June Newsletter

June Newsletter

Welcome to the June edition of our Luwero Newsletter.  The Projects, and indeed all of Uganda, continue to be impacted by the effects of COVID-19.  However, folk at the Projects are continuing to try to live as normally as possible while adapting to their new “normal” and I have a lot of news to share with you.

COVID-19

Uganda is still on lockdown. At the time of writing there have been 616 reported cases of coronavirus in Uganda, 103 have recovered and there have been no deaths.

Some easing of restrictions is being considered and some changes have been implemented.  Businesses have been allowed to re-open apart from salons, gyms and shopping arcades.  Most shops are still closed which may cause problems purchasing school resources.  Public transport was suspended in Uganda months ago, but private transport is now allowed so a lot of cycling is taking place from Luwero to Kiryanyonza and further afield.  Facemasks are compulsory to everyone going out in public.

​Preparations are in hand for the phased reopening of schools at some point during this month, albeit in a limited format. Work is under way to clean the school premises extra thoroughly, work out how social distancing can be effectively applied in the schools and dining hall, resolve school transport issues and train the pupils in the use of hand sanitisers etc.

Exam candidates and all final years’ pupils are to be allowed to go back to school soon and the rest will follow in due course.

Gabriel was delighted with, and grateful for, the emergency relief package sent to him. Consequently, he has been able to pay teachers’ salaries and give support to sponsored children.

The Kijjambu Family

Gabriel advises us the Family Kijjambu is on the point of expanding further.  He has informed us that Deborah is four months pregnant and is expecting twins!  She has been carefully quarantining herself to protect her health. Please pray for her and that her pregnancy runs full term and healthy babies are born in due course.

Pastors and Church Leaders Conference 2020

The pastors and church leaders conference which was scheduled to have taken place during May was cancelled due to the current situation with COVID-19.  The possibilities of doing some work for pastors in some digital format is being investigated.  However, given the limited access pastors in rural areas have to digital resources this may not be possible or effective.

The Farm

One positive consequence of COVID-19 is that a lot of extra time and labour has been deployed on the farm.  Lack of activity at the schools has freed up people to devote time to cultivating the crops. As you can see from the photos below of the maize and beans planted during lockdown, it seems to have been effective.

Bush has become a farmer

Bush has invested in becoming a pig farmer.  She originally bought 3 pigs – some of which were pregnant – and her stock is steadily growing.  She assures me the pigs are thriving and that she is getting better at being their “mother”. We wish her well in her new enterprise.

Luwero Community Projects Board Meeting

The next meeting of the LCB Board takes place on Friday 12th June. If you have any items that you would like them to consider, please contact them at the LCB office.

Postscript

PrayerWith the phased re-opening of schools across Uganda, please pray that all pupils are actually able return to school.  Lack of family income and fractured contact with school could lead to a drastic fall in families sending their children back and our prayers should be directed towards preventing this.

COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update

Uganda is still on lockdown: in common with most other countries, restrictions are in place across the country. At the time of writing there have been 616 reported cases of coronavirus in Uganda, 103 have recovered and there have been no deaths.

At 7 pm every evening a curfew applies across the country and, apart from emergency medical reasons. Many people have lost their jobs or been laid off without pay. Food prices have escalated.

Some easing of restrictions is being considered and some changes have been implemented.  Businesses have been allowed to re-open apart from salons, gyms and shopping arcades.  Most shops are still closed which may cause problems purchasing school resources.  Public transport was suspended in Uganda months ago, but private transport is now allowed: a lot of cycling is taking place from Luwero to Kiryanyonza and further afield.  Facemasks are compulsory to everyone going out in public.

Schools were closed and all pupils and staff were sent home. Preparations are in hand for the phased reopening of schools at some point during this month, albeit in a limited format.

An emergency financial aid package has been transferred to the Project to alleviate immediate suffering.

Please pray for the physical and mental health of all our friends in Luwero during these extraordinary times.  It is a huge boon to them to know that they are in our prayers.

April Newsletter

April Newsletter

Welcome to the April edition of our Luwero Newsletter.  The Project has experienced some significant events since I last wrote to you in January and, as with most of us, the Coronavirus has impacted upon the Projects.  However, we have some good news to share too.

Gabriel

In February Gabriel contracted typhoid and was hospitalised for a while.  He made a full recovery and is now back to normal and he is back leading all the aspects of the project.

Nurse Joy

I am delighted to inform you that the Luwero clinic has a new nurse. Her name is Joy Harriet.  Nurse Joy replaces Nurse Rose who left Luwero following her marriage last November. We welcome her to the staff at the project and wish her well as she embarks upon her new post.

Container

We have been working with a fellow charity, Rock Projects Uganda, who are building a clinic for their own ministry in Kampala. Early in February they despatched a container to Uganda and we were able to send some equipment to Luwero via the container. We are very grateful for their assistance. The container left Glasgow at the beginning of February.  Its journey was disrupted by heavy storms initially but it is due to arrive in Kampala on or about 4th April.  Goods for Luwero include primary school reading books, theological books for the Bible School, footballs and new baby clothes. About 18 months ago we were contacted by a supporter who owned a small industrial sewing machine and an overlocking machine.  At the time, we were unable to ship the machines to Uganda, but the donor was willing to keep them until such time as we could. Six months ago, a retired tailor contacted us and said he wished to go to Luwero for approximately six weeks to teach children and staff sewing techniques.  About the same time our friends at Rock Projects were preparing to send a container of equipment for their clinic. ‘All things work together for good …’ (Romans 8:28).

Visitors

A team of 3 UK visitors were at Luwero during the first two weeks of March. Tom, his wife Eileen and colleague Terry (pictured) spent two weeks at the project meeting and encouraging all those involved in the work at Luwero. Tom is a keen Northampton Town supporter. Below, he and his wife are seen making presentations at the award ceremony.  In addition, Tom also presented two local football teams with football strips for their entire squads. They were received with much jubilation by the team members.

Witchcraft Attacks

On a more sombre note, the project has encountered some problems in recent months arising mainly from witchcraft.  There has been an increase in witchcraft activity in some areas of Uganda, and Luwero has not been exempt.  Some key members of staff have been forced to leave the project, not because of any involvement in witchcraft themselves, but due to external pressures and influences.  This is a phenomenon with which we are unfamiliar in the UK.  Wisdom and guidance need to be given to leaders handling such issues. Please pray for the protection of the folk of Luwero against such attacks.

Coronavirus

COVID-19 is now affecting visitors to Uganda.  As a consequence, two people who planned to visit at the end of March and a team of 11 people scheduled to go out in May have had to cancel their visits. Other visits in April (from Germany) and July are being cancelled.  During Gabriel’s visit to the UK, a number of people expressed a desire to visit Luwero either in 2020 or 2021.  Anyone planning to do so should contact the office to discuss alternatives given the current and continuing restrictions on travel. The May 2020 Pastor and Church Leaders Conference, Children’s Club and ICCU events have all been cancelled. The September 2020 Youth Camp is also under review and may be cancelled. Food prices have rocketed and long queues are evident at banks as people try to withdraw cash.  Effectively, the country is in lockdown.  At present we are monitoring the situation with Gabriel and will keep supporters advised of changes in the situation as time progresses. The Board is looking at a number of options to help support Gabriel and his ministry at this time. Many people have lost their jobs and there is no social security support or infrastructure from central government. Businesses have no responsibility to pay people who are unable to work. People who are suffering turn to the church as their only means of support.

School News

The Ugandan government has closed all schools and banned all public meetings in Uganda for one month even though, at the tiSitting Examsme of the imposition of the ban, there were no reported cases of coronavirus in Uganda. The school term which has been aborted was due to end on 1st May with children returning to school on Monday 25th May. The situation may well change between now and then. Please pray that the pupils and their families are able to cope with the restrictions imposed upon them and that their absence from school will not be permanently detrimental to their education. Please pray especially that all of them return to school when it re-opens.  Lack of family income and contact with the school could lead to a drastic fall in families sending their children to school and our prayers should be directed towards preventing this.

Kiltwalk 2020 Cancelled

Mass participation fundraising events across the UK, such as Scotland’s ‘Kiltwalk’, by which many supporters have made significant contributions to support the work at Luwero, have been cancelled because of COVID 19. To offset the drop in income as a consequence of the absence of these events, any  supporters, donors and intended participants who would have been making a financial contribution are asked to consider making a donation to the projects using the existing methods, ie through the website or by post.

Postscript

This newsletter contains an unusually large proportion of negative news.  Whilst we accept that this is largely due to circumstances that we are well aware of, it is worth remembering why we subscribe to this newsletter and support the work being undertaken at Luwero.  In dark times like this, the value of the Project and the benefit it provides become more obvious.  Its role as a hub for the community of Kiryanyonza is reinforced as people turn to their church in times of need.  We must continue to support in whatever ways we can and we must pray that they will be sustained in their work and that they will all make it through the tough times ahead.
January Newsletter

January Newsletter

Gabriel’s Tour of Europe

As you may be aware, Gabriel returned to the Project just before Christmas, having spent time in Europe during October, November and December to meet with supporters.  He arrived in the UK towards the end of October for a nine-week visit.  Immediately before that, he had visited our German sponsorship group Christliches Kinderhilfswerk Luwero Uganda (CKLU) at various locations across Germany during his three-week visit.

Whilst in the UK Gabriel travelled extensively across the country from Gairloch in north-wests Scotland to Worthing on the south coast of England.  Venues have included Northern Ireland, East Kilbride, Prestwick, Northamptonshire, Colne, Leyland, Glasgow, Cheshire and Dumbarton.  He visited supporting churches, primary and secondary schools, para-church groups, Bible Colleges, participated in radio programmes and sang at a specially arranged concert near Glasgow.  At times his programme was quite intense.  Over one 3-day period Gabriel visited seven primary schools and spoke in 17 classes to tell children about life in Uganda.

Contact with many who have supported Gabriel and his work over the past 20 years has been renewed and consolidated. New contacts have also been established during his visit. At the concert in Glasgow, featuring Gabriel and the Inspire Choir, a CD featuring Gabriel singing some of his favourite hymns was launched.  Copies are available from the office via the website or by post priced at £8.00 each.

Gabriel kept fit and healthy during his visit, due no doubt in part to the kind and generous hospitality shown to him throughout his time here. We are grateful to the many people, churches and organisation who hosted Gabriel during his visit. He is indebted to everyone whom he met whilst here.  We acknowledge the sacrifice made by his family, Deborah and Priscilla, and the team at Luwero who continued the work of the Projects in his absence.

Gabriel returned to Uganda shortly before Christmas where he went straight into a busy programme with the local churches in Luwero (after a big hug from Precious!).

Christmas and New Year at Luwero

The Christmas Day programme included morning service at the church, Christmas lunch and the final match of a local football competition hosted at Luwero.  Boxing Day was spent distributing 600 gifts in the local community and New Year’s Eve was taken up by an all-night prayer service at a local football stadium, where several thousand people joined together.

Staff News

I am delighted to report to you that Nurse Rose, who has been in charge of the clinic for the past 3 years was married on 30th November.  She has now left the project to embark on this next stage of her life with her new husband.  All our best wishes and blessings go with her.

Gabriel’s Greatest Hits

As previously mentioned, Gabriel recorded a CD entitled ‘Gabriel’s Favourite Hymns’.  The CD has been produced, mastered and now launched.  It includes timeless classics like Amazing Grace, What a Friend We Have in Jesus and When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.  Copies of the CD, priced at £8 each, are now available from the office and can be ordered by email or post.

Luwero Visits

During Gabriel’s visit to the UK, a number of people expressed a desire to visit Luwero either in 2020 or 2021.  Anyone planning to do so should contact the office to avoid dates of visits overlapping.

 

 

School News

School pupils are on holiday from school until 3rd February when the new school term starts. Those who sat P7, S4 & S6 exams still await their results.  Please pray that the children had a refreshing break and that their exam results are positive.  Please pray especially that as many of them as possible return to school for next term.