Recipient of Compassion International Sponsorship to Speak at Gardner-Webb

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Ugandan Native Olive Aneno to Share at Dimensions Sept. 10

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – The Dimensions program at Gardner-Webb University is pleased to welcome Olive Aneno, who as a child was sponsored by Compassion International, as its distinguished speaker. The Ugandan native will share her personal story and compelling message with students on Tuesday, Sept. 10 at 9:25 a.m. in the Paul Porter Arena, located inside the Lutz-Yelton Convocation Center (LYCC).

Aneno, who grew up in extreme poverty in Uganda, was forced to hide in the forest alone at night in order to escape the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a militant group that terrorized her hometown. After reuniting with her mother in the capitol city of Kampala, she began attending one of Compassion’s child development centers at a local church. After the death of her mother and aunt, she was left orphaned and forced to fend for herself.  Aneno’s sponsorship by an Australian family who supported Compassion International instilled within her a new hope for what her future could hold.

Aneno obtained a volleyball scholarship at South Carolina State University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in social work and later received a master’s degree from the University of Georgia. She is now employed as a social worker with the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services and serves as a volunteer speaker for Compassion in order to help spread the word about the Christian child advocacy ministry that changed her life.

“I am grateful for the ministry of Compassion International,” Dr. Tracy Jessup, vice president for Christian Life and Service and senior minister to the University. “Olive’s story is one of hope and redemption as she is able to speak firsthand about the way in which God is using Compassion International to change the lives of children throughout the world.”

Compassion International provides the basic necessities of food, health and hygiene training, medical checkups and a message of God’s love to children in need. Started in 1952, by Rev. Everett Swanson, Compassion has helped over 1.2 million children from all over the world by helping release them from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty. For more information on Compassion International, visit

Gardner-Webb University’s Dimensions programs are free and open to the public. The goal of Dimensions is to enhance the spiritual, intellectual and cultural life at the University and also to promote a sense of community. Dimensions programs are held on Tuesday at 9:25 a.m. in the LYCC. More information is available by calling 704-406-4277.