WHEN Sue Fyfe compiled a scrapbook to mark the arrival of her latest grandchild, she was acutely aware that many of the photographs she was including pointed to the potential for a bright future for little Lincoln.
He was surrounded by loving parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles; able to access the best in modern health care; with the necessary resources available to ensure he receives a good quality education, when that time arrives.
Such reminders resonate with the former nurse, who continues to wear her heart on her sleeve, along with her husband Paul, as the founders of a Brisbane-based charity, Uganda Kids.
For Sue and Paul, the things available to Lincoln are all too scarce to the children they encounter in the African nation.
They are particularly mindful of the challenges faced by Ugandan families as they strive to ensure their children receive a good, quality education.
“We introduced ‘Kids Finish School’ because we understand that, without an education, the future is certainly bleak for children from poor backgrounds,” Sue said.
Since 2011, more than 300 primary and secondary students have been financially supported by the Fyfes and their small, but loyal, band of donors.
More recently, the Petrie couple were able to secure enough funds to allow the charity to purchase, in the south of Uganda, near Masaka, a parcel of land upon which to establish a farm.
The 4.5 hectare block included a house and one hectare of mature pine trees.
This will hopefully negate the need to buy food for the children in the future.
“As Uganda was, and still is in drought, and many crops have failed, we decided not to plant in the first growing season and instead make improvements to the farm,” Paul said.
“It is now fully fenced, thanks to a significant donation that was made by a listener after an interview with Steve Austin on 612 ABC in May.”
Three large pit toilets also were built, using donated funds, while the land is now ploughed, seeds have been purchased and farm labour has been arranged.
“We now wait for the second season rains,” Sue said.
“Our friends in Uganda are confident that it is coming. In the meantime, the price of maize flour and beans are on the increase. Hopefully, our purchase for Term 3 (the last term in Uganda) will be our final purchase”.
The Fyfes are humbled that their original vision of supporting 50 children has been met, and exceeded.
“Now that we have land,” Paul said, “we want to build a school to support the local farming community, which is 13km from the nearest town.”
Catholic Mission auspices the charity established by the couple and provides access to tax-deductible status for local donors.
To donate to Uganda Kids, and its Kids Finish School program, please visit www.ugandakids.org.au.
By Emilie Ng