In this season of Thanksgiving we would like to thank you for your enduring support of our programs, especially the students at Ocer Campion Jesuit College. With the help of your donations and prayers, missionaries and lay Catholics such as Fr. Tony and Jackie have been able to build anew the futures of children affected by war and displacement through education, faith and compassion.
Jackie Lourdes Alaroker is from the Acholi tribe in northern Uganda. During the war years her family sent her to Kampala for safety and to finish her education. After graduating from Makerere University with a degree in education, she worked for the National Association of Women Judges. When the conflict in the north was resolved she began looking for opportunities in Gulu to help with the restoration of the community. Through a referral she was introduced to Fr. Tony Wach, S.J., Director of Ocer Campion Jesuit College. Not long after the school opened its door he invited her to work alongside of him helping on a part-time basis with the students on scholarship. Quickly, the work became too much for Fr. Tony to handle alone, and Jackie came on board fulltime in her current role as the Sponsorship Coordinator for the College.
The financial capacity among the student of Ocer Campion Jesuit College varies greatly, with many families unable to support their education at all. Through the sponsorship program students receive support for school fees, books and uniforms as well as soap, bedding and beyond. As a sponsorship student herself, Jackie knows firsthand how valuable educational contributions are in the lives of children living in poverty, especially those growing up in a war-torn community. The power of donations towards education is immeasurable transforming families for generations. Jackie has dedicated herself to seeing a child with no hope receive the opportunity to attend school, which she considers her greatest joy.
Scholarships received are never detached. At Ocer Campion, the sponsorship program begins with admittance and follows the student throughout their academic career. Once admitted into OCJC on their own accord, Jackie begins her work to build a relationship with the student and their family. She sees value in blending school and family life, as visiting the home and understanding the family members provides insight into the student and the challenges facing them. She monitors the students academically and socially throughout their time at Ocer Campion to ensure that they are maintaining sponsorship standards and reaching to achieve the school motto: Beyond Academic Excellence. As well, those students that are orphans are assigned a foster family, either a teacher, staff member, or friend of the school community to ensure their wellbeing. Throughout the program, Jackie and staff work to bring up children who are well rounded, who “love to serve,” and go beyond their classwork to help people.
While extremely rewarding, Jackie finds her position at Ocer Campion to come with great challenges. The greatest encompasses the sadness and fear of disappointing people when she is unable to help. Though sponsorships increased from 50 students to now more than 160 students since she first began, Ocer Campion continues to turn away students due to a lack of funds.
Although she and the students do not always know where the money will come from, they maintain their faith in God and believe that their prayers will be answered. Jackie is ever grateful for and excited to see the impact of heartfelt donations for Ocer Campion Jesuit College as they ripple throughout the community to the whole country.
We invite you to give the gift of education to more students needing sponsorship, and support and prayers to wonderful lay Catholics, such as Jackie. Join our Endeavors Giving Circle today!