“I will never forget my first day at Watoto. I cried when I was given a new pair of shoes, my own bed, new clothes and a nice house. I could not believe that someone would do such a thing for me. I was overwhelmed with joy, ” recalls Ivan Kamwine.
Now 17 and in junior high school, Ivan dreams of becoming a lawyer. He knows that it is up to him to study hard to make his dream come true. He has the backing of his Watoto family, access to good education and the support of sponsors around the world who have given him this opportunity. He knows who he is in Christ.
But that wasn’t always the case.
At the age of 7, Ivan’s only thought was where their next meal would come from. He had a distant dream of being able to go to school, but never thought that would ever be a possibility. But God had a plan for Ivan and his siblings.
“I am thrilled that I have had the opportunity to be educated through Watoto. I am getting equipped with the knowledge that I need to fulfill my potential,” says Ivan.
Prior to joining Watoto, Ivan’s father had passed away leaving three children with a jobless mother.
“I remember my mom washing clothes for the neighbours or digging people’s gardens so that she could earn money so we could eat. But the money was never enough. I never went to school because we couldn’t afford it,” says Ivan.
When Ivan’s mother was diagnosed with cancer, she was taken back to the village since the family did not have money to take her for treatment. A month later, she passed away. “I was heart broken and felt I also needed to die,” recalls Ivan.
Ivan and his siblings were left in the care of their aunt who was barely surviving herself. “When my aunt didn’t have enough food for us, we would go over to the neighbours to beg. At most she would give us food once a day,” Ivan recalls.
In 2004, Watoto rescued Ivan and his siblings. They now live in Watoto’s Suubi Village.
Despite adversity, Ivan is on a steady course to becoming a leader in his community. He already is. Ivan currently heads up Watoto’s Suubi Village cell administration, looking after the spiritual well being of hundreds of residents. He attributes this to the values of responsibility and care that his Watoto mom instilled in him.
“When mom is going to town over the weekend or is sick, I am left in charge of my little brothers and sisters. She has taught me how to cook, do house chores and care for my siblings. This is where I first learnt the meaning of leadership and being responsible,” he gratefully recalls.
Without faithful sponsorship from generous people around the world, there is no hope for children like Ivan and his siblings. We need your help. Sponsor a child, change a story and impact a nation. Go towww.watoto.com/sponsorship.