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.

St. Mary’s Primary School  

Kids at St Mary's school Uganda

Building a School for Ambitious Children

St. Mary’s Primary School in Kampala, Uganda is home to many bright children who are committed to earning an education. Unfortunately, the school structures are in desperate need of renovations to create a safe environment for minds to flourish.

Each morning, these young and ambitious students walk into a school building that resembles a weathered barn held together by uneven slat walls and a tin roof. Dozens of children crowd together, kneeling on dirt floors and exposed to the elements, because of their desire to receive a Catholic education. Admirably, none of the adversities stop the persistent children from working hard with a joyous attitude.

Now, we have an opportunity to provide these dedicated students with the safe school building that they deserve!

Connected to the Bukuumi Catholic Parish, there is an unfinished structure that is intended to replace the existing school building. Father Francis Banura Kaboha, the Priest of Bukuumi Catholic Parish, is humbly asking for Catholic World Mission’s assistance in completing the renovations so the elementary-school students can attend a safe and fully constructed school where they can thrive educationally and spiritually.

Fr. Flood, Fr. Kaboha & Deacon Rick Medina

Fr. Paul Flood, pastor, St. Benedict’s Catholic Church; Fr. Francis Banura Kaboha, St. Mary’s School, Bukuumi; Deacon Rick Medina, Catholic World Mission.

Help us build St. Mary's school in Uganda

Keep Girls in Education 

Help shape her future

In many places around the world a typical 12-year-old girl is preparing for the school day by gathering materials for classes and fitting them in a backpack. Even if she is attending virtually – she is connected.  She fills her days working on academics as well as developing the social skills that she will need for her adult life.

Twelve-year-old Jane’s life is not typical. She fled a brutal war in South Sudan and now lives in a bleak refugee settlement in Northern Uganda. For a time, she did not attend school. When she was able to join a primary school that provides free education to underprivileged children, Jane saw a chance for a better future. But then the pandemic shut down the program and robbed her of that dream.

Without access to electricity or the internet, students here cannot attend remote lessons provided by the government on television. The education stops. No learning is taking place. Social skills vital to independence and survival vanish. School closures have hit girls from the least-developed regions of the community the hardest, heightening their risks for early or forced marriages.

Many girls like her are now at home, unable to continue their education. Without support from Catholic World Mission and our friends like you, most of these girls will never return to school again. Many will be forced into early marriage.

Like many schools around the world, schools in Uganda are more than a place to learn – they’re a safe place for vulnerable children living in poverty. They provide security and protection against violence and abuse. Unfortunately, the school closures have gravely impacted so many children – especially girls.

With Keep Girls in Education project, y can empower these vulnerable girls
With Keep Girls in Education project, y can empower these vulnerable girls

Broadcast the Mass 

Give gifts of physical and spiritual nourishment

With the loss of jobs and lockdowns, each family member works to survive in Namwendwa. Parents, many of who are single mothers, seek ways to earn a living wage. Children, shut out of schools, take to the streets to sell fruit. Grandparents are left in charge of the children. These grandparents sometimes do not eat, putting others in the family first when food is scarce.Without access to masks, soaps, or sanitizers for protection it leaves grandparents, like 95-year-old Mbwali Teopista, left vulnerable to the virus.

There are hundreds of families in the Jinja Diocese in dire need of food staples like maize, flour, beans, and salt. There’s also a high demand for masks, soap, and cleansers so these families can maintain proper sanitation and safety.

Monsignor Paul Musana hears how weary parishioners are without access to the Mass, community, and pastoral care. It is during indescribably difficult times such as now when the Gospel of Jesus Christ is desperately needed.

95-year-old Mbwali Teopista takes care of her grandkids in Uganda

Ninety-five-year-old Teopista and her grandchildren

Uganda children sell vegetables in the village in order to help their families survive during the pandemic

“This morning I saw kids at the trading center selling vegetables to make ends meet for their families.” Msgr. Paul Musana

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

“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.

Help Build a Church for Remote Village

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.
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