George is the youngest child in Road to Hope and the inspiration for the program. In the US, five-year-olds are mastering how to tie their shoes, going to kindergarten, learning to read. In the village of Kakumiro, Uganda, five-year-old George Bazaire was caring for his dying father in their one-room mud home. When his father died he went to live with his mother, who was unable to care for his basic needs and education.
George’s story highlighted the need for education of child caregivers. Thanks to Roberta Spencer, a volunteer liaison for PCAU and Center for Hospice Care/Hospice Foundation, George was enrolled as a day student in Kakumiro Boys School, a government-sponsored school.
George now attends school regularly and his basic needs of food, uniforms and supplies are covered by his Road to Hope sponsor. His progress is monitored on a regular basis by PCAU staff and volunteers; he will continue to receive support and encouragement from those associated with the program on an official basis through his 18th year and unofficially beyond that.
Update March 2014: George is adjusting to a new school. He misses his friends from his previous school; unfortunately the two schools are close together and he has “escaped” to visit them a few times. The school administrators feel that he is starting to make friends at his new school. During our visit, we stressed that we want to be notified if George has any problems or needs. We met the new matron of his group and she and Rose exchanged phone numbers. Robert from the local hospice will maintain checks on George and report back to PCAU. We also introduced George to another Road to Hope sponsored child, Mark. We also asked Mark’s grandmother to visit George when she visits Mark.
George seems to be getting more social and interactive. He recognized us when we drove up and immediately came to greet us. He is still struggling with English, but it is early in their school year, so we will see how he is doing down the road.
And, most importantly, George’s aspiration is to be president!