Bishop Ivan provides a loving home for 150 boys and girls aged between 3 and 20 years. The children come from a range of backgrounds. Some have lost one or both parents and are brought to the Centre by relatives or the surviving parent who may be too ill or too poor to care for them. Others have been rescued from the streets or from various forms of exploitation.
To help build their self-esteem and give them aspirations for the future Bishop Ivan refers to these children as his “Champions”, because they are going to rise above their circumstances.
Children who are taken onto the Champions Programme are provided with a safe loving home, a good education from nursery through to senior 6 (A-level) and the opportunity to learn a range of vocational skills. The Centre aims to provide each child with the knowledge and skills they need to support themselves and their families in the future.
The Champions live in dormitories and sleep on bunk beds with up to 70 children in a room. The primary age champions are provided with a girls and boys dormitory. The secondary age champions share larger boys and girls dormitories with fee paying boarders. Each champion has a small trunk at the foot of their bed which contains all they possess in the world, often amounting to little more than their school uniform and one change of clothes. The food is very basic but filling, consisting of a cup of tea for breakfast and posho and beans for both lunch and dinner. Basic health care is provided by the on-site clinic which was run by Bishop Ivan’s elder sister Ruth, and now it is managed by a team of nurses led Jen.
The Sponsorship programme is overseen by a team of trustees led by Madam Allen who is Coordinator of the programme. The Sponsorship programme provides the opportunity for sponsors and the children to write to each other. Among the trustees Sheila and Mary organise the exchange of letters and allocate Champions to sponsors. It is such an encouragement for a child to know that someone is interested in them and their future. This programme has supported some Champions to go to University and to seek training in Further Education. If you would like to obtain more details on how to support a Champion for Further or Higher Education, please contact us via our email address (firstname.lastname@example.org)
At present it is a struggle to cover the monthly cost of salaries, food and drugs for the clinic and current income falls short of meeting many of the basic needs of the Champions. Some are short of the things that the boarders come to school with such as a mattress, clothes, shoes, school uniform, exercise books, pens, a washing bowl, soap, a toothbrush. Finding money to pay for the champions to sit state exams is also a huge challenge. It is important that the champions are not seen as second class citizens at Revival so together with Ivan’s wife Madam Allen who is the Coordinator of the Champions Programme at Revival, the support team have set up a separate fund to provide for these basic needs on an ongoing basis. Donations are needed to maintain this fund at a level where basic needs can be met as they arise.
To find out more about measures taken to improve the dormitories and living conditions at Revival, see ‘Living at Revival‘.
To learn about what is being done to meet the challenge of feeding the children every day against a background of constantly rising food prices and food shortages in Uganda, see ‘Agriculture Project‘.