Our partners in the Ugandan Diocese of Muhabura tell us this summer and autumn have been a difficult time in Uganda for many reasons. It was a great relief to all when the rains finally came after many months of drought this year. However the rain also brought trouble – baked hard by months of sunshine, the ground could not absorb all the water that fell and much of it ran down the hills causing flooding in some villages.
Building water tanks with the WASH programme slowed down – water is needed for the job. The time was well-used to gather building materials and repair guttering.
The Church and Community Mobilisation Programme – This is a long process that can take several years to work to complete. However despite the relatively early stage we are at in the process, there are already signs that whole life transformation is taking place in the Diocese. With training continuing, church members no longer see a divide between ‘church’ and the ‘rest of life’.
Church leaders are reaching out to vulnerable groups, such a people with disabilities, vulnerable children and older people in the community.
There are some fine examples of economic transformation: growing passion fruit, forming savings groups, bee-keeping and building construction.
A VILLAGE STORY
This particular church had initially decided that their toilet was inadequate and unsafe. So they built two new toilets (see left), one for men and the other for women. Following this, they realised that their village was vulnerable to lightning strikes and that if the church was struck when everyone was gathered together, it could be quite devastating. So they contributed together and bought a lightning rod for the church, making it a safe place to gather in a storm.
But their ambitions did not stop here, they identified that their area was in need of an eye clinic. As they prayed and planned they realised that building just a specialist clinic was perhaps ‘short-sighted’ (pun intended) as people would still have to travel a long way to reach a health centre. So they amended their plans and decided to build a health centre with a specialist eye clinic.
So they began gathering resources, everyone in the village contributed what they could, each according to what they had. There was a real sense of community ownership and it didn’t seem to matter how much each person had contributed, just that they had.
At the time of our visit, the outside of the building had been completed (see picture below) and the village was at the stage of adding the windows. When all the windows are fitted, they will begin work on the floor. Inside you can already get a sense of how the clinic will look when it is finished.
Remember our own team visiting Muhabura in January 2018 – Stan Craig, Colette Gordon, Richard and Susie McCullough, Cliff McLoughlin, Will Leitch.