Olive Aneno grew up in Kitgum District, Northern Uganda in an environment of extreme poverty. She accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior at the age of 5 after her grandfather, an Anglican Pastor, shared the Word with her. At the age of 6, she was forced to hide in the forest alone at night to escape the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels who terrorized her hometown.
At the age of 8, she moved to the capital city Kampala to join her mother. It was at this time, that she began attending one of Compassion’s child development centers at a local church, beginning a lifelong process which changed the course of her life. Her mother, a single mom and her oldest aunt who had 5 children, both died while Olive was a young girl, forcing her, her siblings, and cousins to fend for themselves.
Olive obtained a volleyball scholarship to play at South Carolina State University where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. She continued her studies through a scholarship to the University of Georgia where she graduated in 2007 with a Master’s Degree. She currently lives with her family in Georgia and is a practicing social worker with the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services.
Olive still has the first letter that her Australian sponsors wrote to her. Though orphaned and poor as a young girl, Olive’s story is one of hope and redemption.