DAVID Cameron is going to sponsor Barack Obama to help with his education and will get regular updates on his progress.
But it’s not the UK Prime Minister sending the US president back to school – it’s South Queensferry minister the Rev David Cameron, who has signed up through child development charity Compassion UK to sponsor a seven-year-old boy in Kenya called Barack Obama.
Mr Cameron, who has visited Kenya several times, spotted Barack’s details among a number of child profiles displayed by the charity after it came to the church to share news of its work around the world.
He will pay £25 a month, which will allow Barack to go to primary school and attend a weekend project for children run by Compassion, which also does health checks.
Mr Cameron, who has been minister at South Queensferry and Dalmeny for the past seven years, said: “I’m delighted that my family and I have started a sponsorship with Barack Obama. We were chuffed when we saw his child profile and so we decided to sponsor him.
“Having been in Kenya on a number of occasions it is a place that is particularly close to my heart. I’m delighted to be a part of Compassion UK’s significant work in Kenya and beyond.”
As part of the sponsorship arrangement, Mr Cameron and Barack will build up a friendship through letter-writing. Mr Cameron can expect two or three letters each year from Barack, letting the minister know how he is getting on, and also updated photos every now and then.
Compassion UK says names often carry much more meaning in African cultures than they do in most western countries – they can mark a point in time, a specific emotion or a family characteristic. Seven-year-old Barack was born two weeks after Barack Obama’s inauguration as United States president.
He lives with his parents and four brothers and sisters in north-western Kenya. Typical houses in his area are constructed of dirt floors and grass walls. Most adults in his neighbourhood are unemployed, but some work as animal herders, earning the equivalent of around £20 per month.
Children at Dalmeny Sunday School are also sponsoring a child through the charity.
Compassion UK, founded more than 60 years ago, works in partnership with local churches, seeking out the most vulnerable children and with the support of individual sponsors, providing them with the means to break the cycle of poverty and create a viable future.
At present more than 1.7 million children attend Compassion’s church-based projects in 26 of the world’s poorest countries.
Compassion says research has found that sponsored children stay in school longer than their non-sponsored peers and are also more likely to have salaried jobs. Some have gone on to become doctors, social worker, teachers, lawyers and engineers, anti-corruption officials, ambassadors and two are even MPs.