from $300- 900/year. When a child is chosen, their specific tuition fee will be indicated in writing.
2. When are payments due?
Payment is made in September, December, and March of each year. When possible, we ask for a full year’s tuition payment up-front to ensure each child has their year’s expenses covered.
3. Will I receive updates about my child’s progress?
Yes. Sponsors will receive updates about the sponsored child three times a year, after each semester. Updates are dependent on our SSFOH partners in Uganda and the frequency of their contact with the children.
4. Other than my child’s tuition, is there anything else required of me?
No. However, SSFOH asks that your commitment to your child doesn’t begin and end with your tuition donation. Additional ways to support your child and SSFOH include, but are not limited to: prayer support, volunteer opportunities, donation to other SSFOH projects, and positive endorsement of our organization and its efforts.
5. If I must discontinue my child sponsorship, what happens to the child I’m helping?
If you need to discontinue your child sponsorship, we will immediately look for a new sponsor for your child and continue the child’s sponsorship support without interruption. Tuition payments are due three times per year (please see #2 above). Please notify us as soon as possible should you be unable to fulfill your commitment to a year’s tuition.
6. Who can I contact with questions about the program or about my sponsored child?
Program Director for Sponsor a Child is Karen Becker. She can be reached at [email protected] / 630-261-5932. At the end of the year, you will receive a receipt from our SSFOH treasurer with your donation amount for your taxes.
Thus far, we have made 9 concrete success stories: Joan (bachelor of accounting), Tonny (bachelor of business administration - Marketing), Ronald (Mechanic) , Flavia and Mugagga (electricians), Juliet (nurse), Janepher (administrative assistant), Paschal (priest), Faustina (nursery school teacher). Many more are in the making!
Ordinarily, the annual school fees total for all of them combined is between $13,000 and $14,000. We have been fortunate to get sponsors for some of these children. That is a big blessing. Our hope is to get a sponsor or sponsoring family for each child.
If it were not for Stepping Stones Foundation of Hope, these children's lives would be in jeopardy today and their futures bleak.
On the contrary, educating these kids not only changes their lives for the better, it makes them positive influences in their communities. In particular, educating young women correctly is indispensable for both economic and spiritual development in Africa. But these are the most vulnerable. This is why the majority of our beneficiaries are girls.
We strive toward the positive transformation of the whole young person. Hence, creativity, responsbility and personal growth through self-involvement in the community are actively embraced. SSFOH's children contribute toward their own growth and education through several activities including: ART AND CRAFTS. The children make crafts such as baskets, mats, “bitambala”, simple rosaries, etc. These are collected and sold to bring in a little extra income for their education.
For more information, please contact:
Karen Becker Pat Marchese
Director Treasurer and Co-founder
Sponsor a Student Program Stepping Stones Foundation of Hope