Frequently asked questions
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Otino Waa means “Our Children” in the local dialect of northern Uganda, which is called Luo. The name reflects the heart behind the ministry: though the children are not ours biologically, we are honored to care and provide for them as Jesus invited us to do.
No. Most of the children that live at Otino Waa Children’s Village are orphans. These children are part of our Residential Care program. In 2018, we began the Community Based Care (CBC) program, which allows us to support children who may or may not be complete orphans. These children live in extreme poverty, but have a loving relative or guardian with whom they can live. The CBC program allows us to extend our reach by supporting the entire family and providing for the child to get a high-quality education, eat two nutritious meals a day, and receive medical and dental care.
**In Uganda, an orphan is legally defined as a child who has one or both parents deceased.
Otino Waa Children’s Village is a ministry of Path Ministries International, a tax-exempt not-for-profit organization registered in the state of Oregon, recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3). All contributions are tax-deductible.
$39 per month or $468 per year. It costs approximately $195 each month to fully support a residential child at Otino Waa Children’s Village, and $78 per month to support a Community Based Care (CBC) child. By combining your $39 monthly contribution with those from four other (residential kids) or one other (CBC kids) sponsors, we are able to provide food, clothing, medical and dental care, and schooling for each child. We are also able to ensure a safe and loving home.
Yes. As a sponsor you will receive at least three letters a year. However, students typically write more often when they receive letters from their sponsors. You may send letters via your online portal, email, or via standard mail.
Keep letters simple. Content is a personal decision but here are some suggestions: Encourage them in their studies. Describe your family and include a photo. Please be discreet and avoid sending pictures that could be offensive. (It is a very modest culture.) Share your hobbies, work or school, family holidays and customs. Provide general info of where you live but we advise you do NOT include your address.
Over many years of working with orphans in Africa, we have discovered that the most treasured items the children receive from sponsors are often photos of their sponsors and their families. However, if you want to send something more, you may send them through the US Postal Service. Small flat items that fit in an 11x14 envelope should arrive in two to three weeks. (However, package delivery in Africa is never guaranteed.) Be sure to include the child’s name and number. Some ideas are: small plastic toys, soft dolls or stuffed animals, coloring books, paper, colored pencils, notebooks, stickers, school bags, jump ropes, stencils, balloons, hard candy, puzzles, small games, a small sewing kit. PLEASE DO NOT SEND: money, perishable items, gum or soft candy, liquid or fragile items, battery powered or electronic items, large or expensive gifts, colored markers or Sharpies.
For packages or letters, mail to:
Otino Waa Children's Village
Lira, Uganda, East Africa
(Please include your child's name and #)
To email your child:
(please include child's name and number)
No, it is not recommended you communicate with your sponsored child through social media. The kids are not allowed to have or use cell phones at Otino Waa. However, when the kids are home with families on semester break they do have access to cell phones and the internet. There have been instances when kids have found their sponsors on Facebook and used the opportunity to make unreasonable requests. This rule is to protect you and the children.
Depending on their start date with Otino Waa, as well as their academic path, children usually graduate out of the program between the ages of 18 to 22. While we love to see consistency in sponsor/child relationships, we fully understand that life circumstances change, and sponsors are free to cancel a sponsorship commitment at any time.
Graduates are encouraged to apply for our Elevate program. Elevate seeks to identify each student’s aptitude and interests, and then appropriately equip them for a financially productive and sustainable future. The three training branches of Elevate are Advanced Education, Vocational Training, and Microfinance. Many sponsors decide to continue with their student through the completion of their Elevate training.
After we receive your enrollment information via either a response card or via our website sponsorship page, you should expect to receive an email giving you access to a secure online portal with photos and an introductory bio of your child. Once you set up your personal login information, you will be able to see regular photos and updates on your sponsored child, and manage your credit card and personal information.
Several short-term teams visit Otino Waa Children’s Village each year. We would be glad to work with your group to arrange a visit, or alternatively, we offer two times a year that individuals may visit.
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