In 2006, 18 year old Katie Davis, a native of Brentwood, Tennessee, traveled to Uganda for a mission trip over Christmas break. Completely captivated by the people and the culture of Uganda, she returned there in the summer of 2007 to teach Kindergarten at an orphanage located in Jinja.
While the landscape of Jinja, located at the source of the Nile River, is breathtakingly beautiful, it is also characterized by extreme poverty. According to the experts, there are somewhere between 2.5 and 2.7 million orphans in Uganda, many having lost parents to AIDS, with many orphans living in or near Jinja.
Appalled by the poor conditions the children of Jinja endured, Katie soon rented a house and became foster mother to 13 little girls. In 2008, she founded Amazima, an organization based in Jinja that sponsors Ugandan school children, and also distributes food and provides health care services to the families of children living in Masese, a nearby slum. Every outreach is accompanied by Biblical teaching and spiritual encouragement.
Today, Amazima is a thriving organization that serves thousands of children under the direction of a team of eight staff members in the United States and a staff of 70 located in Uganda, most of whom are native Ugandans.
I first heard Katie’s story a few years ago when she was touring the United States after writing a book titled Kisses from Katie. The New York Times bestseller, published by Howard Books in 2011 and reprinted in 2012, details her life and mission in Uganda. Written in her own voice, the book illustrates the courage and compassion required to give up the comforts of home to serve people who live in one of the most impoverished places on the planet. You’ll shed tears as you read Katie’s story and consider what you can do to make the world a better place.