From Utah to Uganda with love

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While many local students enjoy a multitude of opportunities, many African children struggle for their lives. Photo credit: STOCK.XCHNG

While many local students enjoy a multitude of opportunities, many African children struggle for their lives. Photo credit: STOCK.XCHNG

Benefit concert raises money for medical supplies

How do you create a future? For many, it is something that will take some work; however, in Utah Valley there are many resources to help along the way. One can go to college or work one’s way up in a rewarding career.

Most college students don’t have to seriously consider HIV, AIDS and many other diseases that could possibly stand in the way of the future. Many children in Uganda and all throughout Africa, however, cannot dream about their futures. They can only think of barely surviving one day at a time.

Over 13 million of those living in Africa have died from AIDS. That number is only expected rise, creating a dim view of the future for many children in Africa.

Yet there is a glimmer of hope shining down on the orphans of Uganda. It’s coming from someone who knows where they’re coming from, because he’s been there. His name is David Ssejinja, and he is the founder of The Ssejinja Children’s Foundation. The group brings much needed relief to the children in Uganda.

Ssejinja’s Foundation works to educate children and families in hopes that they will ultimately be able to extend their lives and help prevent the spread of AIDS.

Not only do the children have to worry about HIV/AIDS and malaria, but they are also very poor and lack medical care. Many children go without food, immunizations and a mat to sleep on, let alone a book to read.

Ssejinja has brought many of the services his foundation offers to the children in his hometown of Bira, Uganda. They have brought education and medicine to a place where it is greatly needed. Ssejinja survived a poverty-stricken childhood, and through hard work and education is now able to devote his life to creating opportunities for children much like himself. He gives them hope and a chance.

There are many ways to contribute to the Ssejinja Children’s Foundation. Sponsoring a child, donating funds to help back the foundations endeavors and participating in or attending events are all ways to help.

For students especially, attending an event is something that will take little time and money. The Sunrise over Africa benefit concert is at 6 p.m. on Nov. 23 in the UVU Ballroom. Tickets are only $10 for students and $12 for faculty and community members.

All of the proceeds from this benefit will go to the Foundation to acquire medical supplies for the Ssenjinja Children’s Clinic in Uganda.

Most students have a host of opportunities to improve their lives and better their situations. For the children in Africa, those opportunities are limited. But the Ssenjinja Children’s Foundation and other similar organizations give the children of Africa a fighting chance.