Name: Erecu Samson (prefers to be called Erecu)
Birthdate: April 10, 2012
Age: 6 years old
Favorite food: Beans
Favorite activity: Playing with balls, which he makes by tying rags together
Child is happy when... He is playing football (soccer)
Child wants to be a... Person who takes care of animals
Home information: Erecu is growing up in the village of Bugoi in rural northeastern Uganda. He lives with his father and has four sisters. Their family supports themselves by “digging”—they grow maize and millet for food. However, they struggle to meet all of their needs, especially school fees for the children. Erecu's most immediate needs are education and clothing.
School information: Erecu has not previously been in school. Once he is sponsored, he will join the kindergarten class at the Bugoi Haven of Hope Nursery and Primary School, where he will learn and play, be taught about God, receive meals and medical care, and prepare for nursery or primary school (he 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 meet their basic needs. 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. The local language spoken in Bugoi is Kumam, but children who attend school also learn English, the official language of Uganda.
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