27 February 2009

Smile and Laughter in Northern Uganda

By Rev.Willy Akena
There is Acoli saying, Gin caka pe moko odeyo, meaning what you are given each day has no impact. Yes, skill training is good but has little impact if you have no tools. It is like getting food stuff for a meal each day. But when you have a tool like sewing machine, your training would have some impact that is why Ajok Beatrice one of the victims of the Lord’s Resistance War says now she has a reason to smile after it was announced to her that she will benefit from a sewing machine fund. The fund is a direct involvement of Elsebeth Højgaard from Denmark who has a passion for the former war victims.
The news we have is that the students at the Women Development Centre will all receive a sewing machine upon completion of their training.
While speaking to the beneficiaries Elsebeth said her people in Kingos Church had contributed what they could so that others benefit. She challenged the former students to do like wise. “In the same way we want you to contribute what you have so that others will also benefit”. The idea is for the Old Students of WDC to contribute something small towards the cost of the sewing machines. What you will pay will go back to the sewing machine funds, and will be spent for purchase of sewing machines only. The contribution from Kingos Church pays for 75% of the total cost and the students are to pay 25%. This is a kind of Micro Finance Scheme, where you do not just receive something for free but you contribute and thus own it.
Bishop Nelson Onono-Onweng appealed to the beneficiaries to make proper use of the machines. It is absurd to note that as a result of the peace prevailing in Northern Uganda some people have resorted to sleeping without doing serious work to support themselves. The Bishop cautioned the young ones to avoid having too many children as it leads to chronic poverty.

During the visit to the Women Development Centre, Elsebeth divided her time between interacting with the students and attending board meetings.

This year we have a total of 62 new students at the Centre. They are mainly child mothers, formerly abducted children some orphans and girls who are unable to continue with formal education because of lack of money to pay school fees.

The center is grateful to Elsebeth Højgaard, Kingos Church in Denmark, Danish Uganda Friendship Association (DUFA), the Mothers Union, Diocese of Northern Uganda of the Province of Church of Uganda and DANIDA for their support.

The WDC appeals to well-wishers to come in and support feeding of the students and payment of some of the staff who are not catered for in the DANIDA funding.

Let the child mothers together with their children benefit with your support to feed them. Remember, one by one makes a bundle. Thank you for your consideration to support us.

WOMEN DEVELOPMENT CENTRE, DIOCESE OF NORTHERN UGANDA, P.O BOX 232 GULU UGANDA, TEL: + 256 (0) 772 667 334, E-mail. dnu@utlonline.co.ug/akenawilly@yahoo.co.uk
Blogs: www.dioceseofnorthernuganda.blogspot.com