By Sonja Mitchell
“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40
Aunties Angels Inc began four years ago, created by Tiffany White, CEO and founder. After finding a pen pal program from an online site, Tiffany began corresponding with four children in Uganda, Africa. During that time, they were living in a small orphanage with about twenty-five other children. In June 2010, the orphanage closed down due to lack of funding and other issues. These twenty-five children ended up at New Victory Primary School, New Victory Childcare Uganda is a partner of Auntie’s Angels, Inc.
Tiffany wanted to help children in Africa after seeing news footage on television when she was just a child herself. That feeling grew when she had the chance to meet several children from Africa that came to her church for a concert as part of the International Children’s Choir. She continued writing letters to her pen pals over the years and sending small gifts of encouragement. She believes every child deserves a friend. The children at the orphanage are all very needy. The school runs on donations and is in need itself. Everything they receive goes to benefit the children living there.
“For in You the fatherless find compassion.” Hosea 14:3
New Victory Primary School in Uganda was established in 1999, in response to an avalanche of orphans and vulnerable children caused by the HIV/AIDS epidemic and war in Uganda. It’s mission is to enhance the wellbeing of children and foster families through education, counseling, Christian discipleship, sensitizations and income generating activities.
New Victory Primary School provides quality education for over 200 rural children. In addition to academics, the students learn practical farming and cultivation skills by participating in the growing and harvesting of the school’s fields of corn, beans, bananas and other fruits and vegetables.
On the New Victory property there are two dorms; one for boys and one for girls. The poorest orphans are allowed to board here if they have no place to live. The school would like to build large dorms and school offices. Auntie’ s Angels, Inc hopes to bring a group of Ugandan children to America someday to visit local churches, schools, museums and other places in Indiana as a part of an Educational and Cultural tour.
Tiffany provides information about the children who need sponsorships and A.A.I. sponsors are able to write and them gifts in addition to school fees. The kids write back 3-4 times a year, once per term. Most of the classes at New Victory are taught in English so most of the children know how to speak and read the language. The Term “Orphan” has a different meaning in Africa than it does here in the U.S. In American culture an orphan is a child that has lost one or both parents. A “total orphan” is a child who has no parents at all. But most of the children at New Victory live with their mother, an aunt, an uncle or a grandparent. Most children have fathers who have died or abandoned the family.
After previous experiences with organizations either quickly shutting down or not actually helping the children, Tiffany knew she had to go to Africa to see things for herself. Before she agreed to help all of these kids, she needed to see firsthand how very needy they were. Creating an organization takes a lot of time and money to run. Now that she has seen the devastation, she hopes that by providing education, food and other basic necessities, she will also be bringing the hope and care that they need for a better life in the future.
Auntie’s Angels, Inc. provides sponsorship to nearly half of the students at New Victory Primary School. There are two levels of sponsorship: full sponsorship and partial sponsorship. In addition to the sponsorship program, they also raise funds to provide the school with many other needed items. Through generous donations they have been able to provide the school with bunk beds for the boys dorm, new mattresses for both the boys’ and girls’ dorms, hundreds of personal hygiene products such as soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, mosquito nets, many blankets and sheets, shoes and clothes for over a hundred and fifty children, and school supplies for over eighty children.
All of the children that Auntie’s Angels, Inc. assist are living hand-to-mouth. These children had often been seen as a burden to those that were caring for them before. Without being cared for, they just existed along with the rest of their family. Some children were even physically and mentally abused and were made to work or beg for money and food; some were sent away forcing them to live on the street as young as seven years old.
Through Auntie’s Angels Inc, Tiffany along with Ernest, the director of New Victory Primary School, do their best to figure out who is in the most need, give them a place to stay at the school, and try to find sponsors for them. Tiffany saves money to return to the school every year, to see what is needed and to make a plan for the next year. She also enjoys being able to visit the now six children she personally sponsors along with the other two hundred and fifty kids in and around the school.
Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? James 2:15-16
Tiffany runs this organization all by herself from her home. For that there are very few small organizations like Auntie’s Angels, Inc. “I call my charity Auntie’s Angels because the children all call me “Auntie” and they are all truly my angels.” Tiffany shares about choosing the name. Sponsors know exactly where their money goes and even get to see pictures of their sponsored child with their gift and clothes. They know without a doubt that every cent they donate actually goes to benefit them. An office a large staff would mean large administrative fees. She created a website for Auntie’s Angels, Inc. as well as a Yahoo group and a Facebook page where she spreads the word about her organization and the children that are in need of pen pals and sponsorship.
So many children still need a pen pal to encourage them through letters, gifts etc. Join her Yahoo group to sign up to be a pen pal today! http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Ugandaorphans/
If you would like more information about Auntie’s Angels Inc, New Victory Primary School, or sponsoring a child you can contact Tiffany through her website www.auntiesangels.com.
Contributing Writer, B.L.O.G. Magazine
Sonja has been married for 15 years to husband Dave and together they have two daughters, Joann 15, and Kaitlyn 10. She is a graduate of Indiana Business College with a degree in Business Administration and Finance. Sonja accepted her calling to ministry in 2002 with a passion for teaching and leading youth. Her background includes pre-K Sunday school teacher, 1-5th grade youth leader, junior high youth leader, worship team member, Upward Soccer and Cheerleading coach volunteer as well as many community outreach programs. She loves to teach others how to put their creativity to good use with her quick, affordable and easy tips