Although their needs are sparse, Nancy, 13, and Jackline Adong, 15, have so little but are grateful for so much. The family lives in two dilapidated huts which are close to falling down and eat one daily meal, often at 8pm in the evening.

They are residents of Akonyibedo village in Aswa County, in the Gulu District of Uganda. Nancy’s father, Patrick, committed suicide and her mother ran away when she was accused of being the cause of Patrick’s death. Nancy was taken in by her aunt Angee Rose, who is Jackline’s biological mother. Angee Rose was making a skimpy living as a school cook until April 2009 when she suffered a debilitating stroke and is no longer able to work. For a short time, the girls tried to take care of Angee Rose but ultimately had to move in with relatives in another village. Angee Rose was totally bed ridden but she is making a slow receovery and is able to walk supported by walking sticks. The girls need to assist her with daily functions and she struggles to crawl out of the house to sit by her hut. The family depends on a single acre of land which they hire out for farming.

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Their eldest brother, Ojok Walter, 24, is a bodaboda taxi-rider, and is the one shouldering the responsibility to pay the tuition fees and other requirements of the other siblings, besides providing food for the family from his meager income. He recently was married and his ability to provide for a larger family has diminished.

Bicycle used to travel to school.

Bicycle used to travel to school.

Comboni Samaritans of Gulu (CSG) sponsors have been found to provide these essential needs. In November of 2012, the girls were presented with bicycles to help them continue going to school. They often commute about 5 kilometers to school and the same distance back home. They were also supplied with the funds to pay their school fees and monthly exams, second hand shoes and stockings and some food assistance.

The following month, sponsor funds were used to buy two mattresses, four dresses, a mosquito net and some personal needs.

In the future, TCAF and CSG would like to purchase a simple solar panel to provide light at night for their hut to enable cooking and studying for the girls. The girls also appealed for financial support so that Angee Rose could be taken to a good hospital in Uganda for effective physiotherapy to improve her locomotive functioning.

Kids playing soccer