March 2010 ~ UPbeat from ChildrenUP

UPdate on Nancy ~ UPbeat on Patrick

March UPnews: The Director, Charlie Laliberte spoke at the Addison Public Library March 9th at 7:00pm. The presentation was a travelogue of Uganda showing the beauties of the country and the challenges of the people in Northern Uganda.

The next day March 10th, Charlie spoke with students at the Addison Trail High School emphasizing the lives of northern Ugandan children and their struggles for education in northern Uganda. We thank Mirela Mehmet Baker, the teacher organizer of the International Fest Week for highlighting Uganda this year.

We also welcomed Stephen Oola, a Ugandan lawyer studying at Notre Dame University. Stephen spoke at Addison Trail High School on March 11th sharing his life experiences growing up during the time of war and his work for the peace and reconciliation efforts. Stephen is working with a Ugandan group SMILE FOR CHILDREN encouraging rural students to attend primary schools and giving the students needed supplies.

An UPdate: Nancy AkumuNancy

ChildrenUP has been supporting Nancy at Makerere University. This is her last semester of undergraduate work. Nancy will be doing field work and thesis writing this semester. We wish her well. She hopes to continue with a master’s degree in the Environment and Natural Resources. Uganda is facing enormous climate change problems in the northeastern sector due to drought and famine. Nancy would like to be in the forefront attacking these problems in Uganda.

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UPbeat Story: Patrick

When we werepicking the top 7 students for sponsorship, Ambrose spoke to us about the eighth student on the list. Patrick had scored well on the exam dOkem Patrickespite the fact that he had no parents and lived with a relative who was often drunk and abusive. We simply did not have the money for an eighth student. When I wrote back to the states, his story found a sympathetic audience. ChildrenUP was able to add him to our secondary group this year.

Patrick had a weekend in the town of Gulu before the beginning of school. I enjoyed his entrepreneurial spirit as he found me at my hotel or around town that weekend. He became my shadow. He still had to buy items for school. I would give him the money and he would faithfully return with the items and receipts. As he had no money, we went out to eat together a few times that weekend.

When asked about his dream after schooling, he answered that he wanted to be there for his younger brother. And this is from a seventh grader.