Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Olivia is Growing Up

Behind the Kawuku market, past the giant stacks of charcoal, through a narrow trough-floored alleyway I can find Olivia helping keep her home clean and proper. Olivia is the reason I came to Uganda for the first time. Her education is being sponsored by my friend and there’s always some small gift to deliver. I love that Olivia lives nearby, which makes staying in touch with her easy.

While she’s on holiday, she stays in this two bedroom apartment with her sister (her parents are deceased) with her sister’s five other children. She seems quite happy there and her sister is always pleasant to visit with. I try to find ways to spend more time with Olivia rather than a just a simple visit. This is a challenge, though. Olivia continues to be soft spoken so conversation often lags. Open ended questions are met with single word responses. This behavior is typical of Ugandan girls. She is very respectful, kind, and welcoming.

Olivia eagerly shows me her books from school – books where she writes her homework and where that homework is graded. She’s done well in science this year and her scores are improving significantly. These kinds of results are exactly why we sponsor childhood education in the first place…we want to make a difference in the lives of people who may have little hope otherwise. I’m so thankful for my friend and the many, many other people who sponsor education for children around the world.