If you’ve been following our 15 Christian bloggers on their trip to Uganda you’ve seen only a glimpse of what it’s like to live in extreme poverty. It’s an outside view of Compassion’s ministry.
Today we present part two in a series of blog posts from staffers of Compassion Uganda who will give you an inside look into how Compassion’s ministry operates among the poorest of the poor.
The Child Survival Program (CSP) serves caregivers, infants and toddlers in some of the world’s poorest communities. Caregivers enrolled in CSP are visited each week by dedicated staff, whose passion is to bring health and healing to homes affected by poverty. Patience Musiime, a CSP specialist in Uganda, shares her favorite stories of hope from the Child Survival Program.
In 2004, Uganda opened our first Child Survival Program. At the Bugongi CSP, we have seen so much happen in just four years. In the Bugongi CSP, all of our 20 pregnant mothers have given birth to bouncing, healthy babies. This is a miracle! In Uganda, 200,000 children under the age of 5 die every year. But the babies in CSP are living!
In Uganda’s CSPs, we first understand that a mother must be healthy if she is to take care of her children. So we make sure our mothers go to a licensed health care center for their medical care, both before and after the baby is born. Since hundreds of thousands of mothers and children in Uganda are infected with AIDS, we also make sure to teach our mothers about protecting themselves and their families from this disease. For mothers who have HIV, we arrange medical care and teach them income-generating activities. But CSP is not just about caring for a family’s physical needs. We believe spiritual poverty is just as deadly as physical poverty.
In the first year that the Bugongi CSP was open, two mothers made a commitment to Christ. Today, 75 of our mothers know Christ as their Savior. These mothers are able to attend Bible studies, discipleship classes and home fellowships. Also, when we visit the homes of these mothers, we pray with them and help them understand how much Jesus loves them.We believe that we can end poverty for the families in our Child Survival Programs. If we can teach our mothers income-generating activities, they can help support their families and gain confidence.
Bugongi CSP runs an adult literacy class, and 26 mothers who formerly could not read and write now write their names, do simple arithmetic. and read in the local languages. Five mothers have successfully graduated with certificates in fashion and design. Mothers are also given skills in crocheting and home baking.
If you could visit us at the Bugongi CSP, I would introduce you to so many of our mothers whose lives have been changed. You would meet Mary, mother to Doreen, who tells us, “CSP has helped me through parenting seminars to attain parenting skills. My child now looks healthy. I have learned to read and write. I now can write my name. I gave my life to Christ through evangelism sessions in CSP.”
And you could meet Anne, who is enrolled with her twins Angel and Andrew. She told me, “CSP has done a lot in my life. I have learned how to prepare a rich meal for my children, the importance of immunization and how to live peacefully with other people. I can now talk in public and I really love my children, play with them and teach them.”
CSP is changing lives. So far, we have witnessed 46 of our children transfer to the sponsorship program. These children are well developed physically, spiritually, socially and mentally. All because there are CSP partners who believe in releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name.