You can see Immaculate’s drive to succeed in her eyes: round and curious, yet ablaze with determination. Sixteen-year-old Immaculate has a natural gift for writing and a dream to be a midwife. Two years ago this aspiration was impossible, as she faced an early marriage and motherhood, the likely path for most young girls in Uganda. But God led Immaculate to Project Princess Initiative (PPI), a Cross International ministry partner where teen girls find hope, compassion, and opportunity for a better future.
Immaculate lives in Kampala, Uganda, where more than 700,000 girls between the ages of six and twelve have never attended school. Forty percent of girls in Uganda are married before they turn 18, and the average age girls give birth for the first time is 18.9 years old.
When a young girl is in school, the possibility of early marriage drastically diminishes.
Immaculate’s mother, like most mothers, wants the best for her daughter. Earning only $5 USD a week selling dried fish, she sees PPI as a pathway to a better life for Immaculate. With strength and humility, she embraces that PPI provides her daughter a future of opportunity – truly a gift from God.
PPI serves 951 girls with mentoring, life skills training, tutoring, and health education. PPI sends counselors into schools to reach at-risk girls with messages of faith, wise choices, and the importance of education. Girls are able to meet with tutors and counselors, receive vocational training, learn about reproductive and menstrual health, and be medically treated. Younger girls look to their “Big Sisters”, older girls living out what they learn at PPI, for encouragement as they grow and thrive in the program and in faith. Seeing other girls and women like them succeed invokes hope and confidence.
Children living in crisis need opportunity, not charity.
Cross International’s desire is to bring kids to a full, rich life with hope, potential, and a bright future of becoming an adult able to meaningfully contribute to their community. We believe that we can reach the family through the child; to help that child thrive is how we help families and communities.
Vulnerable children like Immaculate are under the special care and protection of God. It is our privilege, as His people, to contribute to their redemptive story. Please consider supporting our Thriving Kids initiative today and give children like Immaculate an opportunity to stand firm on the foundation of Jesus Christ. Your donation supports the Thriving Kids initiative to answer God’s call to love orphans and children.
Every child has potential. Not every child has opportunity. With Cross, you can give them that gift.