Here’s a local way to help starving children in Africa

Tue, 09/08/2009 - 3:38pm
By: Letters to the ...

Just a few weeks ago I, with the financial backing of my college, took a seven-week-long service trip to Uganda to help assist in the government initiative of microfinance, among other things.

Upon my arrival I was instantly faced with challenges unlike any I had ever faced before. I had to use the restroom in a small man-made hole in the ground. I ate things (bugs) that still make my stomach churn. And worst of all, I caught malaria. I have fully recovered physically, but there were events that will never escape my memory for as long as I live.

Children would walk long distances for a small bucket of water for drinking. I, however, have clean water anytime I want it.

Many children in the orphanage where I volunteered during my free time did not even have a thin mattress to sleep on at night, while I have a home and a soft bed to enjoy.

And the food situation breaks my heart. I saw children on the streets literally starving to death. The lucky ones in orphanages were given some sort of watered down rice soup each day.

While living in Uganda, I witnessed the reality of hundreds of thousands of children who could not even dream of the lifestyle that I take for granted.

While writing this I am sitting in a comfy overstuffed chair, using my glossy white laptop, in an air-conditioned room, watching my dog sleep soundlessly. Indeed, my dog has fewer worries than these sweet children.

It seems unfair. Why am I the lucky one? My dad says that I am receiving the blessings of many past generations. I want to be a tool used to help future generations of less fortunate people.

I cannot and will not turn a blind eye to this catastrophic way of life in Uganda. The poverty that I lived in during my stay there should not go unnoticed.

I am happy to say that I did see a decent number of organizations trying to give back as best as they could to this land so swollen with poverty and corruption. However, no matter how much good has been done, there still remains a great deal more work to be done.

I want to be able to help people where they need it the most. I want to be able to provide the opportunity for children to succeed.

To accomplish this goal, I have started SOUP (Sponsorship of Orphans in Uganda Project). I want to start small, with zero overhead cost. Money donated will go directly to assist children in two private orphanages I worked in: The New Grace and The Orange Giraffe Orphanages.

These two outposts of love are all that stand between many of these children literally starving on the street or living to see adulthood.

These orphanages were bursting at the seams with children and couldn’t even provide the bare necessities for many of them. Many street children were turned away because there was no space or food left.

The fact is that some of these children CAN have a safe place to sleep, CAN have healthcare, CAN have an education, and CAN know that they will be fed each and every day. For $25 a month you and I can provide a little tyke in Uganda with room and board, healthcare, education and food.

This seems almost unreal, but I have broken down the numbers and cost of every item listed above and it is true. Only 25 bucks a month.

I am working through ELI (Experiential Learning International), a non-profit, tax-deductible organization, because they are already set up to fund worthy causes, without the Ugandan government bureaucracy interfering. If $25 is too much for you, any amount would be greatly appreciated.

You may have heard the story about a man who went fishing for bream with a net; he pulled out of the water 50 bream and one starfish. The man picked up the lonely starfish and threw it back into the sea.

His little son asked his dad why he threw the starfish back, since no one really cared about that one fish and the world would still go on just as it did before with or without it.

The man nodded and said, “You’re right, son, it doesn’t matter to the world but it matters a lot to this one starfish.”

And it is true, SOUP might not save the world, but even if it only helps out one little kid, that’s one more person that it greatly matters to. Please contact me at or 678-773-5567, if interested. Thank you.

Brittany (Brin) Enterkin

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