Local News

Wake Forest couple to help orphaned children in Uganda

Posted January 13, 2009 11:29 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT

— A Wake Forest couple is moving to Africa to work for Embrace Uganda. The nonprofit organization identifies needs and provides support to families and orphaned children in Uganda.

"You can look at them and count that maybe one in 10 have a pair of shoes,” said AJ Overton, with Embrace Uganda. "You know that they are wearing the only pair of clothes that they have, they're dirty, they're ragged and worn."

The small village of Kaihura is filled with orphans. AJ and Ana Overton visited the village last summer during a missionary trip organized by Embrace Uganda.

After returning from the trip, "slowly our jobs weren't as fulfilling as they were before,” Ana Overton said.

The couple, both research scientists, have quit their jobs and are moving to the village where they will work as missionaries for the next two years. They will oversee construction of a medical clinic that will replace the rundown facility there now.

They will also channel donations where needed.

“They say that they really needed light in their building at the school, so they could continue their studies after dark,” Ana Overton said.

Word spread beyond the village and a donor stepped in with money for a solar panel.

"While were there, the lights came on at the vocational school and that was such a neat thing to witness, because there was just joy and celebration about light being there,” Ana Overton said.

There was no running water, no indoor plumbing, no electricity, but folks are happy despite the hardship.

"They just live with such an appreciation for life and for all of the things that they have. It's just really amazing,” AJ Overton said. "It is kind of hard to say that we are sacrificing much."

The couple plans to move to Uganda next month. They are still raising money for living expenses. It is estimated it will cost them about 18,000 a year to live there.