Catholic World Mission in Uganda
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Uganda

Population: 40,853,749

Percent Below Poverty Line: 21.4%

After years of working with Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales (MSFS) priests and seminarians in India, our partnership with the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales has opened the door to serving the poor in Uganda in 2019. In 2020, work in Uganda expanded to supporting St. Philomena School, which serves 450 students, many of whom are orphans. Read more below.

Uganda

Population: 40,853,749

Percent Below Poverty Line: 21.4%

After years of working with Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales (MSFS) priests and seminarians in India, our partnership with the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales has opened the door to serving the poor in Uganda in 2019. In 2020, work in Uganda expanded to supporting St. Philomena School, which serves 450 students, many of whom are orphans. Read more below.

450 Students Have No Choice but to Eat Their Meals on the Ground – You Can Help!

About

“God will provide. We have to pray and answer his call.”

-Stephen Ssematiko

Stephen Ssematiko, left in blue, founded the school in 2015 to serve the vast number of children left orphaned by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

In the 90s and early 2000s, this rural corner of Uganda was hit hard by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, leaving behind many broken families and a vast number of orphans. In 2010, Stephen Ssematiko decided to open a primary school in order to prevent the younger generation from growing up without an education.

Stephen shared his dream with his father, Vincent, who donated the land for the school. In 2015, St. Philomena School opened with only one classroom.

St. Philomena School Survives with No Government Funding

From the beginning, Stephen has been adamant about not receiving government funding. His dad was skeptical.

“How will you manage without government funding?” Vincent asked.

“God will provide,” Stephen responded. “We have to pray and we will answer his call.”

In 2016, Vincent donated more land so they could build a church as well. They wanted to teach the children to read and write, but they also knew how crucial it was to teach the children about the love of God, too.

Today, the school and its little church have become the cornerstone of this community. The school currently has 450 students, with more wanting to enroll every year.

Academically, St. Philomena School is thriving! Students ranked 4th on national exams out of 120 regional schools. This accomplishment is huge, since the school has only been open for a handful of years!

Academically, the school is thriving. In 2018, St. Philomena ranked 4th in the region on national exams! Mass is celebrated at the school every Wednesday, and the entire village is invited to join.

This school has really done amazing things in just a few short years! And today, the students have one pressing need above all others: they need a dining hall.

Dining Hall

Today, the children of St. Philomena School eat their daily meal outside, on the ground.

The lucky ones are able to find a rock to sit on, but everyone else has to sit on the ground–right in the dirt, or on scraggly patches of grass. Their nutritious food is then exposed to dirt and insects. This is a major health concern!

A health inspector recently visited the school and said it’s imperative St. Philomena School builds a proper dining hall. Plans were drawn up. They’re truly impressive: when completed, this dining hall will accomodate 500 students and will be built to last 80-100 years. Students will have access to wash stations, their food will be stored safely, and best of all–they’ll be able to enjoy their meals at a table with chairs!

Stephen was able to raise $10,000 and construction has begun! But those funds have run out, and St. Philomena has a long way to go.

You can help today. Click here to give now, or visit the How You Can Help tab to see how your gift will make an impact.

Children at St. Philomena School in Uganda have nowhere to eat their meals.
Updates
Here’s a peek at the construction progress so far:

You can help finish this dining hall today! Click here to learn more. Click here to give now.

How You Can Help

You can help give a child a healthy life today.

The total cost to complete this dining hall is $36,150. We know that together, we can do anything!

Even if you can’t donate the total amount, there is so much good you can make possible. Here are some examples:

  • $6,516 pays for all sand needed for construction
  • $1,303 pays for all the gutters
  • $122 buys one cafeteria table and six chairs

Every dollar makes a difference! Please, give right now, and give these little children — who have already endured so much — a safe, sanitary place to eat at school.

Click the green Give Now button to donate right now.

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Help Build a Church for Remote Village

About

In a tiny village in eastern Uganda, 423 Catholics gather under the shade of a mango tree for Mass.

Our brothers and sisters in Kiyamwinula, Uganda celebrate Mass under the mango tree.

That’s because they have no church structure of their own. Many of these worshippers are elderly and can’t make the trek to the parish church in the next town over, 2.5 miles away.

So every Sunday, Fr. Sunny Mattathil, MSFS, comes to them. He celebrates Mass under the mango tree, and the people pray that one day, they’ll have a church of their own.

25,000 Handmade Bricks Destroyed in a Rainstorm

The villagers of Kyamwinula made 25,000 bricks by hand so they could build their church. People are very poor here. Most are subsistence farmers with little or nothing to spare. But they came together, made bricks for their church, and got ready to build.

Sadly, before they could cure the bricks, a rainstorm came a washed their work away. The bricks were destroyed.

The sad truth is, the villagers have nothing left to start over with. They have no resources to buy building materials. And they’re running out of time: the rainy season is about to start again. With no church structure to protect them from the elements, the rainy season will put this faith community in danger of losing hope.

We need to help build this church now.

Villagers came together to build 25,000 bricks to build a church. Rain destroyed the bricks before they could be cured.
What's at Stake

What will happen if Kyamwinula doesn’t get a proper church building?

In Uganda, the rainy season lasts 8 months out of the year. While there are two “dry” seasons, the country experiences substantial rainfall even during those seasons.

Can you image what it’s like to have Mass outside in the rain? People get soaked, clothes get drenched, and worse yet, the hosts used for communion would dissolve before the priest could even consecrate them.

In short, the rains effectively cut the villagers off from the Sacraments!

When the rains come…

Masses will be canceled.

Catechism classes will be called off.

The faith of 432 of our brothers and sisters in Christ will be in peril!

Click here to donate now.

A tiny spark of faith has been ignited in Kiyamwinula, Uganda. Will you help it stay lit?

Nearby village church isn’t an option because the journey to get there is so dangerous

Many of the residents are very elderly or very young, making the rugged trek to the nearest church impossible.

Kyamwinula is an extremely remote village. The nearest church is only 2.5 miles away, but the terrain is rough and ragged—an impossible journey for villagers in Kyamwinula (most of whom are elderly or very young children) to make. It’s even more dangerous in the rain.

Please, friend, we must do what we can to keep the spark of faith in Kyamwinula from going out.

We need your help.

Fr. Sunny needs your help.

The villagers under the mango tree need your help.

Visit the “How You Can Help” tab right now to help.

Updates
2020

Great progress is being made on St. Teresa of Calcutta Catholic Church in Kyamwinula. Check out the photos below:

Fall 2019

Construction is well under way on St. Teresa of Calcutta Catholic Church in Kyamwinula. Despite some delays from the rains, they’ve been able to make awesome progress. Check out the photos below:

How You Can Help
You can be the reason the faith continues in this remote village in Uganda. Will you help today?

You can save the faith of a poor person today.

The total cost to build a church in Kyamwinula is $39,479.

That may sound like a lot, and it is, but when we all come together, we can accomplish even more.

  • $44 provides 50 cement blocks to help build the church
  • $117 can provide one iron door for the church
  • $884 pays for half of all electrical work needed for the entire church

Ready to be a hero and help save the faith of an entire village? Click the green “Give More” button to donate and help.

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