Our entire team at Just Like My Child Foundation is excited to announce Marissa Uvanović as our new Country Director, headquartered in Luwero, Uganda. Her values strongly align with JLMC’s philosophy of a ‘hand-up’ not a ‘hand-out’, as her personal goals for programming include creating communities that are self-reliant, sustainable, and empowered. Marissa’s professional and personal experiences have inspired her to dedicate her career to serving marginalized groups and advocating for equality and justice, which makes her a perfect fit with Just Like My Child Foundation’s initiatives and goals.
“I am happy to JLMC for sending me to watch this National competition. Honestly, it is fun and am glad to inform you that Magogo is doing so well in its competition compared to the first class schools it’s battling against like Namugongo, Kabojja, Ndejje – for no one believes it is their first time in the Nationals! There are 42 schools in the competition from all parts of the country and it is amazing. The children are so happy and grateful to JLMC for the support and here Magogo is rejoicing!”
While visiting several of the schools participating in JLMC’s Girl Power Project, Connie Viveros from The Collective Heart and Cynthia Kersey from Unstoppable got to witness strong testimonials from the girls, who were eager to share what they’ve learned. One young girl boldly got up to say, “I learned how to not get pregnant.” Another young girl stated, “I learned that I need to stay in school.” Yet another girl said, “I learned how to fend off unwanted sexual advances.”
In the past six months alone, Just Like My Child’s community outreach clinic has saved over 240 lives from the devastating affects of malaria. Of the 240 lives saved, 86 were children and 6 were pregnant women.
Because of the AIDS epidemic in Uganda, a generation has gone missing. It’s not uncommon to see elderly women caring for flocks of children who were left orphaned by this deadly disease. A 70-year-old woman who had five children of her own can be left to care for up to 12 of her children’s children. To say that grandmothers are essential in Uganda is an understatement. That’s one of the reasons why our Project Keep a Mother Alive conducts health clinics in communities where grandmothers like Nadine (see below) don’t have the resources, time or energy to visit a health center.