Luwero Newsletter – September 2021

Luwero Newsletter – September 2021

Welcome to the September edition of our Luwero Newsletter.  The prevailing conditions in Uganda, allied to the low range and unreliability of telecommunications networks, continue to make it difficult to maintain contact.  However, Ernie and Gabriel continue to furnish us with the latest news.

The Kijjambus

Gabriel, Deborah and the four girls are all well. On the 10th of September the triplets, Gabriella, Debbie and Peggy celebrated their first birthdays.  As you can see below, they are getting bigger and looking well

Triplets
Triplets
Triplets
Gabriel

COVID-19

Following a peak in August, reported cases of coronavirus have dropped from over 20,000 per day  to 138 per day: a total of 3,100 coronavirus deaths have been reported.  A vaccination programme prioritising military personnel, medics and teachers is under way.  Uganda has received vaccines donated by various countries around the world including the UK.  Vaccination is free and it is estimated that about 1.6m doses have been administered, covering around 2% of the population. Some people have received their second jabs.  There is a lot of suspicion and hesitancy from people in Africa about receiving the vaccinations.  Gabriel and Deborah were called to the local hospital at Kiwoko for vaccination late last month.

Some limited relaxation of coronavirus restrictions has taken place; a nightly curfew still exists except for the transportation of essential goods.

Gabriel asks that we continue to pray for all of Africa.

 

Church News

Gabriel has maintained contact with church members and people are now allowed to congregate in groups of up to 200 in churches, including weddings and funerals.  Good use continues to be made of loudspeakers been erected around the area and three times daily Christian music, sermons and local news and information about the pandemic are broadcast from the church.  The church leaders are keeping in contact with church members by mobile phone.  Members are encouraged to hold services privately in their own homes.

 

School News

Schools have not yet re-opened: Uganda is likely to see a gradual reopening of schools from January 2022 onward.  As a consequence of COVID, many teachers in Uganda have left the profession to earn a living by other means.  However, Gabriel continues to maintain contact with Luwero school staff.  When schools recommence, the recruiting of staff is likely to be a problem nationally.  We hope that, because of the investment in and support of teachers of the schools at Luwero during lockdown, most of our teachers will return when the schools reopen.

Once schools resume, because of the lapse in their education, each child will be assessed and be placed in their appropriate academic stage. More generally, some children who are not being sponsored will have found employment and some girls will have been forced into marriage, the consequence of both situations is that they are unlikely to return to school.  We pray that we can get as many back to school as possible.

Sponsored Children

Gabriel has been in contact with every sponsored child and their guardians again recently and provided them with either practical or financial support.  Those who live locally, he has been able to see in person: for others living further away, he has been in contact with them by telephone.  Not being in school can have a fundamental effect on them and their families and Gabriel is making every effort to keep them engaged and ensure that they return to school when it reopens

Construction Work

Despite lockdown, construction work has been allowed to proceed. The roof has now been completed on the girls dormitory block and metal door and window installations are in place. This will be followed with rendering, plastering and painting, etc. The boys dormitory block is nearing roof level and the roof will be constructed soon.

Land

Gabriel is currently looking at 200 acres of ground suitable for farming, approximately 25 miles from the Projects. Supporters will be advised of any progress we are able to make as information becomes available. Acquiring additional land for farming has been a long-term aim for the Projects.

Farming

HIV/Aids

HIV/Aids is still prevalent in many parts of Africa and, with the coronavirus pandemic, it has largely been forgotten.  Approximately 1.5m people are affected by HIV/Aids in Uganda, with women being disproportionately affected.  Despite cultural and political barriers often hindering effective treatment, 85% of adults suffering from the problem receive antiretroviral treatments.  Gabriel recently conducted the funeral service for a lady who died from the infection leaving seven mature children.

 

Donations

We appreciate the many supporters who continue to donate generously to support the work at Luwero.  Thank you to those who donate anonymously; your kindness and generosity is gratefully acknowledged.  Virgin Money Giving, who have facilitated our on-line giving via the website, has advised us that it is discontinuing its charitable giving platform at the end of November. We are putting alternative arrangements in place and donors donating via our website should not notice any difference during the transition period. 

 

Luwero Community Projects Facebook Page

A new feature of our communications strategy is the establishment of an LCP Facebook page. The purpose of the page is to allow supporters of LCP to be kept up-to-date about life in the various aspects of the Projects more often and less formally. Supporters are also encouraged to share any news they have by posting directly to the page. It is now up and running and we look forward to your contributions . Just key “Luwero Community Projects” into the search box on your Facebook page

2022 Luwero Calendars

2022 Luwero calendars are presently in production: details will be available shortly. It is hoped that prices will be similar to last year with small desk calendars priced at £6.00 and wall calendars at £10 plus postage and packing. Calendars can be ordered via our website, email at [email protected] or post to our office.

Luwero Calendar
Luwero Calendar

Gabriel’s Favourite Hymns

A CD on which Gabriel sings some of his favourite hymns is available priced at £10.

 

 

 

 

“Knowing and Doing”

2,000 copies of the Luganda translation of the book Knowing and Doing, a book about Christian belief and practice, have just arrived in Uganda. The books were printed and published in Glasgow under the auspices of OPAL Trust. They were shipped by a sister missionary support agency to Uganda from Belfast. Gabriel is arranging for collection of the books.

Prayer Points

We ask that you continue prayer for:

  • the Kijjambu family,
  • the pupils, teachers and their families, and that they will return to school in good numbers,
  • church and community leaders,
  • the crops and livestock at the farm,
  • all of Africa, as people continue to cope with the effects of COVID-19 and the negative impact it is having on their lives.
  • all of Africa, as people continue to cope with the effects of HIV/Aids and the negative impact it is having on their lives.
Luwero Newsletter – July 2021

Luwero Newsletter – July 2021

Welcome to the July edition of our Luwero Newsletter.  The prevailing conditions in Uganda, allied to the low range and unreliability of telecommunications networks, continue to make it difficult to maintain contact.  However, Ernie and Gabriel continue to furnish us with the latest news.

 

The Kijjambus

Gabriel, Deborah and the family are all well.

 

COVID-19

Independent statistics show 88,194 cases reported and 2,164 deaths relating to coronavirus in Uganda. These numbers reveal a sharp spike is cases during June and July. Graphs of total cases, daily cases, active cases and deaths all showed a steep increase, although rates of increase appear to have lessened in the past week.  Severe lockdown restrictions were re-imposed in June.  A 7.00 pm to 5.30 am curfew exists. Public gatherings have been banned, churches and schools have been closed.  Public transport has been severely restricted and people cannot travel outside their local area without express police permission.

This message from Gabriel sums everything up very succinctly.

We had four deaths last week in our village. One was a young man of 35 who left 5 children.  The others were 45 and above.  We are all physically fine but emotionally drained.  Schools, universities, churches and other places of worship are all closed.  All church members hold their prayers in their homes.  Public transport and travel outside our districts are restricted.  We spend most of our time in the garden.  We have fitted loudspeakers up on the church, so the Gospel is preached every day.  I was selected by the district authorities to be part of the Covid 19 Task Force Committee.  Through this, I do a lot of awareness and sensitisation programs in our areas and communities.

Gabriel asks that we pray for all of Africa.

 

Community News

LCP continues to forward funds bi-monthly to Gabriel and has given him the liberty to use the funds to alleviate poverty and suffering for our sponsored children and others within the church and community around Luwero. Often he does so by purchasing maize and providing food for the most people most in need.

 

Church News

The church leaders are keeping in contact with church members, by mobile phone.  Members are encouraged to hold services privately in their own homes.  Gabriel has placed a number of loudspeakers in Acacia trees around the project.  Christian music and Bible messages by himself and other local pastors are broadcast daily.  The church doors may have been closed but the church is not silent.  For obvious reasons, the Pastor and Church Leader’s Conference in May was cancelled.  The annual Youth Camp, normally held in September, has also been cancelled.

 

Construction Work

Construction is still allowed, but Gabriel can’t access banks in Kampala to allow him to buy raw materials.  Despite this, work is progressing on both the boys and girls dormitory blocks.  The 2nd floor slab for the boys dormitory has been cast and is ready for concreting next week.

 

“Knowing and Doing”

LCP has been instrumental in translating John McQuoid’s book ‘Knowing and Doing’, a book about Christian belief and practice, into Luganda over the past two years.  The book has already been translated into over 45 languages and over 750,000 copies distributed worldwide.  The Luganda version has now been printed and published by the OPAL Trust.  2,000 copies are currently en route to Luwero.

 

 

PrayerPrayer Points

We ask that you continue praying for:

  • the Kijjambu family,
  • the pupils, teachers and their families,
  • church leaders,
  • the crops and livestock at the farm,
  • all of Africa, as people continue to cope with the effects of COVID-19 and the negative impact it is having on their lives.

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Luwero Newsletter – May 2021

Luwero Newsletter – May 2021

Welcome to the May edition of our Luwero Newsletter.

The prevailing conditions in Uganda continue to make it difficult to maintain contact.  However, Ernie and Gabriel continue to furnish us with the latest news.

The Kijjambus

Gabriel, Deborah and the family are all well. Priscilla recently had her 6th birthday and the triplets are now 7 months old.

COVID-19

Officially recorded cases of coronavirus stand at 42,355 at the time of writing with 346 deaths. The disease still appears to have had less of an impact upon Uganda than in neighbouring countries, partly due to the government’s swift lockdown reactions to limit the spread of the virus.

Uganda has ordered 5 million doses of coronavirus vaccine which is due for delivery this month. A vaccination programme prioritising people aged over 50 and those working in the medical and teaching professions is in place. It is reported that Uganda has identified new variants of the virus within the country.

School News

I am delighted to inform you of the appointment of Dorothy as the Acting Headteacher of Luwero Community High School.  Dorothy was appointed recently and will lead the high school as it embarks upon returning to a new, post-pandemic “normal”.

Both primary and secondary schools continue to return in measured post-pandemic stages. S2 pupils  returned on 10th May. As a result of the closure of other schools in the area, LCHS has been seen increased pupil numbers registering for S1 and S2 classes.

 

Farm News

Work on the farm continues unabated with the planting of maize, beans and bananas. Great news to support this work is that there has been a plentiful supply of rain in recent weeks. Long may this continue to ensure a bountiful harvest.

 

 

Church News

The church continues to meet under coronavirus restrictions. An upper limit of 200 people still applies to all public services.  Consequently, 2 services are held on Sundays, one in the morning and a second in the afternoon. Mid-week services, where smaller numbers attend, are also held every week.

A one-day ladies conference was recently held with approximately 200 ladies attending. New people have joined the church at Luwero.

On 28th to 30th May fifty delegates from 14 local districts forming the coordinating committee for conferences and youth camps will be meeting at Luwero to plan 2022 and 2023 events. The second church planted by Luwero in Eastern Uganda has been growing.

Construction Work

Building the new boundary wall to the secondary school dormitory blocks is now nearing completion with gates the main item of outstanding work.

Work is also progressing on both the boy and girls dormitory blocks. The 2nd floor slab for the boys dormitory is due to be cast soon and work will shortly commence on the roof of the girl’s dormitory block. Henry who has been faithfully involved in the project for many years, continues to oversee all aspects of the construction work.

     

Boundary Wall                                                            Senior Girls Dorm – Second Floor under way

     

Senior Boys Dorm – First Floor under way                Senior Boys Dorm

Appointment of New Nurse

The clinic has received a boost with the arrival of a new nurse.   Brend has taken over the running of the clinic. We wish her all the best as she embarks on ensuring the good health of all the staff and pupils within the complex and the community beyond.

 

 

 

Duncanrig Secondary School

I am delighted to tell you that the Project received a cheque for £1,000 from Duncanrig Secondary School in East Kilbride to support the work at Luwero.  This continues the long-standing partnership between the school and Luwero Community Projects.

Prayer Points

We ask that you continue praying for:Prayer

  • the Kijjambu family,
  • the pupils in their phased return to school,
  • church leaders as they plan for next year and beyond,
  • the continuing success of crops and livestock at the farm,
  • further afield in Uganda, as people continue to cope with the effects of COVID-19 and the negative impact it is having on their lives.
Luwero Newsletter March 2021

Luwero Newsletter March 2021

Welcome to the March edition of our Luwero Newsletter.  The prevailing conditions in Uganda have made it difficult to maintain contact.  However, Ernie and Gabriel persevered and managed to furnish us with the latest news.

The Kijjambus

Gabriel, Deborah and the four girls are all well.  The triplets are now sitting up and going through the trauma of teething.  As you can see below, they look the picture of health.

Sadly, Gabriel has lost close relatives (2 aunts, 1 uncle and 1 nephew) in the past two months.  Please remember the Kijjambus and their relatives in your prayers.

 

COVID-19

At the time of writing, notified cases of coronavirus numbered 40,408 and deaths totalled 334.  The accuracy of these figures cannot be guaranteed.  Locally in Luwero, four pastors contracted coronavirus: two have survived and two have died.  Some vaccinations are expected to become available in Uganda next week.  A government programme commencing with the vaccination of teachers is planned, although there is a lot of rumour and misinformation circulating in the country about the vaccine.  Uganda’s population is just over 46,500,000 with approximately two-thirds below the age of 24.

Funds continue to be sent to Gabriel to enable relief to be given to staff and pupils at the projects as well as the needs of local people with whom Gabriel has contact.  We are indebted to those who continue to support the work at Luwero both prayerfully and practically.

 

School News

Schools in Uganda face an uncertain future as a consequence of the Coronavirus.  Some parents, because of unemployment, cannot afford school fees.  In other situations, children who have not been at school for over 12 months have found work and have chosen to continue working.  Some schools have closed and others have been sold because they are no longer viable in the changed circumstances.

Despite problems, the schools at Luwero continue to function. Sponsored children are returning and contact continues to be maintained with those who have yet to return.  It is likely that all sponsored pupils will become boarders.  The Board are continuing to support Gabriel and building work is continuing, albeit under coronavirus restrictions, to the boy and girl’s dormitories at the secondary school.

  • P6, P7, S4 and S6, returned in January,
  • S3 and S5 returned on 1st March,
  • P4 and P5 will return on 12th April,
  • S1 & S2 will return on 19th April and 21st June respectively,
  • P1 to P3 will return on 21st

School exams for P7, S4 and S6 pupils take place between now and June.  The academic year for all school years will move temporarily from January to December to the new arrangement from this year’s commencement dates for the school year until June/August 2022.  In 2023 schools will revert back to the school year and calendar year coinciding.

 

Farm News

The success of the farm continues with the news that the recent maize harvest yielded about 8 tons of maize!

This will provide food for the school children for the next two months.  Please pray that the farm continues to thrive.

 

 

 

Church News

The church continues to meet under COVID19 restrictions.  A 9.00 pm to 6.00 am curfew still applies across the country.  People attending services need to comply with sanitising procedures, wear face masks and apply social distancing measures.  Services are limited to 200 people, so two services are held on Sunday mornings.  Mid-week Bible studies continue.  The co-ordinating committee will meet in May for 3 days to plan ahead for conferences and youth camps in 2022 and 2023.

This year’s Pastor’s Conference has been cancelled, and whether a youth camp will be possible in September remains uncertain.  Plans are afoot for preparing videos of Bible teaching sessions for use in Uganda with limited numbers attending.

 

National Elections

Some political unrest followed the national elections which took place in January.  This has now quietened down and the country is stable again.

 

Prayer Points

We ask that you continue praying for:

  • Prayerthe Kijjambu family, and Gabriel in particular as he copes with the loss of his loved ones and supports those left behind,
  • the pupils in their phased return to school,
  • the continuing success of crops and livestock at the farm,
  • continuation of the return to normal Ugandan peace and stability following the national election
  • everyone involved in arranging future conferences and youth camps
  • further afield in Uganda, as people continue to cope with the effects of COVID-19 and the negative impact it is having on their lives.
Luwero Newsletter – July 2021

Luwero Newsletter December 2020

Welcome to the Christmas edition of our Luwero Newsletter.  As Christmas approaches, we are very aware of the impact that COVID-19 will have on our celebrations, both here and in Uganda.  However, folk here and at Luwero are determined to celebrate the birth of Jesus despite the restrictions in place

Christmas Worship in Luwero

Covid-19 restrictions mean that services cannot be held after 6 pm because of curfew.  Churches at Luwero are able to meet; numbers are limited to 70 people per service with protective measures in place.  Gabriel informs us that this limit has been increased from 70 to 200 provided social distancing can be maintained.  The church at Luwero can easily accommodate that number, even with restrictions.

The Christmas programme has been curtailed this year because of the coronavirus restrictions.

Programme    23rd December   –        a Carol Service is planned in the church

                         25th December   –      one Christmas Day service will be held

                         26th December   –      Christmas gifts will be distributed throughout the local community to orphans and needy families

                         31st December    –     a day of prayer 9 am to 6 pm

                         1st January            –   between 3 and 6 pm church members and local villages will be visited for evangelistic outreach

The Kijjambus

The Kijjambu family are all well.  Gabriella has recovered well from her recent health problems.  She received good treatment initially from the main hospital in Kampala and then at Kiwoko hospital, about 10 miles away from Luwero.

         Priscilla and her 3 baby sisters

Please remember Gabriel, Deborah, Priscilla and the babies in your prayers.

COVID-19

There have been a number of coronavirus cases in the Luwero area with a few reported deaths.  At the time of writing there have been 22,499 cases reported and 206 deaths across Uganda. Lockdown restrictions still apply across the country.  Numbers continue to grow.  Funds continue to be sent to Gabriel to enable relief to be given to staff and pupils at the projects as well as the needs of local people with whom Gabriel has contact.  We are indebted to those who continue to support the work at Luwero both prayerfully and practically.

 

School News

The first  term for P7, S4 and  S6 pupils ended on 18th December; exams will be taken next March/April.  It was anticipated that a full return to school would take place on Monday 11th January, however this has been delayed until 18th January because of elections next year.

 

 

Farm News

Crops have been growing well;

  • maize was planted recently following a period of rain
  • coffee was harvested
  • the cows have produced 3 calves.

We hope that these successes continue, as the farm is crucial to the long-term sustainability of the projects.

 

National Elections

National elections take place on 14th January 2021.  Such events can often be accompanied with violence and problems: pray for peaceful elections and ongoing stable government in the country.

 

2021 Calendars and Gabriel’s Favourite Hymns

Final call for Luwero 2021 calendars and Gabriel’s Favourite Hymns CD for delivery prior to Christmas.  Small desk calendars £5 and A4 wall calendars £9..  Copies may be ordered by email (mailto:[email protected]).  Copies of Gabriel’s CD are £8 and may be ordered in the same way as calendars.

 

Knowing and Doing

Printing of the Luganda translation of Knowing & Doing by John McQuoid is expected during January 2021: we are working with the publishers to finalise outstanding issues.

 

 

 

Prayer Points

We ask that you continue praying for following:

  • everyone involved in arranging Christmas services and celebrations at the projects and within Kiryanyonza,
  • the Kijjambu family and the 3 babies in particular as they grow stronger,
  • all the children and their families as they come together at this time of year
  • the pupils, and their return to school after the Christmas break,
  • the continuing success of crops and livestock at the farm,
  • a peaceful and civilised national election, free from violence and disruption,
  • further afield in Uganda, as people continue to cope with the effects of COVID-19 and the negative impact it is having on their lives.
OCTOBER NEWSLETTER

OCTOBER NEWSLETTER

Welcome to the October 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 Luwero and Kiryanyonza are continuing to try to live as normally as possible and ask that we continue praying for them.

The Kijjambus

On 10th September the Kijjambu family doubled in size when Deborah gave birth to girl triplets.  All three babies were born healthy, although their birth weights were understandably light (between 1.7 and 2.5 kilos).  After a couple of weeks being cared for in hospital, Deborah and all three girls were discharged to return home.  The names of the babies are Gabriella Adams Kijjambu, Peggy Bayton Kijjambu and Debbie Phillips Kijjambu.

There is no doubt that it will be a busy house as the girls make their presence felt.

Please remember Gabriel, Deborah, Priscilla and the babies in your prayers as they adjust to family life.  

COVID-19

Uganda continues to be in lockdown.  At the time of writing reported cases of COVID-19 were approximately 9,500 with 85 deaths.  It is believed that the number of reported cases is lower than the actual number of cases, due to limited testing facilities and reporting systems.  Since August the number of daily cases has increased substantially.

Entebbe airport re-opened for business on 1st October.  The curfew that was imposed between 9.00 pm and 6.00 am still applies across the country.  Gatherings of more than five people are prohibited and everyone over the age of 6 must wear a facemask in public.  Some relaxation of shops reopening and travel restrictions has taken place.

Funds continue to be sent to Gabriel to enable relief to be given to staff and pupils at the projects as well as the needs of local people with whom Gabriel has contact. We are indebted to those who continue to support the work at Luwero both prayerfully and practically.

 

School News

The Ugandan government has allowed schools to open for pupils in P7, S4, and S6 as long as they observe the Corona precautions.  All the pupils will be boarding. The reopening of schools on a more general basis is unlikely to happen until January 2021.  This means that the schools at Luwero will remain closed for most pupils for the foreseeable future.

The pictures below show walls being constructed to prevent members of the public from entering the Project schools easily.  This was done to comply with part of the government’s new Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).  An inspection was conducted in the Project schools to verify that the SOPs had been put in place and certificates of compliance were granted to operate as a boarding school until further notice.  A lot has been achieved in a short time, but a lot of challenges remain.  The pupils have lost motivation in studying during this situation, the teachers had gone into other businesses since the lockdown, and the running costs of managing small numbers of pupils is relatively expensive.

2021 Calendars

Luwero calendars for 2021 are now available for purchase.  Prices are the same as last year – small desk calendars £5.00 and larger A4-size wall calendars £9.00. Copies may be ordered by email (mailto:[email protected]m), our website, by post or in some cases your local church representative.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knowing and Doing

The book Knowing and Doing by John McQuoid has been translated into Luganda.  The book has been translated into almost 50 languages and has sold almost 1 million copies worldwide.  The Luganda edition will be the latest version of this valuable Christian resource and we anticipate ordering 2,000 copies.  The translation work had been undertaken by a small team of people at Luwero and has been largely a LCP project.

 

 

‘Gabriel’s Favourite Hymns’

Copies of Gabriel’s CD, ‘Gabriel’s Favourite Hymns’, priced £8.00 per copy, are also available and may be ordered in the same way as calendars.

 

Prayer Points

Please pray for all at the projects, and indeed further afield in Uganda, as they continue to cope with the effects of COVID-19 and the negative impact it is having on their lives.  Please also pray for those “finalist” pupils who have returned to school and are trying to concentrate on their studies whilst coping with a very different “normal”.