Athens Resident Receives Hice Headliner Award for Work in Uganda

Press release from the office of Congressman Jody Hice

Rep. Hice with 14-year-old Gideon Abiriga & Hice Headliner Olivia Ricketts. Contributed photo

Monroe, GA – On Friday, January 7, 2022, Congressman Jody Hice (GA-10) awarded the first “Hice Headliner” of the year to Olivia Ricketts, a graduate of Prince Avenue Christian School and the University of Georgia who now works for Ekisa Ministries in Uganda at an orphanage for children with special needs. Olivia secured the necessary documentation and funds for a 14-year-old Ugandan, Gideon Abiriga, to travel to the United States for treatment of sickle cell disease at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

“Olivia is an extraordinary young woman,” said Hice. “Shortly after graduating high school, she packed up her bags to volunteer at the orphanage in Uganda, and she kept going back throughout her college career. In 2019, she moved there full-time to work at Ekisa Ministries and became a foster parent to young Gideon. It took Olivia more than a year to obtain Gideon’s birth certificate and visa because of a corrupt Ugandan government, but her efforts paid off. In December, they arrived in Georgia to receive the sought-after treatment for Gideon. There’s no doubt that God is right in the middle of this incredible story of a courageous woman and her love for a precious young boy.”

To nominate an outstanding individual who is making a positive impact in your community, send an email to Jessica.Hayes@mail.house.gov.

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