In December of 2006, 18-year-old Katie Davis from Brentwood, Tennessee, traveled to Uganda for the first time. She was immediately captivated with the people and the culture.
In the summer of 2007, Katie returned to Uganda to teach Kindergarten at an orphanage. As she walked the children home, she was shocked to see the sheer number of school-aged children walking along the road, playing with their friends, washing their families’ dishes, or digging in the fields. She learned that most schools in Uganda require school fees for attendance, making impoverished families unable to afford an education for their children. God laid it on Katie’s heart to start an Education Sponsorship Outreach matching orphaned and vulnerable children who are unable to afford schooling with sponsors anywhere in the world. A annual gift of $300 enables one child to go to Christian school and provides the necessary school supplies, 3 hot meals each day, spiritual discipleship, and medical care. Originally intending to have only a handful of children in the sponsorship program, Katie had 150 signed up by the end of 2008. Today the program sponsors over 700 children.
Later that year, in 2008, Katie established a 501(c)3 non-profit organization called Amazima Ministries International. The word “Amazima” means “truth” in the native Luganda language. The organization seeks to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the people of Uganda who need it most.
Shortly thereafter, Katie was introduced to the Karimojong people of Masese. Living in poverty, and losing their children to malnutrition and starvation at an astounding rate, she noticed their desperate need for nutritious food. She started what is now the Masese Feeding Outreach, which provides meals to 1,200 children Monday through Friday. This program allows the children to attend school and therefore not be forced to the street to beg. Amazima also provides medical care, Bible study, and general health training to the Masese community.
As her friendships developed in Masese, Katie wanted to help the women in the village provide for their families, for the Gospel to take root, and for them to be the change we wish to see within the community. She initiated a self-sustaining vocational program to empower these women to generate needed income by making unique Ugandan magazine bead necklaces. The necklaces made by the women are purchased weekly by Amazima and then sold in the United States. The money the women receive for their beads allows them to support their family and send their children to school.
Now the mother of 13 daughters, Katie offers, “People tell me I am brave. People tell me I am strong. People tell me good job. Well here is the truth of it. I am really not that brave, I am not really that strong, and I am not doing anything spectacular. I am just doing what God called me to do as a follower of Him. Feed His sheep, do unto the least of His people.”