Marion, a former ICC Glasgow student with Gabriel, travelled to Luwero recently to spend a fortnight visiting the project. She has written a short report about her visit.
My return to Uganda after more than 10 years was all I had hoped it would be. The opportunity to catch up with old friends and participate in the lives of women and children in Luwero was as heart-warming as I remembered.
I ran a 4-day conference on ‘The empowerment of women and womens’ role in the church’. I helped out in the nursery classes and the primary school.
My first teacher asked me to draw 10 wall charts for her …. my worst nightmare, since I can’t draw two straight lines! It took me 3 hours! The next teacher gave me craft to do – my next worst nightmare. I really think God was having a good laugh. I moved on to marking – much more my style and also some interactive Geography and Science teaching. I loved being back in the classroom albeit with 56 pupils, no electric light and fixed blackboards, the top half of which I couldn’t reach!
I was invited to preach on the first Sunday I was there. The African style of worship is so joyous with the drums and dancing I was more than happy to join in.
The Ugandan diet was just as I remembered! If I never see another banana this year it will be too soon, not to mention goat and beans! Though the fresh pineapple and mango were amazing.
The best thing of all, apart from renewing relationships, was to see how the projects I’d been involved in had reached fruition. God is so good. Bishop Gabriel’s community has gone from strength to strength in an amazingly short time.
To see how folk live there and how their faith in God sustains them through so much hardship is very humbling. I was incredibly blessed throughout my time of sharing in their lives.
In October this year, 18 pupils and 4 teachers from Duncanrig Secondary School visited The Luwero Community Project. For the previous 10 months pupils, parents, supporters and staff worked hard to raise funds to support the Project. In total the group donated over £20,000 to the project and established the “Duncanrig Luwero Scholarship Bursary Scheme” that will be used to support those in the most need who have no access to education.
In addition to the fundraising, the group managed to collect a large number of donations including:
clothing, shoes, school bags, football strips and sportswear,
medical equipment and supplies
clocks for the church,
stationery for the school
oral hygiene products,
learning and teaching resources,
cleaning and maintenance equipment,
building and decorating equipment,
games and sport equipment,
While in Luwero the group were involved in supporting the learning and teaching taking place in the nursery, primary and secondary school. This involved delivering lessons, preparing resources for teachers and marking pupils’ work. The group also took part in playing games with the children and undertaking several activities including: harvesting coffee beans from the coffee farm, moving and preparing timber for the new vocational college, taking part in the delivery of church services and helping to feed animals in the farm.
Over the two weeks in Luwero the group had this to say:
“We cannot thank Gabriel, Deborah and everyone in the Luwero community enough for the love and friendship we were shown: it was truly unbelievable. Luwero has become our second home and we sincerely miss our Luwero family. The love and care shown to us from everyone in Luwero is testament to the amazing community it is”.
“We have learned so much from being in Luwero and this has significantly impacted on our own values and mindsets. The friendships and experiences we have made will live with us for a lifetime. We appreciate what we have so much more and no longer take for granted how fortunate we are to lead the lives we live”.
“Pastor Gabriel’s vision is truly inspiring, and the work being undertaken is so important. Pastor Gabriel told us that the most amazing thing we have done by being there, is showing the community how much people elsewhere in the world care about Luwero, and that is what makes the difference. We feel incredibly privileged to have been able to support this vision because it is one that is so worthwhile”.
“Since returning we have been unable to stop speaking about Luwero and how amazing it is. Leaving Luwero was one of the hardest things we have ever had to do, and it was truly heart wrenching to say goodbye. We only wish we could have stayed longer and could do more. However, as they say in Luwero this not goodbye but simply see you soon”.
Here is a video of our times preparing for the visit and raising funds, and of our unforgettable time there.
The party of pupils and staff from Duncanrig Secondary School in East Kilbride have returned home safe and well after their 2 weeks in Luwero. Mr Scott Atkins, the party leader, wishes to express the thanks of the group members for the welcome, hospitality and friendship they received during their stay. The memories of their visit will live with them forever.
A full report of the group’s experiences, including photos, will appear soon.
A group of 18 pupils and 4 members of staff arrived at the Project on 10th October for 2 weeks as part of the partnership between Duncanrig Secondary School, East Kilbride and Luwero Community Projects. The party will be assisting in as many ways as they can and have plans to help in the schools, work on the farm and get involved in projects involving the local community.
A full report of their time at the Project will be published upon their return. Please pray for them as they try to make the most positive contribution possible during their 2 weeks.
Having visited the project in 2014 as part of a party with Duncanrig Secondary, East Kilbride, I was left with an everlasting impression in my heart, and I knew one day I would return. After hearing all the stories and seeing all the project pictures, my mum also had a yearning to experience the Ugandan ways of the Luwero Community Project.
Gabriel and his family were so welcoming, and it was a privilege to be a part of their home life for 2 weeks. Over the past 4 years the progress that has been achieved is amazing! This is all due to the passion and commitment of Gabriel’s vision to provide education for all within the community.
During our time we organised a card making workshop for the children to teach them how to make a variety of cards. Their enthusiasm and creativity was amazing! My mum and I also utilised our creative talents by drawing and colouring pictures for the teachers to display in the classrooms. It was a privilege to experience the everyday hardworking life of the children and house mothers.
Our interaction within the project included washing clothes using six basins and a bar of soap, peeling potatoes and observing cooking and cleaning methods. This gave us an insight into the daily routine and how we take things for granted like running hot water, electricity, washing machines, cookers etc.
Spending time with the people and children of the Luwero Community was the highlight of the trip: these individuals could not have made us feel any more welcome. We took with us skipping ropes, chalk, frisbees, musical instruments and slinkies and put these to full use within the playground.