ChildFund Australia is delighted to announce MasterChef extraordinaire and long-time child sponsor Julie Goodwin as our newest ambassador.
Julie and her husband Mick – who have been ChildFund sponsors for 13 years – will travel to Uganda next week to meet their sponsored child, 10-year-old Hamad, for the first time. During their trip, they will participate in a Nutrition Day and visit a range of ChildFund aid projects to see for themselves the value of child sponsorship in helping children and families overcome poverty.
While Julie is in Uganda, she’ll also have the opportunity to enhance her impressive culinary skills by cooking with local women, visiting food markets and learning about traditional ingredients and food preparation techniques.
Julie says: “I am delighted to be supporting a respected organisation like ChildFund and to experience first-hand the valuable work they’re doing with children and families in some of the world’s poorest communities. Having sponsored Hamad for over three years, my husband and I are very excited to finally meet him and his family in person, and see how our sponsorship is not only benefiting them but their whole community.”
ChildFund began working in Uganda in 1980 and has reached over 1.25 million children during this time. Huge strides have been made in the country’s social and economic development, however, Uganda’s children and young people still face major challenges. Adequate schooling is a key issue with only two-thirds of children completing their primary school education. Thousands of children in the north who were recruited as child soldiers by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) are still being rehabilitated back into their communities. And while the under-five mortality rate has reduced significantly over the past two decades, a staggering 141,000 Ugandan children die each year before their fifth birthday – that’s 386 children dying every day, mainly from three preventable illnesses: malaria, diarrhoea and pneumonia.
In her role as ChildFund ambassador, Julie hopes to show Australians how rewarding child sponsorship can be and the real difference it can make to children living in extreme poverty around the world.
“It is easy to get overwhelmed by the enormity of poverty but I know there are many stories of success,” says Julie. “Child sponsorship gives me a direct, personal connection with a child and family who are striving to overcome poverty, with our support. I look forward to learning more from Hamad and his family and seeing how the child sponsorship contributions of Australians, pooled together, are improving the lives of Ugandan children.”
ChildFund Australia CEO Nigel Spence says: “We are fortunate to have someone of Julie Goodwin’s reputation and humble nature as a ChildFund ambassador. Julie has been a long-time supporter of ChildFund and her ability to communicate with the Australian public means she will be able to shine a new light on child sponsorship and connect Australians with the issues faced by children and families in other parts of the world.
“So often when sponsors visit their sponsored child they return home with a greater appreciation of how poverty affects children and how every one of us can make a positive impact in the life of a child and their community.”
Watch Julie’s video diaries from her journey to Uganda here.
Find out more about sponsoring a child here.
Photo credit: Jake Lyell/ChildFund