Social and Pastoral work
The Kanyike Project, Uganda – Sr. Joan Yates
The Kanyike Project was founded by Fr. Kakuba in 1986 in an area that had been devastated by many years of war. He was the driving force behind its vision of empowering members of the local community to support themselves. Its logo: 'Turning Problems into Opportunities' is one that has made demands on both people and management many times over the years.
The Kanyike Project now helps people in 8 villages of the Mpigi district which is 48km from Kampala, the capital of Uganda and comprises 6000 people. Work is undertaken in the Project with financial help from the Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary, firms, organisations, parishes, schools and individuals in the UK.
My involvement with Kanyike Project came when I received a letter from Fr. Kakuba in 1986 requesting I help him rebuild the area. Having never been involved in anything of this nature I was not, at the time, over enthusiastic but I agreed to do it for 3 years and now over 30 years on I am still doing it!
Some major achievements that have taken place over the past year are:
The Water Project that was completed in January 2018 has been a great asset to the Project particularly in relation to people coming to the Dispensary, the Maternity Unit and the Operating Theatre.
< >The Savings and Credit Scheme organised by the HIV Group continues to have an increase in members. This scheme encourages people to develop an investment mentality and change their attitude towards life so that they can turn their problems into opportunities. < >The HIV/AIDS, Community Based Health Care and medical outreach programmes each month all of which have increasing numbers coming for care. Both Dr Jubilee who works at the local hospital at Mpigi and Dr Namatovu attend the monthly outreaches. People come for a variety of medical ailments, mothers bring their children and the maternity nurse is present for pregnant women needing either to be examined or given advice. Thus the Outreach enables members of the community to see medical staff near their homes and avoids them having to travel the long distance to the Health Centre. They are also able to have treatment for dental problems. < >The school borehole has been of great value to the school and to members of the community living nearby but it is not accessible outside school hours.
< >The Maternity Unit has been fully equipped and is able to care for and admit those expecting a baby.
The ramp at the Health Centre has been constructed and is of great value to those who have difficulty in walking as they can now be taken up by motorbike or bicycle.< >The plastering of the school walls in the block where a new roof has been replaced in Magejjo Primary School has still to be done. The veranda around the Nursery school has been fully replaced. < >Kanyike Project has safeguarding policies and have written documents regarding ‘Child Protection’, ‘Adult’ and ‘Staff Protection Policies.’ They also have a ‘Health and Safety Policy’.
It is recognised that the Project's goal of self-sustainability is a major challenge and it will take generations to achieve, however each year progress is being made.
Complexe Scolaire Mere Placide School, Rwanda
Rwanda is a small country in Central Africa. It has an area of 26,338 km with a population of 11 million. The main source of income for the people is essentially agriculture. Rwanda was heavily affected by the socio - political crisis of the genocide, that caused several hundred thousand deaths in 3 months in 1994. The consequences of this genocide are incalculable and continue to have very visible impact in the country to this day. Whole families were wiped out, and many widows, orphans, and elderly people remained, who were desolate, with little or no means to survive. Another inevitable consequence of this crisis is the many uneducated children and youth and school dropouts.
Our Congregation, Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary, ( SCJM ), who are working as missionaries in Kibeho, which is located in the Southern Province of Rwanda, are very aware of the tremendous need for education. In 2018 the Trustees agreed to pledge £235k to part fund the building of 10 new classrooms for the Congregation’s primary school the Complexe Scolaire Mere Placide School.
During the year under review the new classroom buildings were completed.
The photographs that follow speak for themselves, as the smiling faces of happy children, exude the joy of youngsters enjoying their new school, which includes food for the body as well as the mind. As members of the SCJM family here in England, we were delighted to help financially towards the construction of 10 classrooms for this new school.