Compassion Canada

April 26, 2012 14:00 ET

Well in Uganda Is Dedicated to Inspirational Canadian Teen

LONDON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 26, 2012) - On March 27, 2012, in a remote village of southern Uganda, a well was dedicated to Kaitlin Boyda, a teenager who selflessly gave away her Children's Wish to bring clean water to children in need.

Kaitlin Boyda was just a sophomore in high school when she was diagnosed with brain cancer. She struggled through chemotherapy and other treatments that made her sick. But when the Children's Wish Foundation gave Kaitlin the choice to fulfill any wish, rather than choosing something for herself, she decided to give away her wish to build a well for children in need in Uganda.

Kaitlin passed away in May of last year. Her selfless act of generosity inspired thousands across Canada and across the world, and Kaitlin's Legacy has already raised nearly $300,000 to bring clean water to children across Africa through Compassion Canada, including 20 additional water projects in Uganda.

Kaitlin's family travelled to southern Uganda in March along with Compassion staff members to dedicate the well to Kaitlin. The well is located at Compassion's Kabanda Child Centre, in a community where most people are subsistence farmers and earn about the equivalent of $5 per month. Now children here, and in many communities across Uganda, will have access to water that will prevent them from getting sick and will save them many hours of gathering water.

"God has done incredibly more than any of us could have ever dreamed would happen as the result of the obedience of one young woman," said Tracy Smith, the advocate network national manager for Compassion Canada and the leader for the Uganda trip.

"I have been a part of Kaitlin's story since the time Compassion Canada was notified of the wish," Smith continued. "It has been humbling for me to watch this journey unfold over the last 16 months-from the selfless act of one sick, young girl who wanted to give back, to meeting the families who were actually impacted by the result of the wish."

Canadians haven't been the only ones inspired by Kaitlin's generosity. The Reverend Canon Mwesigwa Samuel shared with those who gathered about how Kaitlin is challenging Ugandans as well.

"Kaitlin's wish is a tremendous challenge to us in Uganda and Africa: do we really care enough about the suffering of others and do we take practical steps to mitigate that suffering? No one is too poor to help-we can do something to help others in need, share the few resources we have with them or give a word of comfort and encouragement," said Mwesigwa at the dedication ceremony.

Now in this remote village near the shores of Lake Victoria, there stands a well with a plaque commemorating Kaitlin's act, one act which has now rippled all across Africa, bringing life-saving clean water to children in need across a continent.

To learn more about Kaitlin's Legacy, please visit www.compassion.ca/KaitlinsLegacy.

About Compassion

Compassion International has partnered with the local church in the developing world to bring an eternal solution to poverty into the lives of children since 1952. Today, Compassion Canada and its international partners work with over 5,000 churches in 26 nations to bring care to more than one million children and families.

Contact Information

  • Media contact:
    Tracy Smith, Compassion Canada
    985 Adelaide Street South
    London, Ontario
    1-800-563-5437
    tsmith@compassion.ca