Dear interested people, dear sponsors,
we are happy to answer your frequently asked questions here. If your question is not answered, feel free to contact us by email or via our social media channels (Instagram/Facebook). We are looking forward to your message.
What is the vision of PMCO?
PMCO (Peace Memorial Christian Organization) has been advocating for poor children in Uganda/Africa in the Mityana district since the fall of 2018. Those who sponsor children with PMCO are helping the poorest of children physically, emotionally and socially in a holistic sense. Our goal is to help the children out of hopelessness by providing them with education and hope. When the children realize that we love them and they have a special value, they begin to flourish in other areas of their lives as well.
When is a child accepted into the sponsorship program?
Very poor families live in the district around our school. Some work hard to enable their children to attend school. Unfortunately, this does not always succeed regularly due to financial constraints. But the best way to escape from poverty is education! A child with a good education has the opportunity to find a good job and thus the way out of poverty. Because children in Africa love to go to school. They have big wishes and goals, for example they want to become a teacher or an architect and they know that they need a good school degree to do so.
Our local employees select a child for the sponsorship program because his or her family struggles daily with the consequences of extreme poverty. Girls and boys are accepted on an equal footing. A meeting is held with the parents or guardians at the beginning to assess the child’s needs and obtain the parents‘ consent to send the child to school on a regular basis. Belonging to a particular denomination is not a criterion for admission, but only how needy the child and his or her family are. We are pleased that we already support many families from different religions through our program.
What does my school sponsorship do?
Through your sponsorship, the school and examination fees as well as school clothing and housing in the school are paid, so that your sponsored child can strive for his goal unhindered. His chance to escape from poverty through education increases enormously. In addition, your child receives breakfast and lunch, and is thus protected from malnutrition. Because most of the time these are the only meals at all. Your sponsorship makes it possible that the child is visited regularly by our staff and receives attention, love and care. It is also completely normal for the children to share what they experience and learn at school with their siblings. In this way, everyone gets something out of it. You also make it possible for our trained campus staff to meet with the sponsored children several times a month for a special day where they do activities together and experience that they are valuable. There they are comprehensively supported in their personality, play with the other children, receive tutoring, go on excursions or write to their godparents.
What does my health insurance sponsorship do?
If your sponsored child has a school sponsorship, he/she will be included in our program and there is the possibility to help him/her even more effectively to fully focus on his/her education in the form of a health insurance sponsorship.
In Uganda, health insurance is available, but no family in our areas of operation can afford it. As a result, there is often a lack of minimal medical care, vitamins and the simplest medicines that could prevent worse. Often the hygiene conditions in the families are very bad, because the parents were never trained in it.
We will use the finances of a health insurance sponsorship to provide the sponsored child with basic medical care, to buy the required regular hygiene items (especially for girls), to set up a small household pharmacy, but also to teach the family a good hygiene concept. If anything is left over from good health, this will be given to the health insurance pool to help other sponsored children of PMCO quickly and effectively in an acute emergency situation.
Your sponsored child’s health will be checked by nurses at the beginning of the sponsorship and regularly thereafter, and medical care will be provided to the sponsored child if needed. In case of accidents or acute problems, the child can be taken to a hospital immediately, as the health insurance pool allows for quick and uncomplicated action in case of emergency.
What does my living sponsorship do?
If your sponsored child has a school sponsorship, he/she will be included in our program and there is the possibility to support him/her even more effectively in the form of a living sponsorship to fully concentrate on his/her education.
Most of the adults with whom our sponsored children live are sick or too old to additionally earn a living for the children left to them. Therefore, the small huts often lack the most basic everyday necessities.
We use the finances of a living sponsorship to provide your sponsored child with basic equipment. This includes one-time, monthly and annual costs for clothing, shoes, shoe polish, blanket, pillow, food for weekends and school vacations. It also provides for all school supplies such as a lockable box, pencils, books, school bag, face mask and disinfectant, plate and cup, and many other items. If there is any money left over, it will be put into the living pool to help other sponsored children of PMCO immediately and effectively in an acute emergency situation.
How is the money for sponsorships used?
The sponsorship amounts are 100% received by the sponsored children. All administrative and advertising costs here in Germany are financed by other donations and contributions. Your sponsorship contributions are used as follows:
School sponsorship: This amount covers 100% of the school fees of your sponsored child.
Health insurance sponsorship: Your sponsored child will be provided with all health necessities. If there is anything left over from good health, it will be put into the health insurance pool to help other PMCO sponsored children quickly and effectively in an acute emergency situation. We guarantee that all finances in the health insurance pool will benefit our PMCO sponsored children.
Living expenses: Your sponsored child will be provided with all the necessities. If there is anything left over, it will be put into the living pool to help other PMCO sponsored children quickly and effectively in an acute emergency situation. We guarantee that all finances in the living pool will benefit our PMCO sponsored children.
How can I become a sponsor?
We are glad that you have decided to sponsor a child. Click on the child’s name and select a sponsorship area. At the bottom of the page you will find a form. Once you have filled it out and submitted it, you will receive a confirmation email from us within the next three days. You support us enormously if you give us a direct debit authorization, because it will be processed automatically.
How long does my sponsorship last?
The sponsorship ends automatically when the child leaves the school or the training center, approximately when the child turns 20.
Your school sponsorship can be terminated by you without giving reasons with a notice period of four weeks to the end of each school term. In this case, we will try to find a new sponsor who will continue the sponsorship with the child. The school year is divided into three periods, called „terms“, January to April, May to August and September to December. The school fees must always be paid to the school in time for four months in advance, otherwise the children will not be admitted. If a sponsorship is cancelled, the child will not be able to attend school in the next term. Please remember that this is not just any contract, it is about children’s lives.
The health insurance or living sponsorship can be cancelled monthly at any time.
What do I receive when I have decided to become a sponsor?
You will receive a confirmation email from us within the next three days, in which you will find your login data for your personal area on our homepage. In this area you will already find an information letter and a current photo of your godchild with his or her data.
In addition, you will receive a framed picture of your sponsored child and an invitation to the upcoming video calls of the PMCO sponsor community. Every six months we will post new pictures and certificates, and every year a personal letter from your godchild in your internal area on the homepage.
Furthermore, you will receive a donation receipt, which you can deduct from your taxes, since PMCO e.V. is recognized as a non-profit organization. You will find regular updates on the homepage and via newsletter about all PMCO activities in which your godchild is involved.
How can I keep in touch with my sponsored child?
You are welcome to write to your godchild, because he or she will be very happy about it. For some it is the first letter they receive in their life. Please use our address, we will forward your letter.
Try not to overwhelm the child with too many questions, because he is not used to someone asking for his opinion. Tell about yourself, your joys and sorrows. For many children, the godparent’s letter is a precious treasure that is read over and over again and kept carefully.
Your godchild will send you a letter at least once a year, which you will find in your internal space. Please note that the correspondence will be in English only. In addition, we are working on the possibility for you to visit your godchild in the future and to combine your vacation with a meeting.
How does the school system work in Uganda?
In Uganda there is a kind of kindergarten, the so-called „Nursery“, where the younger children are prepared for school. This corresponds more to a preschool with two levels, the „Baby class“ and the „Top class“. This is followed by the so-called „Primary School“, which corresponds to the elementary school. However, this lasts 7 years in Uganda and has the grades P1 to P7. After these seven years it is possible to start a school education in some areas.
A secondary school lasts 4 years and is called „Secondary School“. In the Ugandan school system, grades are again counted from 1; thus, the grade designation is S1 – S4. An S4 degree (Ordinary Level, O-Level) is similar to a secondary school diploma. With this diploma in your pocket, training takes an average of two to three years, for example at a technical institute or a college for elementary school teachers. However, it is a school-based training, so trainees do not earn money during this time, but have to pay school fees. The acquisition of such a training certificate corresponds to a kind of advanced technical college entrance qualification, so that nevertheless the way to a later self-financed study is not closed.
Classes in the schools are held in English, as this is the official language in Uganda – but with over 40 Ugandan languages, English is not the native language of the students. Boarding schools are common in Uganda. Children stay here through the weekends and only go home during the vacations. Boarding schools eliminate the often long commutes to school and provide additional evening classes and exam preparation. For children who have lost their parents, for example, the boarding school is a place to stay and a relief for relatives who have taken the children in.
The age of Ugandan children when they start school in the first grade is comparable to the age of entry in Germany. However, there are also children who can only start school at a late age or who always have to skip a year when school attendance is no longer financially possible. As a result, children of very different ages can be represented in one class.