OFY Cares Blog

I have told the following story verbally to many people who talk to me about my experiences in Uganda. I thought it was about time that I put it in writing. My only concern it that it will be too long. I have to break it up into two parts. So, here’s Part I.

My two friends and I arrived in Kampala on a Saturday afternoon in February, 2013. It was my first trip and we were staying at a ‘guesthouse’ at the top of a steep hill. At the base of that hill was a ‘babies home,’ an orphanage, caring for about 50 children ranging in age from newborn to 5 years old. We went down in the late afternoon/early evening to volunteer watching the children and assist the paid staff with some of their duties.

When you are a “Mzungu,” a white person in Uganda, you are seen as a wealthy individual. You are rich in the eyes of a Ugandan. And truthfully, you are wealthy; very wealthy compared to the average Ugandan.

Ugandans will pay attention to you…they wonder why you are in their country. Are you there to help them? Are you volunteering toward a humanitarian effort? Are you adopting one of their children? Any number of other questions pops into their minds. Most Ugandans are very friendly and will talk to you if you are polite with them and begin by greeting them. The attention that Ugandans spend upon us Mzungus fuels our natural tendency to be proud of who we are and what we can do with our resources.

Often one of the largest obstacles for families who are considering international adoption is the cost. At OFY we understand that funding an adoption, especially an international adoption, is very expensive. While many individuals and couples have the desire, skills and resources to care for a child, the initial costs keep them from adopting.  Although the expenses can seem overwhelming, we are committed to helping families explore options to make adoption more affordable.  Fortunately, there are some funding sources available to help with the cost of adoption. 

I was up early watching the news late last week regarding the violence occurring in the Central African Republic. The piece was on the refugees being created by the warring factions and the resultant camps being set up so that people who are surviving the violence can do just that…survive…barely.

Every Year around Christmas time OFY receives some phone calls from individuals and groups who are interested in donating gifts for foster or adopted children that we serve. Every year, I find myself wondering how a donor happened to call us. Why OFY?  We work with foster and adopted children. We have just begun working in Uganda where we will work with orphanages to help provide foster care and international adoption services for children living in poverty.  Many other organizations do similar work and most, if not all, of us hope to make the world a better place. There are so many organizations for a donor to choose from, all competing for the donations that will help them make a difference in their world.  How does a donor choose OFY?


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