Broadway Presbyterian Church is a long-time supporter of the non-profit organization Children of Uganda.
In the 1990s, Uganda was hard hit by poverty, civil unrest, and HIV/AIDS, which combined forces to leave millions of children orphaned. Children of Uganda (COU), formerly known as the Ugandan Children’s Charity Foundation, was formed in 1995 out of a partnership between a Ugandan nun and American volunteers.
The need for aid remains great in Uganda, which now has an estimated 3.5 million orphans and many millions more children identified as “vulnerable” for other reasons. COU currently takes care of hundreds of needy children, from kindergarten through college or vocational training.
For most of the organization’s 17-year history, BPC and its members have supported the children of COU. Church member Eleanor Donaldson traveled to Uganda in 2002, and following in her footsteps many BPC members have traveled to Uganda serving as teachers, counselors, child sponsors, and friends...and have come back with stories to tell.
A series of BPC members have served on the COU Board of Directors as well, Talitha Phillips most recently. And, every few years, Children of Uganda brings their talented dance troupe to the US on a fundraising tour, the “Tour of Light.” They have performed many times in the BPC sanctuary. In February 2012, the Tour of Light once again graced the BPC stage with their presence. Patrick Mahaney, a talented church member who runs our sound system, set up speakers on the steps outside that drew a constant stream of audience members from the street, lured by the sound of powerful drums and delightful young voices. The performers demonstrated traditional cultural dances with commanding skill, and shared tender stories of growing up amidst hardship. After the performance had ended and the stage had been cleared, teenage Ugandans snuck back out on stage to greet their new friends and, in the spirit of cultural exchange, they learned how to salsa. Learn more at www.childrenofuganda.org.