In 2008, Carli Travers was a social worker graduate from Vancouver traveling in Uganda when she came across six children living on the street. After walking past them a couple times, she decided things had to change.
Travers quit her job, rented an apartment in Uganda, and became these children’s legal guardian. Through fundraising, she created a Children’s Home in Uganda called Abetavu, where she has now adopted a total of 16 orphans, plus has five children of her own.
Travers is now back in Vancouver, hoping to raise money for Abetavu.
Travers spoke to Sam Ferris on the Afternoon show about her decision to make this life-changing move.
“For our first years in Uganda we just kept getting kids brought into us, and this point we were just renting an apartment. Three years ago we got the funding to buy 10 acres of land in a village and to buy a family home. Now, we aren’t just a family with 19 children, we are actually raising up a whole community and a whole village.”
Travers says people often visit Abetavu from surrounding villages.
” There’s not a day that we don’t wake up and there’s ten different families with cases and situations…people coming from very early in the morning, walking miles and miles seeking some type of resource from us. We are the only type of support in at least three villages.”
She says the most common problem they see is children being raised by elderly grandparents, who can no longer keep up.
“The poverty is so extreme…a week doesn’t go by where when we haven’t had to bury a child under seven.”
However, Travers’ work doesn’t come without extreme danger.
“Just before I came…there’s a man in the village who trains young women to be nursery school teachers. The case was brought to me about six months ago that he has been raping all of his students. The police won’t do anything, and I’m the one at the end of the day who has to deal with these things. And it’s risking my life to be honest.”
Travers will be traveling around the Lower Mainland throughout the month of October, giving talks and hoping to raise more money for the Children’s Home. For more information on how to get involved visit www.abetavu.com.