Inga Eiriksdottir worked as a volunteer for ABC Children's Aid in Uganda in the summer of 2015. She wrote about her experience in ABC's first magazine and among other things she said; "I was fortunate enough to spend last summer as a volunteer for ABC in Uganda. It was a fantastic experience."

While there she asked students in the ABC schools to write down their hopes and dreams on a piece of paper. Here is an example of what some of the children wrote down.

Kirumira Dissan wants to be a pilot.

Nampiima Catherine also wants to be a pilot.

Lukwago Shafic aims to be a surgeon.

With the children able to receive an education there's nothing they can't strive for. There's a good chance that within a few years there will be two pilots and one surgeon relaying to other students their experiences at the ABC schools. There they will undoubtedly stress the importance of everybody being able to study.

 

Dossi Hyacinthe Wilfried is a student in École ABC de Bobo in Burkina Faso. Of special note is the fact that he is the first student to be awarded a place in the school.

Hinrik Thorsteinsson and Gully Jonasdottir are the school‘s directors. They were asked to represent ABC Children‘s Aid in the country and they headed out in 2007. A company named Atorka Group donated to ABC a large amount of money for the purpose of starting a school in Burkina Faso and initially an old school building was used. Hinrik and Gully collaborated with natives in choosing the 100 or so children that would start their studies in the then upcoming school. „To us everybody were living in extreme poverty and some had absolutely nothing and those were the ones chosen for the school. That‘s what ABC stands for; helping those who don‘t have any hope,“ Hinrik said in an interview.

Hinrik and Gully were staying with friends at the time when the school was being prepared. Right across from them on a large plot of land were huts that housed a large family. There lived a man with his children and grandchildren. One of his daugters was a single mother of three and among the children was Dossi who became the first child admitted to the school. „He got to go to school and thus became the first child chosen. Our son, who was just twenty at the time, wanted to become his sponsor,“ says Gully. Dossi‘s family lived in dire circumstances and in the city of Bobo Dioulasso is a large area that‘s completely poverty stricken and illiteracy is among the highest in the world in Burkina Faso.

„Dossi has done well and he is a very good and affectionate boy. He has a lot of dignity and he is very hard working. I expect a lot from him in the future,“ says Gully.

 

The Nordic School Run is an annual event and was first held in 1984. Every elementary school in Scandinavia can participate and Icelandic students have been taking part in big numbers. With this event the main reason is to encourage students to get excercise and thus aim for a better and healthier lifestyle. In the school run in 2007 the teachers at Giljaskoli in Akureyri, the Capital of the Northern part of Iceland, decided to raise funds to be able to financially support two ABC students. The fundraising has usually been in conjunction with the School Run but for the last two years the funds have been raised some time after the run has finished.

Students run 1 to 4 „school laps“ and each one is around 2.5 kilometers. Students and staff are encouraged to donate a small amount of money into collection trays and thanks to those donations it has been possible to sponsor two ABC students through their studies.

In 2007 Udaya Lakshmi Gajjelagunta and Vincent Obina enjoyed sponsorship courtesy of Giljaskoli. Udaya is from India and Vincent is from Uganda. Today they have finished their studies at the ABC schools and the students and staff now sponsor two new students; Venkateswaramma Ramma and Kevine Jenneth Akello and they are also from India and Uganda.

The students at Giljaskoli get an introduction of their sponsored fellow students from far away and their desire to continue the sponsorship every year is displayed by their large participation in each run and sizeable donations which always cover the cost of studies for the year. The ABC students always send Christmas cards and students at Giljaskoli do as well and also a package containing stationery for Venkateswaramma and Kevine.

 

This is certainly an annual run for the good and we thank the students and staff of Giljaskoli for the precious gift of an opportunity to build a good life through education.

Sponsors were generous with their donations to the Christmas fund and here are students at Molfrid Center in the Philippines throwing a Christmas party.

The staff at Molfrid then distributed Christmas gifts to the children.

We thank the sponsors for their donations.

ABC Children‘s Aid relies on the good will of people in many ways. Thousands of supporters either sponsor a child or donate to the relief fund which helps support the children without sponsorship. Then there are those many thousands who give small amounts to collection boxes distributed all over the country and the yearly amount is tallied in the millions of ISK. And finally it‘s worth noting that volunteers make sure the boxes are placed in stores and businesses and substitute them with new ones once they are full.

The volunteers are many and all over the country and one of them is Gunnar Bodvarsson. On his route in the Capital area he‘s responsible for over 50 stores and businesses which he visits regularly. „I wanted to be of some use, be socially active and interact with good people“, says Gunnar when he thinks back to how he got involved with ABC. Gunnar is retired and is today 66 years old. „I did various work for ABC and finally I was asked to manage the collection boxes for a large area. It‘s been rewarding work and I enjoy being able to lend a hand to this fine organization,“ he says.

It varies how often a store or a business needs visiting depending on how fast the boxes fill up. „Some places you have to visit every two weeks but some only once in two months,“ says Gunnar and he has a good sense in this matter having handled this work for over 3 years. Each route takes about 4-5 hours and at the end of it he delivers the money that‘s been collected.

 

Gunnar is undecided on how long he will continue managing the largest Capital area route. „As long as I‘m healthy I‘m more than willing to help out. I meet lots of interesting people and the work is rewarding. I firmly believe it‘s for the good and I want ABC to flourish. I‘ve grown very fond of the organization and it‘s work and I like showing my support this way,“ he says.

Contact

ABC Children's Aid
Vikurhvarf 2
203 Kopavogur | Iceland

Tel +354 414 0990

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