Upon our return in 2007, our initial efforts began with obtaining funding for 14 girls between the ages of 11 and 15 to go to school. Due to their pen pal relationship with some young U.S. girls in the Catholic Little Flowers group, we call our young Ugandan sisters Little Flowers as well. In 2017, we now sponsor 43 girls’ education.
Tailoring School »
One concrete way for young women in Alenga to become more self-sufficient and bring in resources for their families is by becoming tailors. The sewing machines are already at the mission. The key is to fund the instruction and obtain the sewing resources to enable more young women to obtain this valuable training.
A humble infirmary already exists at the Alenga mission. What is needed is medical personnel and various supplies to better serve the various health needs of the community. We have sent over medical supplies when possible, purchased mattresses, and recently donated an eye exam machine to improve vision health in the community. Funds have been provided to build a permanent “bench” on which the fragile and irreplaceable machine will sit and enough to provide corrective lenses for up to 20 people. Our next project is to build a small eye clinic specifically focused on improving and correcting vision where optometrists can come to examine and advise people in the community. More funds are needed to purchase glasses for those who need them; at $7.00/pair, this makes restoring someone’s vision something anyone can do.
Some women and girls walk many kilometers a day to haul water from the river or other natural water reservoirs to their homes for cooking, cleaning and bathing. Placing water wells (or “bore holes”) closer to residences is an incredible help to families as they go about their daily chores as well as reducing water borne illnesses that sometimes cause death in children under five years of age. As of 2017, 17 boreholes have been drilled and 40 have been repaired. We still have far to go, but already, the benefits are being reported by the catechists from the areas where boreholes now provide clean, flowing water.
HIV/AIDS and the war further north in Uganda have produced hundreds of orphans. A number of Alenga area families have taken these children in. This generosity of spirit, of course, puts greater financial strain on families. Efforts are needed to aid them in fulfilling their role as guardians and to facilitate the education and growth of vulnerable children in the community. With the introduction of the fish pond, 112 orphans are receiving school supplies annually. More still needs to be done, but it’s a good start.
Fr. Stan works with young adults in the Alenga parish on agricultural projects to produce local food sources not previously actualized. Thanks to the generosity of the community of Rosary High School in Aurora, IL, we have started a pig farm to help provide additional resources to make the parish self-sustaining. Pigs have been purchased and are kept on the mission grounds. Our hope is that this group of pigs will continue to multiply thus fostering sustainability.