New Child-Care Center Helps Orphans in Uganda

by AMG Staff

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Stark tragedy goes silently about its lethal business of decimating the nation of Uganda, where AIDS has orphaned 2.4 million children.

No relief agency can even begin to cope with such a massive tragedy but we can all do the best we can, and therefore AMG International has opened its fourth child development center in Uganda.

This new center is located seventy-four miles from Kampala, the capital city, in a slum area of a multi-ethnic town called Iganga, with a population of more than fifty thousand people.

By a grisly coincidence, Igamba District, which includes Iganga, has lost more than fifty thousand people to AIDS in the last ten years. Most of them have been young adults with children, and their dependents have become orphans. Some entire families have been wiped out; in other cases the grandparents, who have limited resources, are left to care for the orphans.

More than 1.5 million people live in Igamba District-but largely because of the HIV/AIDS scourge, the majority of those who remain are children.

Polygamy, which is prevalent in the region, is largely blamed for the high incidence of HIV/AIDS. Islam is the dominant religion in the district, claiming more than forty-five percent of the population. There are also Protestants, Catholics, and animists among the people of this area.

Like most Ugandan families, the extended family in Iganga is stretched to the breaking point. An average family consists of ten to fifteen people. Most homes are able to provide only one meal per day-usually a late lunch or early supper. The majority of children in that area are not only malnourished, but their growth is stunted. They are also in need of medical attention but cannot afford it.

It is not surprising to find a child in the seventh grade or even higher who has never worn shoes or even slept on a mattress, let alone a bed. Education is not a priority and children often stay at home for a year or two past the normal age to attend school because they cannot afford the required books or school uniforms.

The residents of this area live in homes made from mud, with roofs of corrugated iron and grass thatching. Until recently, people and animals struggled for the same water from streams or wells. The dry season, December through March, is a difficult time for the people of Iganga. Often lines to obtain water will begin to form at 3:00 a.m. Some wells are contaminated, so diarrhea and typhoid fever are rampant and cause many deaths annually.

AMG has stepped into this heartbreaking situation by opening this new child development center, which is now a beacon of light and hope.

You can have a part in liberating one of these precious children from this cycle of poverty and death by becoming a sponsor. For $22 a month you can provide the basic necessities of life while at the same time giving your child an opportunity to hear of God's love.

AMG child-sponsorship ambassador George Miller says: "I feel great pride in being part of AMG and knowing that I have the opportunity to serve God by helping those in need…" You, too, can help, George continues: "Pick out the child you want to help and begin your sponsorship immediately."

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