Anne had a very difficult childhood in Nigeria. This is a song she used to sing when things were bad. Anne now has a graduate degree from USC. Like Anne, our orphans’ stories can have a happy ending too if you will take an interest in them.
Attached are some of the letters from the girls sent to me last Christmas. Angela has a diploma in catering from Father Bodewig Vocational School, Prossy Nangobi will graduate soon with a diploma in business Administration, Zaina will graduate as a child development worker and dreams of starting a kids day care center, then Creenza will graduate with a certificate in civil engineering.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for giving these girls/children the opportunity to get an education and life skills. This will help them survive in this competitive world plus equip them to be able to achieve their dreams.
I can’t thank you enough for giving these children/girls a better future. Surely without your support they would have been already married off and living under very harsh conditions. I would like to say something more about this subject of child marriages. It cuts across countries, cultures and religions. In Uganda it is being fueled by poverty and cultural norms. It is perceived as economic gain if they marry off a young girl and get bride price. It is also a blessing for they have one mouth less to feed.
Such girls are often disempowered, dependent on their husbands, deprived of their rights to health, education and safety. They are nether physically or emotionally ready to become wives or mothers. This puts them at a greater risk of becoming infected with HIV/Aids and suffering domestic violence.
Early marriages affect all aspects of a girl’s life endangering their potential development and wellbeing. I am therefore very grateful to you all for empowering these girls and lowering the risk of them being exposed to all these dangers.
Equipped with life skills and education, they will be able to live a better life and make a contribution to the economic development of our society and their household incomes. Thumbs up for all of you for making a difference in the humble lives of these children!
“Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mine worker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.” Quote from Nelson Mandela
God bless you all!
Peter Keller, Executive Director of Pearls of Africa Children’s Fund, travels to Uganda several times a year to visit Pearls Children’s Home. The children look forward to his visits (is it because he takes them out to lunch in town?) and many refer to him as “Uncle Peter.” Below are letters from two of the children expressing gratitude for Peter and his wife Irene and all who support the home.