I was waiting for you with this Dear Miss Hermann,
it gives me great pleasure to welcome you as our newest sponsor
and to introduce you to Josephine from Uganda! For the past two years my wife and I have been sending £12 a month to a little girl
in Uganda. She’s very pretty isn’t she? Jusztina and Mango loved opening letters and chatting about Josephine To me the glossy pictures of smiley African children looked like all the other junk mail
we got in the post. She sent us a letter?!
Yes, this is Josephine’s letter. Dear Miss Hermann,
I’m writing on behalf of Josephine because she is still young to write well.
Thank you for… I know it’s pretty cynical
but I can’t help thinking there’s someone writing
dozens of children’s letters. I’m not assuming the guys in London
are scammers trying to get money off of us, what I’m questioning is:
how efficiently is the money used? How can they make sure that people there
aren’t pocketing the money? I have a feeling this is actually genuine
and there is a little girl behind the whole thing. Would you like to visit Josephine?
– Yeah! If were to fly from there where we live
to where Josephine lives, it is this long. That’s Africa. Africa?! A year later, Mango and I
were on a plane to Uganda to find Josephine and see what difference
our money was making to her family. The letters spoke of songs,
school and happy family but I wanted to see for myself
what their lives were really like. Have you never been to Africa?
– I’ve never been to Africa before. I’ve never been to Africa before. It’s what we’ve been doing for almost a year:
we’ve been working towards coming and meeting Josephine in person.
Okay? You should be happy and excited, yeah? Hello!
– Mango. Djevae Njavo, Tommy, Mango’s Daddy.
Are you Mary? I was overwhelmed by their warm welcome and despite the language barrier,
Josephine and Mango became instant best friends. The money we sent
didn’t go directly to the family but was invested in projects that would benefit
the community, such as schools and clean water pumps. I felt pleased to see our that little donations
were making a difference to people’s lives. I really wanted you to eat the porridge
like the kids here, because that’s what they eat every day at school. The problem is you ended up
getting them to buy you food that’s different from what they’re having,
when they wouldn’t buy that food for themselves. Say: “Webalenjo Sevo” Thank you Sir.
– You’re welcome Madam. Even back in Scotland,
trying to get Mango not to leave the tap on, she’d been excited by the prospect
of getting water out of a borehole. Wow, she’s strong! My daughters… I’m getting tired hands…
– You are tired? Mango, you are tired? Mango is tired,
you finish washing up though. Are these all family graves?
– Yeah, family graves. That one died of TB.
– Tuberculosis, yes… 00:06:17:00
That one AIDS, the other,
my sister died of malaria. And these are children? They all died?
– They died. How?
– Malaria… You see these are graves where members of…
– What’s graves? A grave is where a dead person is buried. Those are children?
Yeah, that’s why the grave are much smaller. This was his big brother, that was his sister…
– And my brother again… And his other brother… You’ve still got your Mum and your Dad
and your children. Everything is a simple answer. My sister, she got polio when she was young, she doesn’t speak, but she hears
and she understands. Hello Christine,
it’s very nice to meet you, we came from a very long way away. From very far away. Why is she lying in the bed?
– She has an illness called polio. She can not walk, she can not touch. I wanted to spend time alone with Joseph,
so I followed him to work in a village ten kilometres away. 00:07:48:00
So you’re walking here for an hour and a half just so you
don’t have to pay like one dollar to the boda boda… …to take you at the motor bike? If you took the boda boda every day
you come to work… …you would not make any money?
– No money. No money at all. You would spend more than you are earning. After hearing about Joseph’s struggles,
I felt I had to do something. I knew the bike would help Joseph,
but I also felt this gift did nothing to change the system
that had caused their poverty. You need to really take care of this, hey? We had hoped
that by sponsoring a child in Africa, we are doing something to make sure Mango’s
children wouldn’t have to sponsor Josephine’s. Bye bye! I realised that charity can only do so much
to fight the symptoms of poverty. But as we left, I couldn’t help wonder
are we doing enough to eliminate its causes? That’s it, Mango.