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Children of Grace

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, International, International Development, International Relief, Religion, Religion-Related, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Children of Grace demonstrates the love of Jesus Christ by offering hope to Ugandan orphans and other children affected by poverty and AIDS. We do this through education, healthcare, and empowerment programs to enable a better future.

Target demographics: vulnerable children.

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 800 Ugandan youth.

Geographic areas served: Uganda

Programs: education, healthcare and empowerment programs so each student can reach their own potential.

Community Stories

71 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Nikki M.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been associated with the Children of Grace for over 10 years, and I am completely satisfied working with this organization. My contacts directly within this organization are professional, knowledgeable, and caring about the children they represent. Through this organization I have been able to support my two Ugandan daughters and and watch them grow into a lovely young ladies. I’ve been able to contribute to their education and healthcare directly. Through the Children of Grace I have been able to provide more opportunities for my wonderful girls!

Angie Tonge S.

Donor

Rating: 5

Fifteen years ago I learned about Children of Grace while attending Community Presbyterian Church (CPC) in Danville, CA. There were tables of photos with bios of children from Uganda looking for sponsors to help them with education fees. I asked God, “How am I supposed to choose?!” The answer: pick a girl my daughter’s age (14) and a boy my son’s age (10). Our girl “aged out”, so we asked for another girl, and then another and another...we have a very young girl now, so we expect to sponsor her for many years to come!

Our boy, Denis, we sponsored from age 10 all the way through high school. He would write us letters about his various leadership roles and about how hard he was working in all his classes. My son and I would talk about how we’d like to meet Denis someday, assuming that we’d have to go to Uganda in order for that to happen.

Fast forward to the spring of of 2014. I got a call from CoG founder MaryAnn McCoy informing me that “my Denis”, and several other CoG students, had received FULL RIDE scholarships from a MasterCard program to Arizona State University!!!!! I think my smile split my face I was so excited by this unexpected news! My family and I were going to actually meet this young man who’d been prayed for and financially supported for over a decade. God is good!!!

In September of 2014, I finally got to meet, and hug, “my Denis” on the ASU campus. I also had the privilege of meeting three other CoG/MasterCard scholars that night: Patricia, Limon and Wilson. That December my family and I were thrilled to host the three young men for a dinner during their first Christmas break in the US and to share some of our family traditions and food with them.

The first of June, 2018 was a very, very special day. My husband and I joined MaryAnn and Mike McCoy at the ASU campus (in 100+ degree heat) to watch all of these amazing, intelligent, hardworking young people graduate WITH HONORS! They took advantage of every opportunity they were given in their four years at an American university, and ran with it! And they’re not done yet. Each of these four is pursuing at least a masters degree. “My Denis” was accepted into the ASU Thunderbird School of a Global Management and is excelling in his leadership and academic programs.

We are blessed in the simple fact that we live in America. None of us gets to choose where we’re born and who our families will be. By sponsoring a student through CoG, you have the opportunity to literally change a young persons life for the better through better education opportunities, spiritual support, receiving and sending letters and photos (I have folders for each of my sponsored kids; Denis got a kick out of looking through his at a CoG fundraiser we attended earlier this year), and truly MAKING A DIFFERENCE in a child’s life.

You may not get the chance to meet your sponsored child, but know that your sponsorship is vitally important - not only to that particular child but to their entire family as well. An educated individual has a better opportunity for a better future - we all know this. Sponsoring a Ugandan student is not a high-stakes risk, but the stakes are high for each and every student who just needs someone like you to give them a chance for a better future. Be that person and sponsor a whole bunch of kids if you can - I promise you won’t regret it!
PS I made Denis promise to invite me to his wedding someday so I can meet his family, and my husband and I have “volunteering with CoG in Uganda”on our bucket list
Angie S.



Donor

Rating: 5

We have sponsored COG children for about 15 years. It has been an amazing experience to develop a true relationship with these students and see how they grow and mature through the love that they receive through this organization. We were fortunate to have the opportunity to visit Uganda and meet not only the students that we sponsor, but many others. It is truly God's gift through COG that is changing the landscape in Jinja, Uganda. We will continue to support COG and it's mission for years to come.
Mark and Cynthia Rahn

Donor

Rating: 5

Children of Grace is an amazing nonprofit that helps thousands of children. I love what they do and I am so happy to be able to support them! I love getting personal letters from my sponsored kids, they are so thankful and loving!

Jackie M.6

Board Member

Rating: 5

Organized, communicative, loving, caring, prayerful. They truly love and care for each student and help achieve their lifelong goals.

Donor

Rating: 5

My husband helped MaryAnn McCoy as she was organizing this very effective non-profit to help with the highly underserved children in Jinja, Uganda. In this effort he traveled to Uganda twice, and I went with him the second time, spending 3 months there. John was helping with the administrative work and I taught phonics in 3 schools - to 3rd and 4th grade students. In all our dealings over the years, while sponsoring two lovely children, we have been impressed with the care, love, tenderness and effectiveness that Children of Grace has provided to those children - usually around 700 of them. The mentors who work with the children are well-trained and are very kind and gentle with the children. It is a joy to see how happy the children are as they go to school in their uniforms, getting good health care, and corresponding with their sponsors in the United States. They also are given the chance to go to camps during their vacations, which helps them physically, emotionally and spiritually. Their future is so much brighter as they make their way through the school system with so much encouragement. I could NOT recommend any organization higher than Children of Grace. It is making a huge difference in Jinja and surrounding villages.

Debra P.2

Donor

Rating: 5

When I turned 50 years old my only wish was to make a difference in a child's life. This was 9 years ago. Our sponsor daughter has become a true daughter to us. We write frequently and as she has grown, with the Lord's guidance, we have been able to celebrate her joys and guide her through challenges. She has become a part of our family. Children of Grace has given us this incredible opportunity to witness a very young girl grow into a beautiful, smart, ambitious young woman, whose future now holds great promise!! We are grateful to Children of Grace whose commitment to the youth of Uganda continues to be exemplified by their incredible staff, providing outstanding education and care to children who would otherwise lack any hope for a bright future. Thank you!! Debra & Gary Prince

Donor

Rating: 5

I love the impact Children of Grace is having in Uganda. We supported a child for a number of years. Their communication with us and between us and the child was consistently good. They always tell stories of both their successes and their struggles, which helps keep me informed and engaged. When our child graduated, they called us personally and thanked us, told us where our child was headed in life, and congratulated us on our impact in his life. Then we "adopted" another.

Donor

Rating: 5

I like how Children of Grace provides great communication between sponsors and children. The online writing option is extremely timely, though physical letters can be delivered as well. Children of Grace makes is easy to bless my sponsored children with useful gifts, and I know I'm helping my specific children obtain an education.

Sandra M.4

Donor

Rating: 5

We support a couple of young Ugandan children through Children of Grace. The fact that these children are orphans and have lost parents to AIDS, puts them at a huge disadvantage when it comes to being able to go to school. We enjoy letters from our children, personally written and filled with news about how they are doing in school. It's super easy for us to manage our payments, plans and communications with the children on-line.

Board Member

Rating: 5

This is one of the best non-profits I have worked with. First of all, I was blown away by Zahara's personal experiences and how Children of Grace has been instrumental in giving her a platform to succeed. I noted that all the donations go directly to help the kids in need.

Love it.

Donor

Rating: 5

I love the organization Children of Grace! Wonderful people who truly care run this nonprofit. They provide school fees for children in Uganda who can’t afford to go to school. Not only do they provide them a chance in this world through education but they also take care of their medical needs too! They are top notch!

Board Member

Rating: 4

I have been a supporter of Children of Grace for fifteen years, as a sponsor of several children enrolled in their education program. CoG provides a primary education for At Risk children in Jinga, Uganda. What is unique about their sponsorship program, is that it does not only support its enrolees up to the end of their primary education, but CoG supports each child as far as they can and wish to go in school. CoG continues to support its sponsored children through secondary or vocational school. In many cases their graduates have moved on to government universities. And a select few have also earned scholarships to American Universities. CoG's unique program looks at a range of needs of their sponsored children. They provide annual checkups to its enrollees and individual mentoring during their years in the program. Further, as a Christian organization, children are taught about God's love for them, through CoG's annual camps, Christmas celebration and Girls Can programs. This is a sponsorship program that looks at the holistic needs of each child. Though there are hundreds in the program, each child is individually known, they are cared for by their mentors, by CoG's caring staff and the services of its mobile health clinic. For the last three years it has been a privilege to serve the needs of these children as a member of CoG's Board. The organization saves lives and gives hope to children and their families living in the poorest of circumstance . This is a nonprofit to support!

Robyn Toshcoff R.

Donor

Rating: 5

I got a first hand look at this nonprofit by visiting them in Jinja, Uganda and it was an amazing experience! Children of Grace goes above and beyond helping pay for orphan's education . They help where there is a need and I can tell you that the money given to Children of Grace is being used for the betterment of the people. It made me happy to be part of an organization such as Children of Grace.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been sponsoring kids through Children of Grace since 2008 and have always had a very positive view of the organization. That positive view has grown exponentially after visiting Uganda and seeing first hand the indisputable impact CoG is making in Jinja. Meeting the children and guardians, seeing the villages and touring the schools gave us a clear understanding of the incredible challenges in Uganda. We witnessed the unconditional love, commitment and sacrifices from Mary Ann and Mike; the vision, leadership and hard work from Zahara and Joseph; and the dedication and quality of the mentors, nurse and support staff. Children of Grace is doing God's work in Uganda!

Sraavya S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Children of Grace has had an incredible impact on my life. I first learned about the organization when I decided to write an article about them for my Journalism class. Since then, when I learned about their unique purpose(providing an education to hundreds of impoverished children in Uganda whose families have been destroyed by AIDS), I immediately knew I wanted to get involved and help spread their message. Currently, I teach a narrative writing class to 15 children in Uganda over Skype. It has been such a fulfilling experience watching these students blossom into accomplished writers and share their stories in such an eloquent way. When you volunteer with Children of Grace, you are helping educate some truly wonderful kids and shape their future positively.
-Sraavya Sambara

Board Member

Rating: 5

Children of Grace meets the needs of some of the most a-risk children in Jinga Uganda in a very personal and hands-on manner. The children not only receive the gift of education and healthcare care they also discover they are loved and cared for both by a team on the ground in Jinga but also by people that live over 5,000 miles away.

Paul83

Donor

Rating: 5

Children of Grace is true to its mission of demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ through providing an education, access to medical care and empowerment programs for orphans and 'the least of these' children in Eastern Uganda. I and my family have personally experienced the transformation that occurs by seeing and supporting this mission, both as a supporter as well as serving along side the local Ugandan staff for CoG. Over the past 15 years since CoG was founded, hundreds and even thousands of children and their extended families have been impacted by giving them a 'hand up' and not just a 'hand out'. Its also an organization that has demonstrated effective and efficient use of the financial resources entrusted to it through the donor community.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

A short term visit to Uganda to work with the staff and kids of Children of Grace changed my life forever in a very positive way. Why? Seeing these orphan kids appreciate the simple opportunity of going to school, despite the circumstances of their living conditions, with joy and smiles that can only be a testimony of God's love for them. Because there are people around the world with 'means' and a heart for 'the least of these', hundreds and thousands of kids who otherwise don't have the hope of accomplishing their dreams through a basic K-12 education, are given that opportunity. The local Ugandan staff of Children of Grace dedicate themselves everyday to mentoring, coaching, disciplining and just plain loving on these kids. I witnessed that personally for almost two years while living in Uganda and serving with Children of Grace with my wife and daughter. Experiencing life on the 'front lines' in a developing country helped me learn what 'serving' is all about and the renewed hope given to these kids through the Children of Grace ministry.

Donor

Rating: 5

We had an amazing trip to see Children of Grace, and I was blown away by the positive impact COG is having on the Ugandan Youth and their families! Our company is fortunate enough to donate to a building fund, which provides a home for deserving and qualified families that benefit the children in the COG program. We went out with the Mentors of the program, who do regular and frequent checks on the children and their home situation. To hear the children read and speak with us is a testament to what they are learning in school and that this program is having a profound effect in their lives. Thank you Mike, MaryAnn, Zahara and all the others in the organization for your faithful dedication and hard work! God Bless you all!

Donor

Rating: 5

Sponsoring children through Children of Grace has more than met my expectations.
I have experienced the joy of becoming friends with the children. It has been my pleasure to visit them in their homes. I have been welcomed with great enthusiasm and seen the sincere gratitude of the mothers who so want their children to be educated, but cannot afford it. With just a few of my dollars I can made a huge difference in the lives of the students and in the families who depend on them for their future.
It is easy to stay connected with the students through e-mail and letters, so the friendships continue as the students advance in their classes or in learning a vocation. It is a privilege to see how sponsoring children through Children of Grace can better their own lives as well as the lives of others in their communities.
I have had the unique opportunity to sponsor a student who later received a Full Ride to a University in the United States. She has spent many holidays in my home and our family has embraced her as a daughter or sister or aunt. Our lives have been enriched by this beautiful relationship.

Donor

Rating: 5

I was introduced to the Children of Grace in 2010. I decided to check them out myself by going to Jinja, Uganda and witnessing how the organization was run. I was blown away by the love, care and true professionalism of this org. I met Mary Ann and Mike McCoy, the founders of CoG and they truly are the heart and soul of this org. They have dedicated their lives to make sure the CoG is a place that children can grow, feel safe and loved. I also met their entire staff, several of the children they sponsor and watched how the mentors (staff) dealt with the children assigned to them. I felt that my donation was going to the right org. My family ended up sponsoring 3 children over the years and it has been a true blessing.

I went back in 2013 and again, I was inspired to think of more ways to get involved and offer my help. I went again in September, 2018. This time I asked several of my friends to join me. They heard me talking about my trips to Uganda over the years and bragging how it has been a life changing experience. Finally, they all said ok, let's check this out. To watch how they embraced the whole experience was amazing. They were all as taken with the CoG and the children as I was and seeing that, made it the most rewarding of all my trips. On this trip, we also had the pleasure of meeting Zahara McCoy, Mary Ann and Mike's daughter. Zahara, is the Director of CoG and is doing an incredible job. She has the passion and shares the same vision as her parents. There could not be a better person to step into the role. Being from Uganda herself, she was adopted at age 10 by Mary Ann and Mike and grew up in the US. She understands the children she represents better than anyone could. Her personal story is as heartwarming as the founding of CoG. Check it out on the CoG website.

It's one thing to write a check which is great but it's another thing to actually see what your donation can do for a child and their family. Words can't describe it. I believe visiting the Children of Grace in Uganda and seeing all of it's beauty would make for an incredible vacation and a life changing experience.

Previous Stories
1

Donor

Rating: 5


I have been associated with Children of Grace since its formation in 2001. I am currently the CFO, a Board member and spouse of the Founder. I have lived in Uganda for 5 years and observed several child sponsorship programs up close and on the ground. CoG has a unique child sponsorship program in Jinja, Uganda. In addition to paying poverty stricken orphans and vulnerable children's school fees; they provide scholastic materials, medical care, lunch at school and most importantly know individually each of the students in the program. A team of 12 mentors maintain daily contact with assigned students, their schools, guardians and village life. Each child has a personal relationship with their mentor and participates in spiritual and personal empowerment programs conducted by the CoG staff. Each student’s participation and performance in school and related programs is monitored closely and customized help and counseling provided when needed. The result is nearly 100% completion of primary school for CoG sponsored students where the national average is 35% and many students go on to graduate high school and earn scholarships to attend Universities in Uganda and the USA.

Donor

Rating: 5

We have the privilege and the blessing since 2003 of sponsoring children through Children of Grace. I have visited Uganda the last two years and worked with their excellent staff during a camp week for children. Our first sponsored son graduated from nursing school in 2015 and is serving his community. This would not have happened for this young man without Children of Grace. By helping this one child, he is now helping many more children in Uganda which is definitely a blessing to all of us. We sponsor two other girls and one young boy and will continue sponsoring and encouraging these young people. Last year my husband and I were able to go to Uganda again and meet our sponsored children and hear their dreams to succeed and benefit their country through education. All of this would not be possible without sponsors. As a sponsor, we are able to correspond with them through COG letting them know we care about them and will continue to sponsor them so they can succeed and help others.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have been sponsoring children through Children of Grace for over 11 years. I had the privilege in January of visiting Uganda and working with their excellent staff during a camp week for 135 children. Having this opportunity afforded me to see first hand how we are making a big difference in the lives of these children and their families. I was able to meet and spend some time with my sponsored children and their families and they were so grateful to have the opportunity of getting an education through COG. The young man we have sponsored for 11 years is attending nursing school and will graduate next May. He will make a difference in the Uganda communities. One of the other children we sponsor wants to be an engineer and it would not be possible without sponsorships and donations. We are blessed that we can be part of their lives. Knowing that COG is so beneficial to the Uganda children, we plan to be sponsors for the long run.

Donor

Rating: 5

It has come to my attention that the status of the non-profit organization, Children of Grace CoG, has come up for review. I have been a supporter of CoG since its founding in 2001 and have monitored its progress over the years. In all of its activities and programs to support the education of needy children in Uganda, it has operated in an engaged, loving, caring and fiscally responsible manner. And CoG's results over the years are indeed impressive. This has resulted, in large part, by the founders personally dedicating much of their time in Uganda, thereby assuring the effectiveness of CoG's programs.

Dick Warmington
Retired Hewlett-Packard Co Executive
Founder of Chadwick International School Inchon Korea 2010

Juan14

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 3

My name is Joanitar Mpakibi, its 6 months now working with Children Of Grace, and from my point of view, among the many organisations that sponsor children's education in Uganda, C.O.G is an organisation with A DIFFERENCE in all its operating aspects of Education, Health and Empowerment. Many orphans and vulnerable children that have passed through C.O.G are now living a bright future and acting as LIVING TESTIMONIES to the community. When it comes to health, all cases are critically handled by the medical personel hence no record of misdiagnosis for all the years of its existence. Iam forever grateful to all those who have always spared aside funds to keep us operating. God bless you all.

Cathy120

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 3

My name is Cathy I have been at Children of Grace for one year and 3 months. This is anon- profit organization which is reaching out to all the vulnerable children to provide with school fees, medical care, and providing with social psychological support such that they can be able to maintain themselves in future. The organization has reached further to teach the word of God and empowering both the children and their guardians for the better wellbeing. Personally I am grateful for the good work being done by Children of Grace and my God bless the works of all who give to support its operation.

3

Board Member

Rating: 4

I have been associated with Children of Grace since it formation in 2001. I am currently the CFO, a Board member and spouse of the Founder. I have lived in Uganda for 5 years and observed several child sponsorship programs up close and on the ground. CoG has a unique child sponsorship program in Jinja, Uganda. In addition to paying poverty stricken orphans and vulnerable children's school fees, they provide scholastic materials, medical care. lunch at school and most importantly know individually each of the students in the program. A team of 12 mentors maintain daily contact with assigned students, their schools, guardians and village life. Each child has a personal relationship with their mentor and participates in spiritual and personal empowerment programs conducted by the CoG staff. Students participation and performance in school and related programs are monitored closely and customized help and counseling provided when needed. The result is nearly 100% completion of primary school for CoG sponsored students where the country average is 35% and many students earning scholarships to attend Universities in Uganda and the USA.

1 Kirsten V.

Donor

Rating: 5

The students sponsored by Children of Grace are receiving schooling, medical care and love and guidance that otherwise they would not receive. I have been pleased with my experience and with my interaction with COG.

1

Board Member

Rating: 4

Children of Grace strongly advocates for the orphans and other vulnerable children in Uganda. The organization's values have consistently been witnessed in the local community as their staff are dedicated and loyal to their students and community stakeholders. They genuinely care for the students and lovingly mentor them in their educational journey. All donor funds are handled in a professional and transparent manner.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the honor to become a volunteer for this great organization this year. The commitment and dedication of everyone to connect the sponsors with the children in Uganda is astounding. This collaboration between the sponsors and the organization allows access to education and health care for these children, strengthening their future in so many ways. Watching the impact Children of Grace makes in the lives of the children is the most rewarding experience.

Advisor

Rating: 5

Children of Grace has touched my life multiple times in the last 15 years. I am thankful to be able to support the mission to provide education, healthcare and empowerment to children in Uganda as I believe that the work being done on the ground is tremendous. Over 800 children are currently being sponsored and I have seen what impact these students have, not only on my life, but also on everyone around them. I am blessed and honored to be associated with an organization such as COG.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the extraordinary opportunity to see firsthand the dedication of the Children of Grace staff both in Uganda and the US. They continually make sure the needs of the sponsored children are met effectively. Close monitoring of the children and programs to insure donor dollars are being spent meaningfully are an integral part of the structure and success of COG. The lives of so many children have been changed and enhanced forever because of COG. It has been a pleasure to be a small part of this truly amazing organization.

5 Colleen49

Donor

Rating: 5

I am impressed with Children of Grace because the staff takes a personal interest in each child.
Cog goes far beyond the goal of providing education for each child.
An example is a student I sponsor named Alex.
When I first met Alex I noticed that he was very thin and small for his age. I was told that he had a heart defect which hindered his growth and prevented his participating in sports.
This year CoG provided an adult to accompany Alex to a hospital in S.Sudan where he was able to have heart surgery.
He stayed at the rehab center for several weeks. All of the expenses were paid for him.
Now he is back in school and has gained weight and is looking much stronger.
He is taken to Kampala once a month for regular check-ups.
His future has changed from despair to hope, thanks to the generosity and compassion of the staff of CoG and donors in the US.
He has been given a new life.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We sponsor three children in the Children of Grace sponsorship program. We have been supporting this amazing organization for 7 years. We correspond by letter and email to our sponsored children and have watched them grow and become educated, empowered students. Children of Grace has provided us an opportunity to help children in Uganda and show our children a view into the life of children in Africa. Its been an honor and a privilege to support Children of Grace and we look forward to many more years of child sponsorship.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Umaru Waizoba. I'm a young man who has been nurtured and transformed from grass to grace by Children of Grace, an organization based in Jinja, Uganda. The organization has given me all the necessary support to fully grow up into a responsible young man. Children of Grace has helped me with all the financial support I needed in order to excel academically-- it provided me with every item I needed for school and as an individual, however small it may seem because I couldn't afford. This gave me the courage to work hard and excel academically and I developed my leadership skills, too. I went ahead to unite all my brothers and sisters in the organization. This achievement led to a great academic excellence in high school last year, I was able to help fellow students who were having challenges and in the end they emerged successful, scoring the top grades and getting government sponsorships for their university education. This was the first time for the organization to achieve excellence in the national exams. I believe the financial assistance CoG offered us with to buy the necessary textbooks: however expensive they were, was the greatest step for this goal.

Further still, Children of Grace has helped me to support my family. During the holidays, I always got a loan from the organization which would help me start up my small project of laying bricks and selling rice such that I could earn some money to support my sisters and buying the basic needs in the home. And its now looking forward to supporting more children with loans in the near future such that they can support themselves during the holidays. This is going to be an advantage to many of its children because they're going to be exposed to real life and it's one way of gaining skills of business.

I can't forget the role Children of Grace played in enabling me get a scholarship to come and study in the United States of America, particularly at Morehouse College where I am having everything going on well. It managed to secure scholarships too, for other four scholars who are at Arizona State University right now. I was excited travelling out of the country, and boarding a plane for the first time!

With this opportunity to study and get the skills, I will be able to go back and light up my 'Dark Village'. My desire to achieve this goal has been growing inside me since I became a teenager and is now bigger than the world.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I sponsor five students in the Children of Grace program and feel confident that the money I give goes directly to the children for their education, healthcare, food and enrichment programs to give them the best opportunities to succeed. Children of Grace is an organization that uniquely serves all of its 800+ students in primary, secondary, vocational and university schools. I have been a sponsor for 10 years, and I have had the opportunity to visit some of my sponsored children in Uganda. I cannot begin to convey the emotion I felt when one of my sponsored boys fell to his knees and, with tears in his eyes, called me, "Mum." It was an experience that changed my life and I know that my donations are changing his life. As Jesus said, "truly, I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been on the Children of Grace scholarship program for 10 years now. In other words, Children of Grace has seen me through the childhood days and is still giving me the opportunity to become the leader that my community has been deprived of. The holiday bible studies, leadership seminars, youth camps, Christmas parties together is a way of sharing Jesus' love to an African Child. The opportunity availed to me by Children of Grace to apply for an Arizona State University MasterCard scholarship which i did get has enabled me see light at the end of the tunnel. I now want to make the rest of my life the best of it and also lend a helping hand to someone out there. My community will not remain the same if i show to others the love Children of Grace showed me. Children of Grace will always a special place in my heart. "FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY".

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

You can never know how comforting a graceful touch can feel until you get to experience it. I count myself lucky for being one of those who were touched at their desperate moment of need.
When I lost my mother, this meant me going through a hard time to get through school. I always skipped school because I could not pay all my fees on time. I had to work much more than an average student my age to maintain my academic level.
However by God's grace, I was able to find out about Children of grace and I applied to have financial support with my education.
When I applied I thought I was only applying for academic support. Little did I know that this organization was not just about the education. It was something more than that. Children of grace is one that I have found emotional, social and spiritual support. It has become a place I find comfort and a place I can call home. I have met such amazing people. These have become my mothers, fathers and brothers and sisters. Children of grace has become a source of inspiration to me.
I walked into the doors of this organization and I had no idea that they would all they can to see me through my education. I never knew I would ever be able to fly to the U.S for school but the ways of the Lord are amazing. Through this great Organization, I was able to find a scholarship for my college education.
To me Children of Grace is not just a Non-profit Organization, It is home to me, a place where my heart feels most at peace and most accepted for who I am irrespective of my background.

Patricia Ibalo
Student At Arizona State University

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am Wilson Bikaba, a child in the Children of Grace family, a nonprofit organisation found in Jinja Uganda. I became part of the family in 2011 after performing well at St. lawrence S.S. Due to the fact that I had no financial support, I had very high chances of not continuing with the education just after ordinary level. I thank the Children of Grace team (The director, staff and the financial providers ) for the great work done to make the economically humble children (from poverty and health hit families) attend education and have bright futures. I appreciate them for the love they have to seek for great opportunities of the children in the way of making them explore more about their future dreams. As I talk now, I am a student at Arizona State Universuty pursuing a degree in civil engineering. This is all their efforts to look for the extra opportunitise for our success.

I thank the organisation for the great work done in the social, academic and spiritual growth aspects. These have changed my life into a person who focuses on the well- being of other people. I hope this is gonna make me reach my future goals of improving the infrastructural setup of my village , country and the world.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Children of Grace(CoG) is a non-profit organisation based in Jinja, Uganda that sponsors the education of over 2,000 children deprived of this opportunity because of poverty or demise of their parents( due to the rampant HIV/AIDS in Uganda). I, myself, am a Child of Grace and I joined this profound organisation 7 years ago. My dad had passed on a year before and my mom could not make sufficient funds to pay my school tuition. Despite having good grades in elementary school, I had no chance of ever attending high school or college due to poverty. All I had was hope because it's the last and most precious gift one can lose. Children of Grace gave me love, care and hope. Today, here I am at Arizona State University(ASU) pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Chemical engineering after CoG helped me secure a MasterCard scholarship to ASU. Being part of this organisation is the best thing that has ever happened in my life.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Children of Grace is an amazing Non for Profit that helps children succeed in school and have the ability to attend school. Children of Grace is unique in that they help children directly by allowing people to sponsor certain children and that sponsorship money goes directly to the school to pay for tuition, uniforms, ect. Not only do have people working in the US to help the children in Uganda, but, we have a full staff in Uganda that checks up on the children every week to make sure that they are healthy and in school.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Children of Grace is unique in that children are directly impacted by their sponsors. If it weren't for being sponsored, these kids would not be in school. Ugandan staff stay in touch with the children and they get attention whether it is in school, medical care, career guidance or character development.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with Children of Grace has renewed my hope in child sponsorship organizations. The organization is intentional with their students, provides mentors to ask students the questions that help them find their way, and enables them to have the hope of a future so far beyond what they thought would be possible. The staff is fiscally responsible, personable, and passionate about the work they do.

Cindy104

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Personal, tangible and transforming! This is how I would describe the work that Children of Grace does in Uganda, and how volunteering with their organization changed my life. I was amazed at how personal and detailed the care for each child was through the program. The Ugandan staff knows each child by name. While in Uganda I decided to sponsor a child, and the staff could share detailed specifics about each child I inquired about, without needing to pull a single file. I felt relevant as a volunteer in Uganda, but also feel my volunteering just started with my two weeks in Africa. Since that time I have helped collect for a new box of materials, worked a charitable organization fair and have spoken to groups about their work. I made deep life long connections while there, and know my life was impacted at a profound level.

Donor

Rating: 5

Through Children of Grace, I have been making donations to support a child in Uganda for several years. I first heard about the organization in a newpaper or magazine article and thought I'd check it out. I have been so impressed with the work that CoG does that I now also volunteer for the organization.

My workplace matches my donation, so I can also help a second child. Education and health are so important and their area of the world is lacking in so many resources. I have the privilege of receiving letters and pictures from 'my girls' several times a year, so I know that the donations are going to very good use. Through their letters, I am watching them grow up, learn, and become kind and giving young women. My daughter also reads the letters and contributes to them, so while she was growing up we used that as a learning experience here, too.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Children of Grace consistently exhibits a high level of integrity along with discernment in their compassion for children in Uganda who are in desperate need. They provide opportunities for many to enter the story and make a difference not only in the lives of Ugandan children but in their own lives as well. Many of us have been richly blessed by our partnership with Children of Grace.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It has been my privilege to visit Children of Grace in Uganda several times over the past years and witness how the ministry has changed the students' lives.. They are not only given the opportunity for an education but are carefully guided into becoming productive, responsible citizens who will make a difference in their communities. I have witnessed first hand the interaction of the Ugandan Mentors with individual students giving them Christian love, concern and guidance through every step of the program. What an honor it has been to watch a young, shy, discouraged and hopeless child develop, mature and graduate from school with confidence and the means to change their fate and that of their families.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I first became involved with Children of Grace in 2009 when I signed up to go on a trip to Uganda. While there I was deeply impacted by the people I met, the stories I heard and the tangible ways in which I saw Children Of Grace responding to the ever-present need. After seeing the life-changing difference that child-sponsorship makes and watching the important role of the child mentors, I decided on that trip that I wanted to sponsor a child. My life has not been the same. I've had the amazing opportunity to go back several times, meet these children face to face and see again, first-hand, the incredible work that Children of Grace is doing helping to educate and foster positive change in the next generation of Ugandans. It is truly a privilege to be a part of such an great organization.

1 Zahara N.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My name is Zahara and I am a child of grace. Children of Grace has impacted my life in many ways and I not sure what my life could have been like without Children of Grace sponsorship program.

After I lost my mother at age 10, there weren't many option left for me and I had lost all hope. And although I wanted to continue going to school, I had no idea where I would get the school tuition in order for me to attend school. When I heard about Children of Grace, It was last chance at hope so I walk to the office and it was there that I received a sponsor who was willing to pay for my school. To most people, school fees may mean just money, but for me it changed my life completely. It felt great to have someone who believed in me and supported me to go to school. I enrolled in primary school, received a new uniform and did not ever have to worry about my school tuition. I began to fully focus on school in order to impress and make my sponsor proud. Each day thank God for Children of Grace because I owe everything that I am today to this organization.



Volunteer

Rating: 5

Children of Grace is an amazing organization which was born of need and has grown to change orphans lives in Jinja Uganda. I was privileged to be able to go witness it first hand in a 2 week trip and i was blown away by their hearts and drive to have an impact on these children.

1 Maggie29

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a sponsor since the start of Children Of Grace. I have had the privilege of visiting Uganda three times. I was able to spend time with my sponsored girls and see first hand the COG programs. I am impressed with the integrity and dedication of the COG staff.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've had the honor of serving Ugandan children with the help of Children of Grace. It humbled me and blessed me in ways I am forever grateful.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Children of Grace improves their service to the AIDS orphans in Jinja, Uganda every year. Their programs to help educate these children are refined and changed as they see ways to make life better for each child. In particular, I am grateful for the emphasis they are putting on vocational training as the students get into their high school years. My sponsored child, Mark, is now in a program to learn wood working skills - to become a carpenter. He is so happy and proud of the skills he is developing. Not all students qualify for college and indeed in Uganda, it is hard for college educated students to find jobs. I am very happy that Mark is learning a useful skill.

Bena is my little sponsored girl who comes from Mesese, a poor, poor village. Her letters are full of her thrill at learning and being one of the top stdents as well as wonderful drawings - a whole page fun of joy!

I cannot say enough about the love that Mike and MaryAnn McCoy and all the other staff of CoG bring to their job.

I would certainly rate them TOPS!

Louann Jensen

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We, John and Louann Jense, went to Jinja in January, 2009, for 3 months. John helped set up micro businesses and train a mentor to work with the women as they were starting up these businesses. He also worked with the country director of CoG, training him to better work with the home office. Louann was involved in organizing the library and teaching phonics in two schools as a pilot program. This program was to see if teaching phonics would enhance the children's education.

During this time, we saw first hand the valuable work that CoG is doing in the lives of the sponsored students - academically, emotionally, and medically. The office staff (mentors, mainly) is dedicated to helping these children. They get to know them, keep track of their progress in school, see how their health is, how their living situation is.

Since we were there, the ratio of mentors to students has been reduced so that they have less students to look after, so they can do a better job keeping track of the welfare of the student.

Mary Ann is truly, truly loved there. She has brought so much hope, love and joy to these children and to so many others that she has had dealings with. Mike, also, contributed hugely with the building of the new office - a blessed place where the children can come for help and safety.

1 Jennifer202

Donor

Rating: 5

Three Christmases ago, our family was looking for a charity to donate to. We settled on Children of Grace and began sponsoring our first child. Since then we have added two more children to our sponsorship list because we love what Children of Grace is doing and our ability to make a small dent in the poverty experienced by young children affected by AIDS is important to us.

One of my favorite things about COG is how personal the relationship is between donor and organization. This makes it easy to foster a personal relationship with the children we sponsor. We have the opportunity to send them small gifts and to know that those gifts make it into their hands. When teams go to Uganda to run camps, they make a point of hand-delivering gifts to the sponsored children and taking pictures of those kids to send back to us.

In January (2013) one of my friends was in Uganda to help with a camp. She was able to visit each of the children we sponsor and we were even lucky enough to get a chance to Skype with one of them because our timing aligned perfectly. There is nothing better than getting to see (virtually) one of the girls we sponsor and tell her personally that we think of her every single day.

Most organizations I have donated to in the past have not invested that level of commitment to the donor/sponsored child relationship. Children of Grace stands apart because they treat each and every child as though he or she is the most important child in the world.

Caitlin R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first heard about Children of Grace about four years ago. I have been wanting to come to Uganda since then. I was able to join the team who went this January for Camp All-Stars. It seemed as though God had been telling me to wait for this specific trip. I had an idea of what to expect when I got there, but there was no way for me to fully prepare myself for what I would experience personally. It broke my heart to see the poor living conditions that most of the children sponsored through CoG live in. Then I went to camp. It was amazing to see the kids and their interactions with each other. They spent the week having fun and just being kids. You would never have guessed that they weren't always able to act like normal kids. My family currently sponsors two kids. I had the opportunity to meet both. It was such a cool experience meeting them. Now I am able to but actual kids to the faces. During this trip, I was able to form so many amazing relationships with many of the kids, CoG staff, and the other Americans that I came with. I care so much more about the kids now that I have such a great desire to go back to Uganda some day.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I'm here in Uganda with Children of Grace, I feel like I'm part of something that matters. Right now I'm sitting in the CoG office on my last full day in the country. From the desk I'm sitting at, I can see children arriving and lining up outside to receive their school supplies for the school year that is beginning in just a couple weeks. While they are here they will also have their eyesight checked, receive a toothbrush, get fitted for new school shoes, see the nurse if they are sick, and get tested for HIV. As I look at their faces, I am seeing the future of this country. Through CoG, people that these children will likely never meet have decided to believe in them and sponsor them to go to school. These people on the other side of the world see the potential that these children possess and as a result have committed to invest in their futures. Without these investors, these children would not have the money required to attend school, receive health care, or have a mentor encouraging them. I have seen with my own eyes that Children of Grace is making a difference. They are giving children a chance at succeeding in life. CoG is finding the "forgotten" AIDS orphans of Uganda and letting them know that they are children of God created with a purpose. It's hard for me to think of anything more worthwhile than this work that they are engaged in. I'm honored to serve alongside the staff here as we partner with God in building His Kingdom.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first heard about Children of Grace in 2009 through my church, I was so touched I volunteered to join up with one of their teams going to run camp for middle school aged children... my life changed that week, forever. I continue to volunteer on a regular basis making an annual trip to Uganda each year as well as serving in many capacities at home. About the organization and people of Uganda they are so welcoming "you are most welcome" as they say. Children of Grace is a wonderful well run organization that is very responsive and thorough in their responsiveness to the needs of the children they serve. There are countless stories of children that would not have been educated without COG, others that without individualized medical care even be alive and thriving today. Children of Grace is a small non-profit yet very well run, the leadership team is continually striving for excellence by listening to the needs of their children and supporters. They have wonderful programs for the students outside their formal education; their goal is to not only educate children it is to raise them to be Godly people that are change agents for their families, communities and nation. They are doing just that. I am proud to be affiliated with this group. I have made four trips to COG, Jinja Uganda. It has been a pleasure to serve.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a beautifully effective organization. They are well regarded and highly respected. I love that they care deeply about the communities and people they serve. I have been impressed with their work for years and it is truly a pleasure to volunteer with the organization. Our planet is a better place for the work they are doing. Congrats!

1 Amy_24

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been on the Uganda Camp All-Stars team twice and wrote the following about my experiences there. To say the least, I believe that this is an incredible organization that has bettered the lives and hearts of countless people.

Camp All Stars: On the morning the campers were going to arrive I was walking with Teo to breakfast. My family is currently sponsoring her through University. Although Teo is my age, I completely look up to her. She has a heart that knows Jesus and is passionately in love with Him. This is evident through her worship and testimonies, her heart for the children and them knowing their Savior, and her devotion to serving others. While we were walking she told me about the dream she had just had the night before. In the dream, my mom, dad, and brother were walking down the road. My brother cried out, “TEO!” and she didn’t recognize them because they were far off. She asked, “How do you know me?” Luke put his hand over his heart and said, “I know you.” Then, she recognized them and was so excited that they had come to surprise us at camp. It was an incredible way to start the week, but left me doubting whether God really wanted me there, and not my dad and brother who hadn’t yet had this experience.

Camp was much more difficult for me than it was two years ago. I realized that I expected the camp I had previously experienced, where I had made incredible relationships with the campers, had the energy to dance every night, and every experience was new and thrilling. It wasn’t until the end of the week that I realized I was really guarding my heart from developing deep relationships with the campers. I was constantly reminded of Martin and Isaac, two of the campers that myself, Nicole, and my mom became very close too. This year I found myself gravitating only towards the girls, and even then not letting them get too deeply rooted in my heart. I now knew how hard it was to leave the country, not knowing when you would return to see children you had fallen in love with.

However, God was really working to break down the walls I hadn’t even realized were up. Throughout the week I was reflecting on Matthew 22:37, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” I realized that I hadn’t been living with a heart, soul, and mind that was completely in love with God. I wanted more of my thoughts to be about God’s work. I wanted my heart to desire God alone and be passionate about my relationship with Him.


That week I became closest with two young girls named Mariam and Hasifa. Both still in the innocent and younger side of Jr. High, I was able to sit next to them at most meals and times of worship. I hope that I was able to speak Truth into their lives and let them know that they are incredibly loved.
Mariam’s mother was at the Children of Grace office after camp selling jewelry to support her family. She asked for me specifically and told me that Mariam had cried all night because she was so sad it was over and missed me so much. I don’t know when, but I’m so excited to see that little girl again and write to her in the meantime.

Sponsor Day

The second main experience was sponsor day, where I was reunited with Julius, the ten year-old boy my family sponsors. Two years ago Julius was incredibly shy, didn’t speak a word of English, and was hard to get to know. This year, he ran straight up to Nicole and I and gave us a big hug. Once given our camera, he truly came to life, mostly enjoying taking pictures of his face or the waiter serving the sodas at lunch.

I also met Beckline, the ten year-old girl my family sponsors, for the first time. She was much stronger than Julius at English and was easier to get to know. She sat very close and after about five minutes and offering her a stick of gum, she was brave enough to reach out at touch my hair. She must have been curious, as it looks and feels quite different from hers. Immediately after she flashed me a huge smile and melted into me. This little moment shattered any and every wall that was guarding my heart from falling in love with her. I knew my heart would be broken to leave her, but I was also so excited to share her joy with my family.

We spent the day going to church, lunch, and then a boat ride on Lake Victoria to see the source of the Nile river. This attraction was literally in their backyard and yet most of them had never been on a boat. It was a wonderful and peaceful experience to share with them. I had the privellege of driving Beckline back to her village. On the way, I learned that she lived in one of the poorest parts of Jinja, which is already incredibly poor. I wasn’t able to see her house as we just dropped her close by, but Teo told me that she stays in a tiny wooden shack with her mother and six siblings. To try to gage the size and type of home, I pointed out a small shack that I thought would be much smaller than what Beckline would live it. Teo said, “No. Much smaller than that.” My heart was broken. Luckily, Children of Grace provides her school fees where during the school year she stays at Glory, a primary school where she has a meal everyday and a bed to sleep in at night.

I’m still processing this lesson, but it goes along with the first. I learned that I need to allow God to break my heart for what breaks His and trust Him. I need to trust that He loves Beckline and Julius more than I ever could and that He will protect them in a situation that I find overwhelming and devastating.

Free Day

Finally, I spent my last full day in Jinja with my brothers Martin and Isaac, the boys that I had fallen in love with from camp two years before. They were sitting down beside the COG office when I walked up engaged in conversation with one of the American team members. I casually glanced over and said “Hi”, then did a double take and am pretty sure I squealed when I realized it was them. They were in my arms before they could even fully stand.

We spent the day, along with Nicole and Erik, walking around town. We took them out to lunch and Isaac got a cheeseburger that rivaled In n’ Out. Then they took us into the old and new market. After just a few blocks there were no more mizungos (foreigners or white people), only Ugandans. The path was narrow and there were wooden shops on both sides of us for miles. There were rows and rows of these shops. It was an incredible experience.

Then we took the taxi to their village and a boda (motorcycle taxi) to Isaac’s home. Isaac lived more in the country, away from the highway. He had a front lawn and a small banana farm behind his home. His home is a small brick building with two bedrooms, a small living room, and an entryway. His room has two twin beds and he shares one with his younger brother, Edgar.

Martin lived closer to the main road and his place was behind a line of shops. We first entered into a type of courtyard where there were about fifteen kids, some naked or half naked, playing while their moms or aunties did washing. Martin’s home was behind a blue curtain. It was two small bedrooms, one with two twin beds where him and his auntie sleeps, and the back room where his grandmother (jaja) sleeps.

Martin showed me his greatest treasure, his two small plastic photo albums. He had every picture he’d ever received, including very old family photos. He had a photo of his mother, Anita, who passed away (most likely from AIDS, as sponsor kids from COG have one or both parents who died of AIDS, but I didn’t ask). I was able to take a photo of him holding the picture of his mother. Martin has the best smile I’ve ever seen and shares it often, but in this picture I saw an incredible sadness.

Martin and Isaac taught me to treasure the relationships I have with people now. Losing those I love isn’t as much of a reality for me as it is for Martin and Isaac, but I saw the value of the time I do have. Loving the Lord with all my heart, soul, and mind involves serving people, building them up, and treasuring the time I have with them because I am called to love them as Jesus loves them.

As I said, I’m still processing these and other experiences, but I hope that these stories give some insight into life in Uganda. Please be praying for all the names I have mentioned as well as all the children who still need sponsorship.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Giving a deserving child education is the single most important thing in changing that child's life for the better. Children of Grace does not only provide education to these orphans, but also caters for their day today needs like food, shelter and access to good health care. Being Ugandan, I have witnessed the charitable work of Children of Grace that has kept hundreds of Aids orphans off the streets. Having seen what they do, I can assure you that your donations will not go to waste. Thank you Children of Grace for giving these orphans a reason to dream.

1 Aimee K.

Donor

Rating: 5

I first heard of Children of Grace in 2008. I was blown away at the heart behind its foundation and the way it is run to support lives of those living in Uganda. Mary Ann responded to God's call and has built a wonderful team of people to support the lives of orphans and widows in and around Jinja. I had the opportunity to go and serve over in Uganda in 2009. Our team was able to do so much in our time there! We put on a camp for kids, helped organize and support the COG office with new supplies brought over, visit schools, love on children of all ages, hold baby orphans, and so much more. We were able to meet with our sponsor child and spend a day with him/her. The time with COG was wonderful! I highly recommend joining in supporting and serving with Children of Grace, it is an amazing organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Going to Uganda was an incredible experience. I got to go to Camp All-Stars 2009 and got the opportunity to work directly with students who are impacted by Children of Grace. The hope and joy this ministry brings to the children they sponsor is incredible. Through their child sponsorship program the children are given a hope and a future that might be denied them without COG.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have traveled to Uganda with Children of Grace. They are saving lives of children orphaned by AIDS. They are honest. I have seen their funds at work on the ground. The money really does go to the children, and they are saving lives. Children who grow up in this program are coming back to donate and to sponsor other children to go to school. These former children now have jobs because of being sponsored by CoG and they want to make a difference in the lives of the next kid.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 3

Helping means solving the problem by providing means to do it themselves not doing it on thier behalf .By them involvign themselves it means the program is sustainable.Am proud to mention that this is what Children of Grace is doing by empowering children get relavant education that can help them be better people ,in the same direction Guardians have not been forgoten within thier means they are supported with interest free loans to make sure they can provide basic needs to the families.By taking vocational approach it means children are taught skills to create avanues for employment thus reducing on the unemployement rate.
This also helps the children to think postive in life .

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is fantastic and really transforms childrens' lives. My family sponsors two children through CoG, with the money going toward school fees, healthcare and life skills training for the children. We have been able to develop a relationship with these children, through back-and-forth letter-writing and picture sharing.

I was lucky enough to go as a volunteer on a 2-week mission trip with CoG to Uganda to serve at a summer camp for middle school students, and the experience was beyond impressive. The CoG mentors and staff are incredible and really look out for these children, ensuring that they are in the best home and school situation possible, and providing guidance and opportunities for these children to succeed in life.

I highly recommend this organization for anyone looking to contribute to a Christian organization that is impacting lives in a very personal and profound way.