He was sitting alone by the road, crying his eyes out.

His name is Innocent. His father died two years ago from AIDS.  His mother is now mostly bedridden – also dying slowly from AIDS.

Innocent was on his way to his “Baby” class (the first year of nursery school) at a government school (probably with forty or more other children), but he didn’t want to go.  His motivation for learning has been muddied because his world just didn’t seem very happy.

He is three years old and the youngest of four brothers.  One of his brothers is already sponsored at Bwindi Watoto. That’s Jonas, six years old and in the last year of nursery school (“TOP”).  The two older boys, eight and ten, are in a government school where 50+ children in a classroom is common. 

There is not much food at home.  We are not sure how they are getting whatever food they have because they don’t have a garden. Most families have their own gardens behind their homes as their primary source of food. 

When Ibrahim found Innocent on the side of the road, the boy was too upset to walk any further.  Ibrahim knew he was Jonas’ brother.  He asked Innocent if he would like to go to school with Jonas. Innocent stopped crying, looked up and said with excitement, “Yes!”  Ibrahim checked in with us, and we told him to call the mother and tell her that Innocent was starting to board at Watoto that very day.

It turns out Innocent is a very organized little boy, keeping his few belongings and clothing clean and “smart” all the time.  His teachers say he pays attention in class and has a very positive attitude towards learning.  There are only fourteen children in the class.

Since that very first day when Ibrahim brought him to school, he has never cried again. All he needs now is a sponsor who will make sure he remains safe, healthy at Watoto.