Jamilah

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Jamilah needs extra financial help because she goes twice yearly to Kampala for an appointment with the only Albino specialist in Uganda. Details below.

Jamilah’s mother died about four years ago.  The community gossip was that she was bewitched, probably blaming Jamila in some way.  Her father then married a woman who made her dislike  for  Jamilah clear, claiming that an albino child in the house brings misfortune. Jamilah was sent to live with her aged grandmother. They are dependent on a very, very small vegetable garden for their food.  

Early in 2023, the grandmother brought Jamilah to us asking for help.  The grandmother had enrolled Jamila in other local schools, but Jamila was badly bullied or ostracized by the other students – and perhaps not even treated well by teachers. With each attempt in a new school, after a short period of time Jamila refused to return.

In much of Africa, albinos are feared, mistreated and/or ostracized. In some countries, albino bones are considered magical; an albino may be murdered and their bones sold to a witch doctor.

Jamila is the second albino child we have accepted at school.  The first was Sarah, almost eight years ago. In 2023, Sarah started attending secondary school where she is doing very well, socially as well as academically. 

When Sarah first arrived at school, we discovered that there was only one physician in Uganda specializing in albinism and caring for the albino community. Following his advice, our school nurse takes the two girls to Kampala, twice a year for checkups.  

The doctor warned us that albinos can never travel by public bus.  He said that the other passengers would be uneasy about having an albino with them.  If an adult or child began to sweat (not uncommon on the non-air conditioned buses in Uganda), she would be thrown off the bus – no matter where it was, no matter if it were in the middle of the night or the middle of nowhere.

When Sarah joined us at school, we explained to them that Sarah is as African as they are. Her skin color makes no difference. She is African. So when Jamilah joined Watoto, she walked into one of few, if any, schools throughout Africa where an albino child is accepted immediately by everyone. 

Jamilah is almost 11 now, and soon to finish her first year at Watoto. Her teachers say she is learning quickly.  

When she arrived, she could not read at all. Here is her latest “non-reader” report:

Jemimah has registered a very good improvement compared to how she was last term, though she still needs attention to help her match the reading ability of her class level. Being an albino, she has sight problems and body jacking which makes her slow in writing and understanding.”

NOTE: We have asked the school to take Jamila to the eye doctor and have glasses made for her. 

Good food, boarding, new clothes, learning quickly and making lots of friends.  It’s a brand new and very wonderful world for Jamilah.

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If you wish to sponsor Jamila, there is additional cost because of the trips to see the doctor. The total cost will be shared 50/50 between you and Sarah’s sponsor, with each party providing, annually, $640 additional cost.  Most of this cost is for hiring a driver with a private vehicle who drives them to Kampala, spends the night and drives them back.

Total annual cost for Jemila = $1400 if by check/ $1430 if by PayPal or Venmo

  • If you would like to pay in two equal, annual payments, 50% on or before January 15 and 50% on or before July 15 , please let us know. 

 If you choose to pay by Venmo or PayPal, please do so ONLY using the “DONATIONS” page. This is the only place on the site where you can type in this amount. 

  • This might be a good opportunity for two friends or relatives to share  sponsorship costs. Please contact the Board President Lornaradio@gmail.com or 312.316.7386 for further information. 

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Please note that there will be an extra charge for Jamila’s trips to the doctor in Kampala twice yearly.  Travel costs will be split 50/50 with Sarah’s sponsor.  

Per Year by check:      $760+630

ON WEBSITE:  $1,480 (includes a PayPal fee).

To pay online, 

  • please go to the “DONATIONS” page

  • type in the amount  of $1480 (don’t worry about the$5.00 in the box, just write over it).)

  • This might be a good opportunity for two friends or relatives to share  sponsorship costs. Please contact educatebwindi@gmail.com or Board President Lornaradio@gmail.com for further information or questions. A reminder that sponsorship should be a commitment to helping the child through primary education. If that is not comfortable, please consider a general donation instead.

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