Uganda is slowly opening up this fall, 2020. Following is an Update on DCI’s Response to the Corona Virus Pandemic.
DCI is still hard at work in Uganda. Even here, life is very different as the whole world deals with a pandemic, but we are still working with rural communities to bring better options for their futures. Our radio health talk shows have been a vital source of information for villagers during this time, and many people have called in wanting clarification about COVID-19. The on-air call-in discussions have been lively. People in remote villages have been confused by many rumors and also need information on how to apply general information to their own settings.
Remember how hard it was to get a mask in America at the beginning of the outbreak? Well, a mask became required in Uganda for going anywhere outside the home. But most villagers this Spring had yet to even see one in person. So DCI began soliciting donations and working with local tailors to make masks and distribute them so people could leave their homes and try to provide for their families. We have so far given masks to all our literacy students and teachers, and to some market sellers and transport porters. We delivered 333 in June but continued to raise funds for more masks for the spouses and children of our students, as well as other community members.
We remained busy while working from home on our training syllabus and accomplished quite a bit in spite of a break-in and theft at our main office in Mbale and the awkwardness of distance work and spotty data networks. Through it all we kept in touch with our literacy teachers by phone and supported them as they continued to encourage and challenge their learners, in very small groups.
Like people everywhere, we were locked down when the virus first reached Uganda, but that has now eased a bit and we have been able to visit all our literacy centers and our Kapchorwa office. In every village students told us that our visit was so important to them because they had been convinced that we would abandon them like other organizations seemed to be doing during the pandemic. They are very encouraged and anxious to get back to class. They want to stay on the path to development that they started with us last year. As soon as we are allowed to meet in groups of more than five, we will resume classes. Meanwhile, we are equipping our teachers to help individual students catch up in subjects where they are weak and to stay fresh with all they have learned so far.
Life Seeds Fundraising Goal to Support DCI
DCI has been active and paying all staff throughout the lockdown. Please pray and consider how you might be able to help Life Seeds fund DCI’s Adult Literacy Program. You can donate at lifeseedsoregon.org through PayPal or write to Life Seeds P.O. Box 174 Corvallis, OR., making the check out to Life Seeds. Please put Uganda in the memo. You can find out more about DCI (Development Companion International) at www.dcius.org Life Seeds will have a live update on Zoom November 14 at 7pm PST where Jonathan Beggs, DCI’s Director and a few of their teachers will share. If interested, please e-mail lifeseedsoregon.org to receive the zoom link and instructions. Life Seeds Oregon Board Members are all volunteers so your donation to Uganda, will go directly to support DCI’s Adult Literacy Program.
We want you to get to know Martin Turibamwe, our Program Manager for Adult Literacy Education. He is passionate about seeing the lives of the people in local communities change for the better. Martin has benefitted from a good college education, but he was formed by having to deal with some immense difficulties as a child. His father had 26 children by several wives and then abandoned Martin and his illiterate mother, whose only education was church catechism. He had to buy his own books and pay school fees, as well as his own clothes, and this led to an early immersion into the rough business world. Martin carried bricks or fetched water for people for a fee, then invested his earnings in sugar cane, which he sold at a profit, later expanding into bananas and dried fish. And he did all this while in elementary school, from the age of six! By the time Martin qualified for a Bachelor’s Degree in Adult and Community Education (with First Class Honors), from Kyambogo University, he had gained a taste of both urban and rural life, with a lot of experience in how people operate and why they operate as they do.
Martin believes that individuals, once empowered, can cause positive change in their own lives and in their communities, and he shares this enthusiasm with our teachers, teaching them the skills and igniting their enthusiasm for giving our students what they need to succeed in their communities. And there is more – in his spare time Martin is a musician and a writer. Martin had a strong Christian upbringing and his deep faith has led him to work in a profession that helps people improve their lives.
We Want Your Friends!
If you love being part of our ministry, you might want to share it with your friends. Many hands make light work. Feel free to share this newsletter with people you think might want to know about DCI and our work together.
CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE!
Did you know that you can find all our past newsletters under the News & Media tab on our website? Plus you can browse through our new site to find out all about DCI and our team, and even how you can participate! The address is www.dcius.org