In addition to the two main aspects of the ministry of the Foundation; to orphans and destitute young people and elderly widows;
we believe that the opportunity to provide a range of activities for the benefit of our local community is another aspect that can provide encouragement,
hope and support for those in difficult circumstances.
The following photographs provide an overview of activities that have been held and people that have been helped through our outreach program.
Outdoor Film Night
In late December 2014, a “Film Night” was held inviting all from our local community to come and enjoy watching the “Jesus” movie, shown in the local “Luo” language. A large number of adults and children attended and enjoyed watching the movie on a very pleasant summer evening. Many people were blessed as they watched the story of Jesus’ life and were challenged to put into practice the way of life He calls us all to live.
Women’s Bible Study Group
Bev has held a weekly Bible Study group for local women from the Oryang Ojuma community since 2015. Many are elderly widows. The women meet under a mango tree and have shared some wonderful times together. Ocaya George has been Bev’s interpreter.
A number of the women in the Bible Study group cannot read. It was such a blessing to give these women an Audio Bible, so that they could hear for themselves the scripture readings in their own Acholi language. The Audio Bibles are also able to tune in to local radio stations, enabling the women to keep up with events that effect the local community.
Dominica, an elderly widow, came to the women’s Bible Study group, during 2015.
She was very poorly clothed and appeared extremely mal-nourished. It became evident very quickly that she had no income, was receiving next-to-nothing in the way of food from her relatives and was living in a tukul with a leaking roof. She slept on a dirt floor and was being bitten by termites, as they continued destroying the structure of her dilapidated home.
Her relatives abused her and treated her terribly. The decision was made to build a new “tukul” and “pit latrine / bathing facility” for her inside the security fence surrounding the Cornerstone property, to provide a safe and secure place for her to live the remaining years of her life. A folding camp stretcher bed was donated so that she could sleep off the floor, and clothing was also donated. Funds have been donated to cover her care, food and any medical needs she may have in the years ahead.
Dominica was very grateful and is thrilled with her new living conditions.
If you would like to donate toward the care of an elderly widow like Dominica, AUD $25 a month will provide shelter, food, clothing and basic medical care. Donate
Richard, the brother of one of our workmen, suffers from “Nodding Disease” which affects many hundreds of young people right across northern Uganda. The symptoms include aspects of epilepsy, and if untreated lead to mental retardation and ultimately death, at a young age. This terrible disease affects children between the ages of approximately 6 to 14 years. Many young people have been injured while suffering epileptic seizures. Some have fallen into cooking fires receiving severe burns, while others have drowned by falling into a stream or pool of water. The Ugandan Government provides anti-epileptic medications that help to control the seizures, but without adequate food the medication has limited benefits. We were able to provide funds to ensure that Richard received proper nutrition to get the maximum benefit from the medications provided for him. He has responded well and continues to be a part of his local community.
Both young girls in these photos have Nodding Syndrome and have suffered an epileptic seizure and fallen into a cooking fire and been burnt in the most horrific ways. Their recovery is extremely painful and the scars that remain present a constant reminder of the trauma of that experience. There are many young people suffering injuries like this
Paska & Carolyn
Paska attends the women’s Bible Study group. Her daughter Carolyn was born with hydrocephalus. There are no free disability services in Kitgum, no financial assistance for parents, and culturally, Paska was encouraged to look after her other children, and simply neglect Carolyn, then get on with her life. Paska loves her little daughter, and has worked so hard to keep her alive, going against local tradition. We decided to help her by paying the fees and transport costs to enable Carolyn to be treated by specialist doctors who regularly visit a larger town south of Kitgum.
Carolyn has a shunt in place and is responding quite well to treatment. Ultimately, she will need major surgery in southern Uganda. Until then we continue to help Paska with food, clothing and medical costs. The smile on Carolyn’s face says it all!!
What a privilege it is to help such a precious child.
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19 :14)
In August 2016, several of the women from Bev’s Bible Study group and one of our workmen were baptised at a “Baptism Service” organised by “Africa4God”, a ministry established by a very dear friend Erica Mbasan, from New York. The celebration was held in the swimming pool at the Bomah Guest House, in Kitgum. It was a great day as we joined with others to celebrate the beginning of new-found faith in Jesus, followed by a shared lunch and testimonies of God’s intervention in the lives of people going through great hardship and turmoil.
Vicky helps Bev each week with cleaning and housekeeping. In 2013 when local people were “burning off” grasses, (in the same way the Aboriginal people of Australia do), the “burning-off fire” got “out of hand” and the grass roof of Vicky’s tukul caught on fire. The roof, structural posts and many of her possessions were destroyed. We shared this with our home fellowship at Birdwood United Church, in South Australia and they responded amazingly, donating enough funds to repair her home and replace lost items.
Vicky was so grateful for the provision from God’s hand, for her home to be restored!!
This is just one example of why God has placed us in Kitgum … to help those in need, perhaps in seemingly small but none-the-less important ways.
Family Fun Days
Every year a “Family Fun Day” is held inviting our staff and their children, and the women from the weekly Bible Study group and their children and grand-children. Everyone has had lots of fun, enjoying “tunnel-ball”, “Limbo”, “Egg and spoon” and “sack” races.
Rides (at a gentle pace) for the young children as passengers on an ATV motor bike proved pretty popular too. Cricket, throwing “boomerangs” and “frisbees” all add to the fun and enjoyment. Drinks and banana cake for everyone is perhaps the highlight of every Fun Day we have held. All-in-all “Family Fun Day” is a very important day of celebration for everyone.
Beach Volleyball Court
In 2015 our workmen built a “Beach Volley-ball” court, to encourage un-employed, destitute local young people from our community to come to the property and have fun playing volley-ball. It is a popular sport in Uganda, but there are very limited opportunities for young people to enjoy playing the game in Kitgum. The men dug out the existing soil, replaced it with river sand, erected the steel poles for the net, and then set about having lots of fun! Volley-ball has been enjoyed by staff and their children on our “Family Days” and it is planned to encourage local young people to form teams and hold regular competition matches in the future.
Oringa came to us for help, moving along using a wooden pole. He fell from a push bike many years earlier, but living a long way from Kitgum, well beyond any medical help. His leg simply set in it’s broken position and with no medical treatment at all, it withered and he experienced severe muscle loss. Oringa presented us with a long list of items he said he needed. We decided not to give him those items, but arranged for him to work on a “part-time” basis, trimming shrubs and plants and helping in any way he could, to earn money and buy those items himself. We gave him a pair of crutches and he proved a valuable asset as a groundsman. Rather than reinforcing the “you give me” mentality, the decision to ask him to work for a wage proved very successful. He ultimately received a 3-wheel bike and was able to then live independently and get on with his life.