My name is Judy Kleis, and I am a board member for A Child’s Voice. I have a nine year old daughter from Uganda, and we live in Michigan (USA). This year, five years after we left Uganda (where I lived for two years), we are back in Uganda for the summer. We have both longed to return to Uganda, so are happy the Lord opened the doors for us to spend the summer working on the ground with Child Advocacy Africa (CAA). We are staying at the office, which is a house, so are around all the day-to-day happenings of CAA.
My reason for being here? To be on the ground to see what is happening with the projects, and to meet the staff and ladies in our program. I am the only board member who hadn’t traveled to meet everyone yet, so I am grateful this is a long visit. My background is in graphic design and office administration, and in the five years I was in the USA I earned a social work degree, with a focus on the administration of non-profit organizations. I am a systems person, and love to figure out how things work, and what can be done to help things work more smoothly, if needed. I enjoy writing policies and creating forms and many other behind the scenes things that most people don’t think is very exciting. Oh, I’m also somewhat of a computer geek, so helping with tech stuff is one of my passions too.
My passion for vulnerable children goes as back as long as I can remember, and I never knew what God would have me do with this passion. In 2008 He led me to serve at an orphanage in Uganda as the Business Administrator, and it was then that my heart knew I would forever have a connection with Uganda. One year into serving, The Lord told me I would adopt a daughter, though I did not go to Uganda with the intent to adopt!
I met my daughter a couple months later. Her story is difficult, and I work hard to protect it, so won’t share the details, but I will say she was not in the orphanage, but was very much a vulnerable child in need of a safe home. She is an amazing girl, and I love seeing how God worked in her life to make her the beautiful child she is today, and look forward to how God will continue to use her story in the future. She has a big heart for children in difficult places, and her compassion for others is very strong. Being in Uganda for the summer is eye opening for her, since there are many things she forgot about life in Uganda. We have been blessed to reconnect with many friends from living here before, as well as meet many new friends!
One of my goals for this summer, and beyond, is for this blog to be more active, so that our partners learn more about what happens on the ground with CAA. Some stories can’t be shared, as it would violate the privacy of the people we work with, but please know that CAA and ACV always work to empower people to succeed in a way that benefits each family, and protects children.
Please feel free to comment with any questions you have for me, or about the organization, and I can either respond to you directly, or write another blog post to address the question for everyone. You are also welcome to email me at judy@a-child’s-voice.org.