Locals Lend Support For Ugandan Orphans

A McDonough family has been inspired by their 18-year-old daughter to provide support for needy orphans in East Africa. The daughter said she was heartened by a group of young singers from Uganda.

Krissy Jeffares said she was introduced to the 18-member Ugandan Thunder children's choir last spring, during an assembly at Strong Rock Christian School, in Locust Grove.

"They came to our school and they ate lunch with us," Jeffares said. "The way they were so thankful ... They don't have anything, and they're just happy to come here and meet new people."

The singing group tours as a part of "Pennies for Posho," a global missions outreach of the non-profit Skipstone Adventures, based in Griffin. Founded in 2003 by Ted Moody, the mission supports 10 orphanages in Uganda, and seeks to feed the nation's hungry youths.

Moody said the outreach supports some 5,000 children in the East African region, and 90 percent of them are orphans. It provides the children with food, clothing and tuition for school.

"Last year, we were able to buy 100 tons of food," said Moody, also the mission's director. "It is a great blessing when, occasionally, someone like [Jeffares] comes into your life. She fell in love with the African children and saw that there was an incredible need."

This summer, Jeffares has been involved in helping raise money for the outreach mission, in order to fund its food program. Money is spent to purchase "posho," an East African food made of ground cornmeal.

Moody said the mission has several churches and a few businesses that provide some support to the cause on a regular basis. He said much of the mission's support comes from individuals who adopt a child.

"It costs us $9 to feed a child for a month," he said. "None of the money raised goes to salaries, every penny goes to food."

Moody said he has visited Uganda 12 times in the past seven years, and he plans to make two more trips this fall.

"We're building a chicken house that will provide eggs for the children," added Moody. "They get about two eggs a week [for each child]. That's all we're able to do right now. I wish we could do more, but right now, that's all we can handle financially."

The Ugandan Thunder children's choir, he said, makes visits to 120 churches and several colleges annually over nine states, in its effort to drum up awareness and support for countrymen suffering from famine in East Africa.

The group of 8-to-11-year-olds — scheduled to visit Bethany Baptist Church in McDonough in the spring — perform "high energy" songs in Ugandan and English.

"There is no way to describe what an impact these children make," explained Moody. They have nothing — most of them don't have parents — but they continue to be happy. They have found that the secret of happiness is not in your possessions."

Jeffares and her family are hosting a yard sale, today, to raise money for the "Pennies for Posho" charity. The yard sale will take place from 8 a.m., until 4 p.m., at 161 Honey Creek Road, off of North Ola Road, in east McDonough. Jeffares said the family's goal is to reach $1,000.

"One thousand dollars will make more than 8,000 meals," said Jeffares. "That would make a really big difference. And people my age can donate.

"I think we all have so much that we don't need, that others need," she continued. "If we all give a little, then, we'll all have so much to give them. Twelve cents [per meal] is not a lot of money to feed a child."

To learn more about the charity, visit www.penniesforposho.org.