Saturday, April 1, 2017

One Story - One Life Changed Forever

THANK YOU for investing your prayers and your support in African Children Today... here’s a story of one life changed by your gifts of love!

It was dawn on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 when a young woman walked into the office gates. She was weak and wet from the morning dew, and with swollen eyes she asked for Mr. Richard.  Through exhausted tears, she shared parts of her story, and revealed her name as Marion.  Even before finishing her story, she fell into a much needed sleep.

A few hours later that same day, two more children walked into our Rakai office, 8 year old John and 10 year old Carol. They were desperately hungry and asked for help finding their older sister. As their story unfolded, we learned that their mother had recently died and they were staying with their only sister.  But now that sister had disappeared and Carol said, “We need a place to stay and our sister is no more.”

It was now dusk, the same day and Marion woke up from her nine hour ‘nap’ while we were still listening to our ‘visitors’ and praying for ways to find any family members who could help. Carol was first to see Marion and she ran quickly to her.  They hugged and cried and hugged some more – for you see, Marion was the big sister that Carol feared was “no more”.  They had lost their mother two weeks before and survival was very challenging. Their dream for education had been shattered.

Isn’t it amazing how God makes connections?!? The next day, we found temporary homes for each child. And the very next day, Marion started volunteering in our office.   We quickly realized Marion’s gifts and potential. As one staff member commented, ‘her smile, energy and enthusiasm are going to be a blessing for this world.’  With God’s guidance, we found several ACT sponsors for Marion so she could continue her education. With much excitement and a grateful heart, Marion started at the University in August 2013.

On February 24, 2017 – exactly 1,422 days later -  Marion graduated with a degree in social work and administration. Her smile in this picture is a testimony that her world has been unlocked! Marion is now determined to raise her siblings and help Carol and John get their college degrees also.

One Story – One Life Changed!  Marion’s story is a true testimony of what ACT sponsorship can do! Marion is now an equipped leader, ready to serve the community of Rakai, starting with her own family.

Your gifts and sponsorship make a world of difference in the life of one person, one family, one community! THANK YOU! 

May God Almighty bless you!

Richard Mutaawe

Know someone who might sponsor a child?

There are more children who need a loving sponsor to help them get the education they need to reach their God-given potential. It doesn't cost much...only $30 dollars a month for one child. Perhaps you might consider adopting another child OR passing along this blog post to someone who might decide to sponsor one of the following girls and change their life forever!

Jennifer Nakaggwa is in 4th grade (primary) and wants to be a pilot! She lives with her grandmother, Cissy who has challenges that cause her to occasionally leave the family. Jennifer and her 4 sisters not only struggle to get food but attend school sporadically. She could really need the help of a sponsor!

Sumayiya Nakalema is in 6th grade (primary). Her father is Muslim and has abandoned the family. Without his support, Sumayiya and her family struggles for survival. She dreams to become a doctor and with her hardworking attitude and someone to sponsor her, she will make it!

We're Making Progress at the School!

Things are moving! The walls are going up on the Teacher House brick by brick. Soon there will be children filling the classrooms to learn, to grow, and to be given the important keys for success! Thank you for your faithful support, encouragement and financial gifts! You are making a big difference in Rakai, Uganda!

Monday, December 26, 2016

A Word of Thanks!

Giving Thanks...

I hope you had memorable Thanksgiving & Christmas weekends with your family and friends.  It is a special time of year to pause for a moment and give thanks for the many ways we have been blessed in the past year.  You have shared those blessings with the women and children of Rakai, Uganda.  On behalf of African Children Today, thank you for that love and support!

A team of 10 hearty souls traveled to Rakai this fall, where we had an opportunity to visit the children sponsored through ACT.  We also were able to see all of the projects that are providing a sustainable income to so many women.

  • Amazing Grace Bakery employs 25 people, supports many more by providing bread at a wholesale price so women can sell it in their shops, and produces 1500 loaves of bread every day.
  • Welding and Carpentry Shops are busily providing for local construction needs and job training.
  • Hope Again Women’s Ministry - 150 devoted women producing jewelry and baskets providing sustainable income.
  • Construction site of the new school which will provide 1500 children a quality education and training to become the Christian leaders of tomorrow. 
It is such an uplifting experience to see the smiles on the faces of the women and children, and understand first-hand how the entire community is benefiting from your love and support.

As I look back over the 20 years I have been involved in Rakai, one child exemplifies the change you can make through your support more than any other.  Emmanuel was a 2 1/2 year old boy who could not stand due to severe malnutrition and neglect and was close to death.  Two years later he is an energetic boy who loves school and has a beautiful smile.  This is the kind of difference you are making.  You are saving lives.

Wishing you a blessed New Year!

Ann Hill

P.S. If you'd like some ideas about year-end giving, see below

As you consider year-end giving, please consider a gift for a child in Rakai - either your sponsored child or a child in need.  A gift that “keeps on giving” will be greatly appreciated.  For $20 you can give a pair of chickens, or $40 will purchase a pig - ways to provide family income for years to come.  When you make a donation to your sponsored child, the staff will visit the family to determine what is most needed and will make sure your child receives a special gift.

Perhaps you would like to make a donation toward the construction of the new school - every gift is needed to realize our dream of opening the school next year.   Give a gift to friends and family by making an ACT donation in their honor - we will send them a card acknowledging the gift.  (If you choose to do this, please send an email to with the name and address of the person or indicate you would like to receive the card!)

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Healing Lauza

Feed My Starving Children just published a blog post about little Lauza in Rakai. We are so grateful for the meals we receive from FMSC – good, balanced nutrition every day that is saving children like Lauza, Emma and thousands more. Read Lauza's story on the FMSC blog.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Amazing Grace Bakery

In the past, bread and other bakery products sold in Rakai and surrounding areas were transported from over 60 miles away and did not arrive on any regular schedule. Often weather, bad roads and lack of fuel meant that no bread was delivered to the area for some time. The bread which did arrive for sale in Rakai was old and very expensive. RODI determined there was a great market potential for bakery products.  A bakery would bring income to women in the Hope Again Women’s program while at the same time providing an important service to the community.

And so the Amazing Grace Bakery was conceived.  Through generous donations from Grace Lutheran Church in Andover and gifts that came from communities from Maple Plain, Minnesota to New York City, the bakery has been built and is open for business.  Generous donations funded a truck needed to distribute bread to local trading areas throughout the district. Thanks to you, the bakery is a bustling business in the heart of Rakai.

Within the first two months of operation, the bakery was generating a profit.  In February alone, the bakery produced 5,341 2-pound loaves, 9,218 1-pound loaves and 124,166 assorted buns.    Each sponsored child received a 2-pound loaf of fresh bread at Christmas.   And now the RODI team is developing new products and new distribution methods to increase revenue, with the goal of supporting more women and ensuring more children receive quality education.

We are so grateful for the gifts that made this dream a reality!

Would you commit to one new way to support Rakai? Here are a few ideas:
  • We are growing our email distribution list.  Do you know of anyone who would like to receive updates?  Send their name and email address to
  • Make a donation to help fund another container of Feed My Starving Children food for children in Rakai.  The last shipment will run out soon and another is ready to go – we are only waiting to raise the necessary shipping funds.
  • Please pray for strength, wisdom and energy for Richard, Johnson and the entire RODI staff.  And pray for discernment as they develop plans for our next project – a new boarding school for orphans!

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

    2015: A Mustard Seed Grows

    Dear Sponsor,

    I would like to take a moment to thank you for your support of the women and children of Rakai.  I am humbled and excited to share the highlights of the past year:

    • 170 children are now sponsored through African Children Today.
    • The Amazing Grace Bakery was built and is now selling an amazing amount of bread.  Last week the bakery produced 1,668 2-pound loaves, 2,893 1-pound loaves and 17,094 buns. The bakery is run by the Hope Again Women's program and is now producing an income which will be used to pay fees for children who were previously unable to attend school.
    • 275,000 meals from Feed My Starving Children were delivered to the children in Rakai.
    • New products from the Hope Again Women have helped sales increase dramatically.
    • Construction has begun on a new welding shop which will provide apprenticeships for sponsored children going into the building trade.
    • A huge milestone: $1 million has been sent to Rakai since the inception of ACT and RODI.

    These accomplishments would not be possible without the support of YOU!  We are so grateful! 

    Please take a moment to read Richard's thoughts as the year comes to a close.  

    There is so much work still to be done. All of the administrative expenses of the RODI staff members - those in Rakai who care for the children and provide support and encouragement to the women - are raised separately from any sponsorships or designated gifts. Please consider a tax-deductible donation, sent to PO Box 390123, Edina, MN 55439.

    I would love to hear from each with you (and buy a cup of coffee for those of you in town!) to hear about your sponsorship experience and any thoughts or suggestions you might have to improve the work of ACT and RODI.  Lives will be changed if we all work together.

    Blessing to you for a wonderful New Year!

    Tuesday, November 17, 2015

    There Was a Boy Who Was About to Die

    Emmanuel ("Emma") was 2 1/2 years old and weighed 9 pounds when members of the Hope Again Women’s group told Richard that there was a boy who was about to die. Emma, his sister Joan (5), and his brother Joseph (7) were cared for by their step-brother Brian, who is 11. All of the children were severely malnourished. RODI stepped in to save the lives of these children. They now receive Feed My Starving Children food and Emma weighs 22 pounds! Their health has improved dramatically and RODI is enabling the older children to go to school.

    Thank you for caring about the children of Rakai. Look forward to regular updates! Hear more by watching Emma's video at You will feel like you are in Rakai having a conversation with Richard and Johnson!

    Comments? Send an email to

    Friday, September 27, 2013

    Healing a Hurting Heart

    With a grateful heart, Mike Muteesasira spontaneously wrapped himself in an unexpected gift from his sponsor. After years of caring for his father and brother, they recently died. Mike's mother predeceased them in 2009, having been an active member of the Hope Again Women. Throughout his family's struggles, Mike has consistently been a top performing student. Along with his regular school tuition support, Mike's sponsor reached out during this time of loss by sending funds to purchase additional household items to help Mike move forward. Kindness heals hurting hearts. Contact ACT to learn how you can be a part of it.