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Orphan, Fisherman, Cook, Student, Graduate, Teacher

Richard Olweny, a sponsored child from Uganda, takes us on his journey of transformation...
I dropped out of school at 12 years old because my guardian could no longer afford to pay my fees. My father had died when I was much younger; he and my mother had divorced. The only option I had left was to go fishing like other parentless boys in my village. We considered ourselves fortunate that our village (Butembe village in Nyenga subcounty, Buikwe District) was located along the lakeshore, near a pier.

In January 2005, some children from my village (Butembe) received sponsorship to attend International Needs’ Makonge Mixed Primary School and moved from Butembe, to be closer to the school in Buikwe. Some of these children belonged to my aunt—my cousins. My aunt asked me to go and look after her children while they attended school. I could cook for them as a means of survival. I did this work happily and saw God’s grace. An International Needs Community Development Officer came for a field visit and enrolled me in school. After 1 year, I received sponsorship. With this assistance from International Needs Uganda, I was able to continue with my studies. In June this year I completed my studies with a Diploma in Education. I am the first graduate in my village.

I thank God that International Needs Uganda made this possible for me. Through International Needs Uganda I came to know Jesus as my personal saviour. My life has been transformed, and my future is bright. I thank International Needs Uganda for recognizing my individual need. I would also like to express my gratitude to my sponsor. Without your support my life would be miserable. God bless you.

Richard Olweny is now contributing to his community by volunteering as an Agriculture teacher at Buikwe Senior Secondary School.

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