17 August 2014

Celebration at Agung Parish

The tallest couple of the year
On Monday, August 11th, was the anniversary of the arrival of the first missionaries to the Acholi people in 1903.  They arrived and knelt to pray at Agung.  We gathered there to remember them and give thanks to God for bringing Christianity to northern Uganda.  We also saw 25 people confirmed and there was a mass wedding where 20 couples were married.  A witch doctor gave a moving testimony and many gave their lives to Christ. An appeal was made to the community of Agung to respect the church land.
Cutting the cake

Mentoring of Students under Peter's Fund

A group photo of some of the Beneficiaries of the Peter's Fund
As a way of mentoring the students under the Scholarship called  Peter's Fund, a total of 26 students are being supported. On Saturday the Mothers Union had a meeting with the students and their parents or guardians under this scholarship. Some of the  issues discussed included:- Academic performance, discipline, relationship with the parents, guardians and sponsor.
Rev Norah Akidi Omona had this to say "Mothers Union Diocese of northern Uganda would like to sincerely thank the Christians of Bristol diocese for supporting 26 students in northern Uganda, whose hope for studies was shattered as a result of the long conflict in the northern part of Uganda. With the support from Bristol their fees is being paid and if they come back for holidays they are given mentor ship sessions to encourage them to be focused committed and above all to develop their spiritual life. This scholarship enables students to be paid from senior one –senior six. Our utmost gratitude goes to our coordinator Mrs. Alison Rowe, Christians of St Peter’s Henleaze and the entire Christian community of Bristol Diocese not for getting our Lord Bishop. God bless you abundantly."

19 July 2014

South Korea in Koro

We thank our friends from South Korea for the mission work they are undertaking here in DNU. They have just spent a week with us. Last year in 2013, a woman named Akanyocan Sharon was taken to South Korea for an operation which was successful. The team had time to visit Sharon in the village of Olony in Anaka, Nwoya District. They also visited Gulu University, Pakwelo Parish and Koro church. In Koro, they supported putting glass in the windows of the church building, and conducted series of activities with Christians of Koro.

05 July 2014

From Graduation to the Village

 One unique thing with the Women Development Centre is the visit to the former Students (Alumni) in their respective communities. This week we visited at least four groups located in Nwoya, Bungatira, Awere and Lalogi. The journey has not been all that easy, some places have no roads and we had to drive in the bush- literally with a guide on a motorcycle tying to point out black sports with trees stems that may cause puncture of the tire.  From our visit, it is clear that Women are a big driving force in community transformation, how I wish we had enough resources to continue empowering these women groups. Now that DUFA is weaning WDC by the end of this month, we appeal to like minded organization to consider working with us. We need support in a number of areas; including fuel for movement, maintenance cost for the school van and facilitation to the staff as they teach at the centre, and move out to the communities, and airtime for internet among others. Some of our former students certainly remain in town and small centres, but some go up to remote places without electricity, no clean water, no roads …….
According to the women in the communities they need support in the areas of capital for starting and maintaining business, agricultural support, land right, developing their constitution and many others.

29 June 2014

From State of Hopelessness to Joy and Celebration

Celebration of a work well done:  Friday 27th June we graduated 70 Students of the Women Development Centre (WDC) who completed their one year course at the WDC in 2013.  The atmosphere was filled with joy and ululation as the former students receive their certificates and many items to kick start their life after school. Most of these students had lost hope after failing to continue with formal education because of cultural issues, war or death of parents.

One girl Monica Apiyo who did so well right from term one to term three got a very strong original SINGER machine from Japan.  This machine is more durable that the once in the market today. We are grateful to Marie and her friends for all the support in sending the machines and materials.
Mean while the rest of the students received brand new sewing Machines and assorted items. The tailoring students received Sewing machine each and the hairdressing students got almost all that is needed to start a Saloon.  Many thanks to DUFA and Kingos Church for the gift of all these items. For the last five years students who graduate from WDC are given sewing machines and items for saloon
The main challenge is lack of payment of fees and other graduation requirements which made some students to miss the items above. The condition for one to get these items is completion of school dues and payment of at least 25% of the cost of the items. This is to avoid the spirit of getting free things inculcated by the war in northern Uganda.
Why would one really come to WDC with the so many vocational Institutions in the area:  after graduation, the graduate are not left alone, we have a team called Outreach team who visit the former students in their groups and monitor their activities and provide necessary support. The groups themselves visit each other in order to share experience and forge way forward. By the end of May we already had 21 groups in different locations in the districts of Gulu, Amuru and Nwoya. With the passing out of these 70 students, we expect the groups to increase in number.
Please pray with us so that we continue this initiative of empowering women.