There are some fantastic creative givers in the Buyamba Community, and The Griswold family is one of these unique donors! I have had the privilege of knowing the Griswold Family for over ten years. God has blessed Buyamba continuously through them, and I have been impacted personally by this family, ongoing, and have had the privilege of going to Uganda with Natalie Griswold.
I recently visited part of the family at Mark and Sandy Griswold’s home in Huntington Beach. I was welcomed with cheerful hearts and lots of stories from the couple and their daughters Whitney, Natalie, and Annjolie, not to mention a fantastic lunch. I wanted to take some time to sit down with all of them to talk about the incredible legacy giving their family has been empowered over the years through the former patriarch of the family, John C. Griswold. Buyamba has been a recipient of part of their annual giving through the family foundation opportunity for over a decade.
The Griswold Family:(left) Annjolie, Whitney, Natalie, Sandy & Mark Griswold
The beautiful thing about how the John C Griswold Foundation (Est.1978) is set up is that the family gets together once yearly and is charged with giving philanthropically. The family has identified the charities they will financially support through grants. Every family voice counts; each person gives an update on the non-profit of their choice and what they have accomplished through the gift given in the previous year.
This wise man knew his family would be blessed by coming together once a year and having the opportunity to give. John started the family foundation in 1978 as a vehicle of giving, and then he passed it on to his two children as recipients after his passing in 1987. They continue to get their families together once a year for this particular purpose. As the years went by, John’s children married and had children who are now having their own children.
Today, John’s great grandchildren are part of the giving force, and some of their children are learning the concept too! I heard many stories of the growth and transformation of this man’s massive gift to the family over the years. It was not always easy, but love prevailed through the generations in this family, who are now passing it down. As I met with part of Mark’s family that day, I was touched by how they thoroughly enjoyed each other. As they shared the story of their family giving, they all recognized the value of their gift and the gift they continue to be empowered to share with charities they love. Buyamba is blessed to be among the recipients.
The Griswold family has helped Buyamba in the building process of God Cares Schools over the years, and have helped build classrooms, dorms, and the assembly hall, and even joined the effort to put on a bible camp for the primary school one year. Together the family has served the population of God Cares School through the years. Their generosity has touched thousands of children, and thousands more will benefit from their Buyamba-building efforts in years to come. This family has genuinely touched Buyamba with their love gifts for the ministry and each other with their creative giving!
By Julie Dimas
Maria's grandmother is a widow, and her home is comprised of nine people. She is a small-scale market vendor who sells vegetables like onions, tomatoes, etc. Her earnings cover the basic domestic needs of her family. Due to the ongoing financial struggle, Maria's grandmother could never help her children go through school, nor could she pay for her granddaughter's school.
The social workers' office at God Cares School became aware of Maria's plight and invited her to school. Maria was blessed with a sponsor through Buyamba Outreach Ministries in Uganda and began school in 2019. She loves her studies, recently graduated from kindergarten, and has advanced to the Primary level. Maria is full of hope and can now dream big because of the quality education she gets from GCS, the love and support of her sponsor, and her new family…the God Cares family.
My name is Joan Nanzala, and I grew up in a family of four children with my mom and stepdad. Life was not easy even when we had both parents. At times, we had single meals and were chased out of several houses because of failure to pay rent on time. At the age of four, my mother took me to a local community school so that I could at least be in school like other kids in our neighborhood. We had no desks in class, and we would sit on hand-made papyrus mats as we attended class. It was a low-cost school, but my mother could not afford to pay the fees; thus, I was always sent back home for school fees. It was a sorrowful story until God came through for me and fought my education battle by connecting me to Buyamba Outreach Ministries.
God was so good I joined God Cares Nursery and Primary School in Primary Two (P2). The school was so big and beautiful; it had excellent teachers. It was a dream come true for me. In 2013, I completed my national primary leaving examinations and then joined high school in 2014. In 2017, I completed my Ordinary Certificate of Education and wanted to pursue my dream of becoming a midwife.
Buyamba did not give up on me, even when my home background spoke otherwise; They held my hand throughout my nursing journey. In 2018, I was able to join a nursing school. Throughout my time with Buyamba, God blessed me with caring and wonderful sponsors who dearly loved me and treated me as their own. They always sent me letters, cards, and gifts for my birthdays, Easter, and Christmas. I always pray for and bless the Lord for my sponsor families, for they chose to light the path of a girl like me, whose future seemed hopeless.
Despite the interference in my studies by the pandemic, I thank God that at the end of December 2021, I completed and graduated with a certificate in Nursing and Midwifery. Last year in 2022, God blessed me with a job, and I am now a practicing Midwife at a maternity clinic. I thank God for the opportunity to serve and give life and hope to another. May the Lord richly bless Buyamba Outreach Ministry in Uganda and the USA for being part of my success. God bless you all.
Our Newest Staff Member and Graduate at GCHS
We get very excited every time one of our Buyamba students grows from a young child to a responsible young man or woman in the program. Rose Nankumba is one of these children. She joined God Cares School in 2006 in Primary Two (P2). Her grandmother approached us after Rose’s parents separated and her mother couldn’t take care of her and her brother.
Helping Uganda One Child at a Time...
My name is Godfrey Kalyango, and I am 19 years old and the oldest of four children. I am currently in secondary school year in my 5th year (S5) at God Cares High School.
My childhood was difficult. By the time I understood the world, I was living with my maternal grandparents. I lived there with my other cousins until primary three (P3). I had never seen my father and mother until my mother came for me and took me to her place when I entered P4.
I found three other children and a gentleman at my mother's place. Later, I realized the gentleman was my stepfather. My mother told me my birth father had abandoned us when I was still in her womb. I was young, and that did not bother me; what mattered was that I was happy in school and finally with my family.
When I entered GCHS, I was given a new mattress, uniforms, and other academic materials. I joined S2 in 2018. Ever since I joined Buyamba, my heart has been so joyful. I feel less burdened because my mother does not have to worry about me reporting back to school. I have benefited so much physically and academically, and my spiritual life has never remained the same. I have learned to forgive my biological father, who I have never seen. I know I have a good Father in heaven who loves and cares for me.
I want to thank Buyamba and my sponsors for loving me and giving my family food relief, Christmas baskets, gifts, and needs. I appreciate the Lord so much and give Him all the glory!