Gerald’s mom was left to raise four children when their dad deserted them. Her only source of income was a vegetable garden. Most of the food went to feed the family; any extra she sold to buy basic necessities. While other kids were in school Gerald and his siblings would help farm and do chores around their dried-mud house in Western Uganda.
Gerald tried to attend first grade three times over the years. But each time he was “chased away” when his mom couldn’t come up with the school fees. Without an education, prospects weren’t very good that he’d grow up to do much more than live in survival mode, like his mom had been doing.
Fortunately, the cycle is being broken. Cross Catholic-funded St. Francis Family Helper, a program of the Diocese of Mbarra, seeks to improve life for poor rural families like Gerald’s. Now age 13, Gerald has been attending a good Catholic boarding school for the last two years, thanks to this program. Today he can dare to dream about a poverty-free future. When Gerald grows up he wants to “become a doctor to help the sick and poor people.”