sponsor a child

Born to overcome

Nikki Sealey reflects as her sponsored child, Edson, graduates in Western Uganda.

Today is a big day. We received news that our first sponsored child Tuhame Edson graduated from the Compassion program in Uganda, completed his Vocational Training and is about to begin a new season.

10 years of sponsorship… I remember walking up to a Compassion stand in 2005. My eyes locked on the face of the little nine-year-old with the unsure eyes and thought, yeah, I think we’re both a bit uncertain, so let’s give this a go, you and I.

Being born with clubfoot and born into extreme poverty is a doubly hard deal. And yet he was also born to be an even greater overcomer.


I witnessed it first hand when I visited Edson and his family in western Uganda on two precious occasions. We were both nervous that first meeting, both unsure of what to say, him shyly waving a small British flag, me with a wavering, tear-blurred smile and words stuck somewhere in my heart. On my second visit he heard the jeep coming and loped alongside, waving to me, an ear-to-ear smile splitting his face as we pulled up through the banana trees to his family home.

Thank God for Compassion, thank God for the local church in his community who saw the potential in him and chose to help him get on his feet, quite literally. Through an operation, leg braces to help him learn to walk, physiotherapy and encouragement, he became physically strong, exuding a quiet confidence that went far deeper.

Most sponsored children don’t go on to become doctors, lawyers, engineers or have seats in government. Quite a few do. But most quietly find that one thing they are good at and give that skill back to their community to the best of their ability. I personally think this is where the greatest transformation comes in communities; each of us giving back what we love and what we learn to those around us.

Our Edson is now a qualified barber and is passionate about training others. He is setting up his own salon and wants to set up a training centre in the local town to see others skilled too. And, he wants to sponsor a child himself! He is a leader and a businessman with a pastoral heart. He has vision, hope and a very promising future.


It’s why we do this isn’t it? It’s not about rescuing  someone from poverty or their circumstances. It’s not pity. It’s not the grand western gesture, a pompous hand reaching down to lift someone out of a sad predicament. It’s simply this: We are global citizens with a faith that says love your neighbour as yourself and a realization that everyone, regardless of where they are born or what they are born into should have the opportunity to fulfill the dream they have for their life. We give because he is our brother or she is our sister and if we have something, anything, we give it because we simply have the ability to do so.

Surely that’s as complicated as it gets.

So today I will be writing to him one last time to say thank you, to tell him that he actually changed my life in specific ways. He gave me a bigger world perspective. He taught me that you are never too young (or old) to learn how to overcome challenges with humility, courage and a smile. He taught me about the importance of a lifestyle of generosity and showed me every person has a story worth telling, worth listening to. But above all, I’m going to tell him that he is one of the most outstanding human beings I’ve ever met and he will always have a place of importance in our family.

WORDS : Nikki Sealey

PHOTOS : Compassion UK

Comments are closed.

Article Comments


Leave a comment

Leave A Comment



Voices from Children Facing Poverty and Disability

Be inspired by the courage and determination of children around the world.



The Tear-jerking Meeting 11 Years in The Making

“She appeared out of nowhere, I didn’t see her coming! But she just threw herself at me. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that moment.”


If Poverty Could Speak to You, What Would it Say?

“Poverty began to speak to me as a child. I felt I was nothing … Nobody cared to know my name,” remembers Richmond from Uganda.


My Alopecia Story: How Poverty Led to Hair Loss

“I had a weakness which became my strength.”


What’s in Your School Bag? 15 Photos from Around the World

At the start of a new term, children from Togo to Peru give us a peek into their school rucksacks!


Inspirational Quotes by Mother Teresa

As we honour Mother Teresa’s birthday, let these inspirational quotes about mothers, children and compassion remind us of God’s call.


Liseth’s Story: “I Was Blind But God Gave Me New Eyes”

Doctors told Liseth she was going blind. But then her Compassion project stepped in to provide sight-saving medical care.


They Tried to Kill My Daughter Because She Was Different

Grace was born without legs and with only one fully developed arm. And yet, nothing can stop her.


Curry & Comedy: A Live Cooking Show, Like Never Before

Would your church be interested in hosting an evening of tasty curry and great comedy?


The 12-year-old blind boy fighting disability injustice

Meet Neyfer, a courageous young boy bringing change to the visually impaired in Honduras.



29 good news stories on the 29th World Aids Day

To mark the 29th World Aids Day, we share 29 signs of hope that the goal for an AIDS-free world by 2030 is achievable.