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Anika: My First Visit

My name is Anika, I was born in Germany and now live in Australia. In June 2012 I had the amazing opportunity to visit our Mission (im)possible project Mannya, Uganda for the first time.

I work for the Cotton On Foundation and am responsible for our child sponsorship program in Uganda. My vision and goal is to allow children in need an education by providing sponsorships.

Every child in the world (not just Uganda) should have the opportunity to go to school and learn how to read and write to offer them a brighter future.

The trip was an amazing experience. People ask me all the time “so how was Mannya, Anika?” and I find it hard to explain. In my opinion there is no right word to describe the community of Mannya. “Amazing”, “Beautiful”, “Inspiring” – all these words are good descriptions but don’t do it enough justice. Mannya is very special for many reasons.

During my time in Mannya, I loved seeing the children’s smiling faces when they sit in class, perform and sing for you or when you simply meet them while walking through the village. Everyone in Mannya is so gracious and full of hope and optimism.

A visit to Uganda is also very eye-opening; the people have so little and are still so happy. They always have a smile on their face, are happy, friendly and welcoming. They share their food although they have not much to eat. They share to make their visitors feel welcome and special without worrying about themselves.

While in Mannya, I had the opportunity to spend time with Betty, our Sponsorship Coordinator in Uganda. Betty is so passionate and driven to help the children in Uganda. Betty was able to explain to me how the Ugandan schooling system works and how she uses a selection criteria to assess which children are most in need of sponsorship. It was very impressive to see the relationships between her and the community as well as the children. Betty knows most children by their names and can always tell you a story about their family, friends or home situation.

With every charity product sold in store, they face a brighter future, with every new sponsor signed up to the sponsorship program, another child can attend school. It’s easy to make the world a better place; we all just have to work together and I am incredibly proud to be a part of this journey.

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The Cotton On Foundation is the Cotton On Group’s philanthropic arm, funding projects in Australia and overseas through a unique partnership with customers and employees. We have a number of designated initiatives currently underway and unfortunately are unable to support additional projects at this time.

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For all other enquiries, contact the Cotton On Foundation:

14 Shepherd Court, North Geelong, VIC 3215 Australia

+613 5277 7000