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Small effort, big impact

Dear friends

When we help, it never just benefits individuals, but always society as a whole. We call this “turning one shilling into two”.

For example, when we prevent illiteracy. Strengthening self-confidence and practical skills. Avoiding crises. We make the biggest difference when we start with the poorest of the poor. Where no one else helps.

In a spirit of humility and solidarity. Because people make society. That’s obvious. Where else should social development begin?

Teacher Christine – a fighter for the weak

Let me give you an example. Our long-time teacher Christine founded the “10+ Project” two years ago. With the simplest of means, she makes an invaluable contribution to education, social integration and development. That is why she is a hero. She dared to do something. Convinced her husband to support her. Mobilized us (we are fans). For Uganda. For Bwerenga (our community). But above all: for every young person and every family she can help. And there are many of them.

10+ is a school for children who are older than 10 and can neither read nor write. Illiteracy creates a lot of shame for children. In addition, there is often child labor, not to mention abuse. But here they can knock on the door, feel safe and learn. Step by step. They don’t have to be ashamed. They are not asked for school fees. 10+ helps them. With empathetic teachers and a hot meal a day. That is invaluable. This is how a new day can begin. This is how a life can take a different turn. This is how social development happens.

What you need to know: Uganda is home to Africa’s largest refugee population – around 2 million people, most of them children. Around 60 percent come from South Sudan, a third from Congo. Most of the refugee children have never attended school. They do not speak English, cannot read, write or do arithmetic. No one helps them. Teacher Christine and we know this. Many of them live in our neighborhood. Their fathers mostly live from fishing. But there is usually not much left for the children. In their cramped settlements of plastic huts, they lack everything. I won’t go into details now – they are breeding grounds for cycles of poverty.

How illiteracy sets societies back

Since Uganda’s two-year school closures during the pandemic, illiteracy has been a growing problem. many schools have never reopened. Many school-age children have never been to school in the last four years. But a person who cannot read, write or do arithmetic finds it very difficult to lead an independent life. When applying for jobs, the simplest forms become a gauntlet.

Price tags, invoices, medicine labels – with all these things, the person must always ask for help to understand. It’s no wonder that people who are unable to process basic information independently end up in a vicious circle. A vicious circle that also burdens their family, their environment and their society. They are poorly paid, taken advantage of and socially excluded. We know many situations like this. Most of these people live in poverty, shame and seclusion.

My son Valentin has experienced many such situations in his detailed study of our scholarship program. In his study, you can read in detail why every shilling that helps prevent illiteracy is a shilling well spent.

What counts

So what matters most? With projects like 10+ and others, we avoid illiteracy. What Teacher Christine and many others are doing is invaluable. Together we want even more. We teach our protégés practical skills – textiles, mechanics, agriculture, tourism, to name just a few examples.

We attach great importance to sport and art. On a healthy lifestyle. On imagination and critical thinking. And today’s Christmas Day celebrates perhaps the most important thing of all: love. Without it, there would be no friendship, no families, no society, no peace.

That is why we always focus on the whole person and their inviolable dignity. Every person carries so many sparkling treasures and gifts. However, fate has often hidden them from our protégés. But we believe in them, in their dignity and their responsibility. And we believe that most of the people we help go on to help many more others. This is how social development comes about. We want to pave the way for this for our protégés.

Thank you for your help. We depend on it – now more than ever. Rest assured: every shilling is worth twice as much!

Our protégés, our Board of Directors and I wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of our hearts.

Best wishes, always yours

Burkhard Varnholt

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Kids of Africa guarantees that one hundred per cent of every franc donated reaches our many protégés.

Because we believe in each of them! Thank you for your help!

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