Name: Ayaro Mercy (prefers to be called Mercy)
Birthdate: June 6, 2012
Age: 6 years old
Favorite food: Beans
Favorite activity: Playing with balls, which she makes out of rags
Child is happy when... She is playing
Child wants to be a... Nurse
Home information: Mercy is growing up in the village of Bugoi in rural northeastern Uganda. She lives with her grandfather, who serves as watchman at the Haven of Hope school. Her mother and father, who also reside in the village, support their family by “digging”—they grow cassava and beans for food. Mercy has five brothers and six sisters. The family struggles to meet all of their needs, especially school fees for the children. Mercy's most immediate needs are education and clothing.
School information: Mercy has not previously been in school. Once she is sponsored, she will join the kindergarten class at the Bugoi Haven of Hope Nursery and Primary School, where she will learn and play, be taught about God, receive meals and medical care, and prepare for nursery or primary school (she will be placed appropriately). In Uganda, nursery school lasts for three years and is followed by seven years of primary school and six years of secondary school.
Village information: In Bugoi, most people live in small groupings of mud huts with thatched roofs and depend on small-scale farming or gardening to feed themselves. This is often made difficult by drought, which can lead to poor harvests and famine. The Haven of Hope school is located near a lake, where some villagers also engage in fishing. Families tend to be large, and many adults care for orphans in addition to their biological children. Disease, including HIV and AIDS, is common and has left many children without one or both of their parents. Poverty also keeps many children from attending school, as families struggle to meet their basic needs and afford school fees.
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