This is a link to the charity I am affiliated with that is working to improve the lives of impoverished children throughout the globe. I have had the pleasure of visiting Uganda three times and have over-seen the building and progression of a local centre for under-privileged children in one of the country’s poorest regions. It is all the vision of a great man that goes by the name of David Russell who I am privileged to call one of my closest friends.
David Russell – Brainchild of A Child Unheard
(lifted from the website)
The objective of the ‘A Child Unheard’ (ACU) Mission is to educate through informative products and to provide support through ACU Centres, to both adults and children who have experienced troubled childhood issues and consequent conditions resulting from same. For example, depression, broken relationships, anxiety, fear, bullying, abuse, lack of self belief, low self esteem or simply neglect or rejection.
‘A Child Unheard’ will provide safe, secure, and caring Centres with access to professionals who will aid in the healing process and offer hope and encouragement for a future filled with positive experiences, not blighted by past traumas.
Missions will be set up by co-operating and developing relationships with corporate organizations, charities and religious bodies. These vital Centres will be created in conjunction and in close partnership with the medical world. They will facilitate a bridging function between charities, religious and governmental agencies (NHS etc in the UK).
Centres have a brief to become self-funding. The options for sustainability include: charging visitors to the foreign centres’, who gain experience of different countries and cultures whilst receiving help in privacy, charging for services and help provided, accommodation and treatment charges, local fundraising, and contributions from practicing professionals using the centres facilities.
A Child Unheard Centre in Mityana, Uganda
In March 2008 the first A Child Unheard centre was opened in Mityana, Uganda. The land was purchased and at the time there was no building on the land. The building was erected and local children and adults helped decorate the centre. The centre was opened in association with the Mityana Charity.
David Russell has close links to the Mityana Charity. The Mityana Charity was setup in the 1990s by Derek Burden, a minister who spent much time with David listening to his experiences and problems.
The powerful and emotional writings in the book A Child Unheard have provided the foundations and inspirations for the A Child Unheard centre. The centre in Mityana, Uganda is now reaching out into the local community and provides free education to local children. The classes run from 8.30am until 1pm daily. Often the classes finish at 1pm but the staff at the centre often find the children wandering back to the centre to play with the toys that have been donated to the centre. It provides them with a safe, caring and loving environment in which to play and interact with other children.
Many workshops have started for youths and adults to help educate them about health issues, relationships and to provide them with support during difficult and traumatic periods in their lives. The parents of the children in Uganda often die very young so sometimes the youths have to take on responsiblities far beyond their years like trying to feed their brothers, sisters and other members of their families.
The A Child Unheard Centre in Mityana, Uganda is the first centre of its type. The long term objective is for the charity to generate funds to develop the existing in centre in Mityana but also to open similar centres throughout other countries in Africa. This will enable the A Child Unheard Foundation to reach out to more communities and help more people.
For more information about the first ever A Child Unheard Centre please watch the A Child Unheard documentary.
About the Bear
The history of A Child Unheard logo
The A Child Unheard logo of the boy sitting on the swing holding the hand of the bear was drawn by Nils Lovenberry.
Nils was inspired to do the drawing as a result of his personal experiences during his younger years. Below is a brief explaination from Nils about the logo:
I was handed a copy of the poem “A Child Unheard” by David many years ago, when the perils of youth were all I really had to worry about. The poem spoke to me instantly, the image was just there in my mind. I went through the hardships of losing a parent at a young age, I lost my father to Cancer at the age of 9. The poem was like a direct link to thoughts I was feeling about my own life, and as a result the drawing of the bear and the boy came effortlessly. I don’t often believe in fate, but the drawing and the poem seemed to be destined to be together