Local Organization focuses on children

Allie Hales, News Writer

According to Allen Nunnally, the operations director for Sozo Children, there are 2,.7 million orphaned children in Africa. That’s nearly triple Birmingham’s population. 58 percent of children are considered “throwaways,” meaning they are ignored, sometimes even despised, and left by their parents to survive on their own.

“Half of the population in Uganda under the age of 15, making it the second youngest nation in the world,” Nunnally said. Children Africa

Sozo Children is a Birmingham organization that Nunnally began five years ago when he became a full time missionary and traveled to Uganda. There he came in contact with an orphanage and children who had been severely mistreated. Many were malnourished and physically abused. They had no access to medical treatment and were only eating two to three times per week.

Later that year, Sozo Children purchased its first house and hired a staff to care for those children.

Sozo’s mission is to save children, build community and connect individuals. The organization provides for 79 children living in four houses in Uganda, Costa Rica and Haiti. Sponsors provide the children with housing, food, clothing, education and medical care.

Additionally, the children are raised in a Christian environment, and some have decided to become Christians themselves.

The organization aims to build community and connect individuals all over the world by making supporters more aware of how they are impacting the lives of children living in a place that seems like a world away.

Samford supports Sozo Children’s mission by offering trips to Uganda, Haiti and Costa Rica over Jan Term and spring break. In addition, the Samford Panhellenic Council sponsors Sozo Children through its philanthropic events.

“Sozo gave me the opportunity to serve, learn and experience the gospel in unfamiliar places,” Megan Lamneck said. Lamneck, a senior human development and family science major, traveled Costa Rica with Sozo during spring break last year.

“I love that Sozo is so intentional about partnering with other organizations to help them in their missions because it speaks volumes to how the kingdom can be further increased all over the world,” she said.

For more information about Sozo Children, visit www.sozochildren.org.

Allie Hales is the director of service programs for Samford’s Panhellenic Council.

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