Wow... This post gives me shivers every time I read it. I feel so lucky to be friends with Anna, she is a very selfless person. Life Charity Focus is a wonderful organisation, which you will soon read. My sponsor child, Mercy is an idol of mine. She is a resilient, amazing young girl who brings me such joy. In such a time we are in, I'm so grateful there are people like Anna and her family, I am honestly honoured to share Life Charity Focus. I encourage you connect with Anna, she is passionate, full of knowledge and is honestly just a down right beautiful human.
LIFE CHARITY FOCUS
So Life Charity Focus (LCF) is a non-for-profit organisation operating in Uganda. It’s difficult to define LCF, yes we are a charity, but we are also so much more than that. It was established in 2015 by my parents in Nyngan NSW. LCF was co-founded by a man named Moses Goire, who was a former sponsor child of my mum and dads. As a family, we sponsored Moses when he was 8 years old. My two sisters and I picked him off a website and were excited to finally have a brother. We grew up sending letters and gifts, and always dreaming of going to Africa to meet our brother. My parents put Moses through university and promised him that if he passed uni they would bring him to Australia for the first time. So Moses, 22 at the time, came to Australia and met us all for the very first time.
On that first trip to Aus, Moses shared his vision of starting up his own sponsorship program, as a way of saying thank you to us. Moses, now 37 years of age, married with four children of his own, co-founded the sponsorship program LCF. Then in 2016, we raised money to build a private school in our community, Budaka. We now educate 1400 students at our school!
Added question (leave in or take out, doesn’t bother me at all – I just thought it would answer anyone’s questions on how I became so heavily involved).
Q. Obviously you have always been involved with LCF, but how did you personally become so heavily involved in the admin side of things?
My mum ran the charity for years, back when we had 25 kids sponsored and 50 students in our school. I was always involved, but I didn’t share the same passion as what mum did. Then in 2016, my father broke his neck, making mum a full time carer. Uncertain about dad’s future, 20 year old me agreed to take on the admin side of things. I did my first solo trip to Uganda in 2017 and my passion for LCF began there. Since then, I have become the CEO and voluntarily do all of the admin!
Through connections of my sister, Chloe. I was able to see the wonderful, impactful work you do. I know it is very selfless and I love the trust I have knowing I can connect with my sponsor child, where my money is going and dealing with a 'real' person. What does behind the scenes look like for you?
Behind the scenes is a rewarding, chaotic, beautiful ‘mess’. What you see is community engagement, lives changed, happy kids…and what you don’t see is the persistence, failure and disappointment, planning, paperwork, sacrifice and lots of hard work.
Being established by a former sponsor child, we worked with Moses to use his personal sponsor experiences to shape our own program. With this in mind, we made a commitment to ensure our sponsor kiddos receive every cent, no admin fees, no middle man, just a bunch of amazing volunteers running a beautiful charity. I volunteer my time completing all admin work for LCF, as well as working part time as a Speech Pathologist. LCF is a huge part of my life, and no matter the challenges I face, the rewards always outweigh the disappointments.
What is the most heart-breaking moment you have had since running this family organisation?
Man, this is tough. There is so many heart-breaking moments that I struggle to put down on paper. Over the years, I have become so desensitized to the heart break I see and deal with in Uganda. After going year after year, I realized what I called heart break was really just their reality. I could tell you about all of the heart-breaking moments of finding some of our kids with disabilities hidden in homes, malnourished and abused, but a defining moment for me, was when our sweet boy with down syndrome, also named Moses, died. Uganda as a nation is behind in more ways than one, with accepting disability being one of these. People with disabilities are hidden, abused, rejected and shamed. I once found this little boy Moses in a village, hidden under a hessian bag. We enrolled him on the LCF program where he was thriving. He became really ill with malaria, and then pneumonia. We tried and tried to get him admitted to a hospital to get the care he needed. After begging, one hospital did admit him, but refused to give him the care he needed to survive, all because he had a disability. So Moses died a cruel preventable death. I remember I was in Australia at the same when I got the phone call. I was so broken and mad, and there was nothing I could do on the other side
of the world.