Serving God's People in Africa since 1868

Give Children in Uganda the Gift of Reading

When an adult takes time to read to a child, not only does it demonstrate to a young boy or girl that someone cares about them — but it also lays a foundation for helping a child learn to read. And when a child learns to read — the door to a whole new world of discovery and learning swings open! Unfortunately, this is only possible when children actually have books to read.


“You may have tangible wealth untold; caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I, you can never be. I had a mother who read to me.”

Strickland Gillilan (1869–1954) American poet and humorist

I hope this letter finds you well. Please know that you and your loved ones are always in the thoughts and prayers of our missionaries. They are well aware — as am I — how vital you are to our work among the poor throughout Africa. Without your support, generosity and caring, we would not be able to continue providing food, clothing, clean water, medical assistance, job training and education, pastoral care and so much more, to those in need. Because of you and our other friends and benefactors, the quality of life for thousands of African men, women and children is made better! Because of you, they know that someone cares.

Nursery and primary children of Mary Immaculate School.

When I first read the quote I shared with you at the top of this letter — it, too, reminded me of the difference “caring” can make in the lives of those in need — especially in the life of a child. When an adult takes time to read to a child, not only does it demonstrate to a young boy or girl that someone cares about them — but it also lays a foundation for helping a child learn to read. And when a child learns to read — the door to a whole new world of discovery and learning swings open! Unfortunately, this is only possible when children actually have books to read.

A month ago, I received a letter from Sr. Leah Kinyua — a missionary Sister living in Kyotera District, Uganda, in East Africa. There, Sr. Leah serves as the director of the Mary Immaculate Education Complex in the village of Ssanje.

“Right now, there are more than 600 children living in this area who need our help in learning to read. Since our school was founded specifically for children whose parents died from HIV/AIDS, many of the boys and girls don’t have an adult in their lives who can help them learn to read. Additionally, because fewer than half of the men and women living in rural areas of Uganda know how to read — even if a child has a parent at home, these parents are often unable to teach their own children. That leaves the task of teaching children how to read in our hands.”

Students enjoying a class

“If children are going to have any hope for a better future, they need to know how to read and write. The community here realizes this so they have joined together and renovated an unused classroom as well as made and installed book shelves. This room is serving as our new library! We have also trained one of our teachers to manage the use of the textbooks and other learning aids,” Sr. Leah continues.

“But if we are going to be successful, we need more books! We are hoping that you can help us purchase the books our children desperately need.” With her letter, Sr. Leah enclosed a list of the textbooks needed . . . it is quite extensive!

Primary school students in the library

You and I can make an incredible difference in the life of a child. In your own community, you could start by volunteering to read to children at your local library. What a door to discovery reading provides! You could also donate gently-used books to a a homeless shelter. When families with young children become homeless, reading often can be a great source of comfort as well as a brief distraction from the worries of life.

I am also hoping that you will help us raise $28,650 for Sr. Leah’s mission in Uganda and our other projects to help those in need throughout East Africa. As I stated at the beginning of my letter, your generosity makes our work possible. Your financial support — no matter the amount of your gift — is helping to change the lives of men, women and children throughout Africa. Thank you again for all that you do!

 

Your Missionary Friend,

Denis P. Pringle
Director of Development