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Six years ago, the areas around Bulike had no medical services. Community members had to travel 15km to the nearest facility. From the children to the elderly, people of all ages were suffering ill health and malnutrition.
Uganda Counseling and Support Services (UCSS) provided medical services to this community while also recruiting some workers and securing medicine. At first, UCSS offered free medical services under a Muvule tree until December 2011 when we were finally able to move to a temporary church structure. At this time, the number of patients quickly increased to over 200 a day from neighboring areas.
Because of the overwhelming number from neighboring areas, UCSS decided to open up mobile clinics. However, due to major cases that necessitated more advanced technology, UCSS resorted to conducting comprehensive monthly clinics in the above-mentioned areas and over 600 patients were attended to each day.
In 2013, with your generous support, UCSS built the Nana Health Centre providing antenatal, family planning services, and other nursing procedures. Immunization is done monthly, and counseling services are held twice a month. Reports are submitted to the district monthly; hospital equipment and drugs are also secured.
Nana Health Centre is now able to provide services that were only available at the hospital so far away that help rarely came in time. Despite the progress, there is still more work to be done.
With your help, we hope to have a fully functional unit with enough staff, hospital equipment, furniture, a fully equipped laboratory, a lighting system, signpost, fully equipped maternity section, an emergency transport system and many more services in order to fully serve the community of Bulike and her neighbors.
As a Pastor, it is very important to be able to detect mental health needs of the members of your community and have ways to assist with challenges related to their emotional or psychological well being. For Pastor Denis Mwebaza, this was always a challenge because he lacked the necessary skillset to tackle traumatizing experiences. When a member of your congregation comes to tell you that he just tested HIV+, sometimes simply quoting for him Bible verses and joining hands in prayer is not enough.
In 2014, when UCSS introduced the Mental Health Facilitator (MHF) Program, Pr. Denis was blessed to be among the participants. From this, he acquired helping skills and mental health knowledge. He was better able to deal with different emotional and psychological issues and this has made him a better pastor altogether.
Recently, a young lady lost a close family member in an accident. Pastor Denis found out that she was devastated and even considered self-harm. The pastor fully equipped with the gospel and his MHF skills went to visit her. After his meeting with her, she started improving and even had a balanced meal with the pastor. He is still in contact with her and her life has had a positive turn of events.
After MHF, it has been easier for the pastor to understand the emotional and psychological issues that the congregation and the entire community go through. The lessons changed his life for the better. He prays that everyone gets a chance to have these lessons to fully impact lives.
Our mental health trainings are so critical to making the communities self-sufficient, and Pastor Denis is a great example of the difference it’s making
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1) Go to Amazon using this link https://smile.amazon.com/ch/45-4709060
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Note: Bookmark the page for ease of returning each time you shop. Supporters of UCSS are loving the fact that they can shop for things they need knowing that a portion of their spending goes to support work being done in Uganda through UCSS.
A little accomplishes much when many are involved.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support. You are making a difference for the Kingdom of God.
Five years ago, John Mbatya and his age mates used to walk 5-15 miles to the nearest school because there was none in Bulike. John and his classmates only consisted of 15% of the total number of children of school-going age in his community and the other 85% were not bothered with education. John and his classmates made this journey in fear of witch doctors that usually kidnapped them for sacrifice. When UCSS came to Bulike, we were requested by parents to open up a school. John and his classmates started having their classes under trees.
Children have a very special place in our heart here at UCSS. So much of what we do is geared towards helping build up our next generation because children are Uganda’s future. Unfortunately, Uganda is challenged with high child mortality, but we are committed to save as many children as possible.
I wanted to quickly outline our plan to take care of our children and keep them healthy.
- UCSS will need to educate the rural people about how to provide decent shelter and food for their families from extremely limited resources, avoid preventable illnesses to their children, and when and how to seek medical care . Specifically, UCSS will continuously educate women about health and disease issues relating to prenatal care, basic hygiene, nutrition and immunization.
- We will focus our education on the leading causes of infant mortality, which include: birth asphyxia, pneumonia, pre-term birth complications diarrhoea, malaria, measles and malnutrition.
- We will reduce birth asphyxia by ensuring that there are effective resuscitation at birth facilities near the rural places.
- We shall strive to prevent pneumonia by ensuring that the children are vaccinated, provided with antibiotics and oxygen (to those children already suffering from pneumonia), and encouraging mothers to breastfeed their babies.
- We will mitigate the problem of pre-term birth complications by encouraging mothers to keep low-birth-weight babies warm by skin-to-skin contact with the mother, and providing free wrappings to keep the baby warm.
- We will prevent diarrhoea by encouraging mothers to breastfeed and by providing oral rehydration salts combined with zinc supplements to treat the sick children with, We shall tackle the malaria problem by supplying insecticide-treated bed nets and encouraging mothers to use them.
- We will tackle measles by providing timely vaccines to all children. Finally, we will meet the malnutrition challenge by emphasising to mothers what their children should be fed on to attain a balanced diet from the food resources in the community.
How We Will Save More Children
For UCSS to successfully intervene in these critical areas, it will use its healthcare team of a doctor, nurses, clinical officers and community healthcare workers to lead the women education programme, in partnership with district and Ministry of Health officials. The team will work closely with the community and address key issues such as ensuring the children are fed the right foods, they are taken for vaccination, all the people use clean and safe water, the bathrooms are kept clean at all times, and the garbage is disposed of from the home environment. Importantly, team members observe the WHO strategy of delivering Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by providing appropriate home care and timely treatment of complications for newborns, complementing health authorities by participating in the expanded programme on immunization, and promoting infant and young child feeding. Equally important, the healthcare team will adopt other interventions for maternal health, such as expert care during pregnancy and childbirth. We will collaborate with other health staff from the Ministry of Health and other partners to look after mothers’ health during pregnancy to prevent deficiencies in Iron, Iodine and Vitamin A.
UCSS will also keep installing water wells in vulnerable communities to give mothers a chance of providing clean water for their children. We will also strive to continue providing quality life through various interventions for marginalised areas, in line with our vision.
Spreading the love of Jesus Christ is at the heart of our mission, and churches help the people share the Gospel and grow stronger in their own faith. We have seen countless lives changed and many other people from within the community impacted through the prayers and outreach activities organized by these local churches.
While we have over a dozen congregations, we only have one small permanent church structure in one location, and the other congregations meet in temporary structures. As a result, we have faced numerous setbacks from time to time due to the collapse of these structures by strong winds and rains. A few weeks ago, we got another shock of such an incident at one of the meeting areas, which has left us devastated. We thank God that the structure was unoccupied at the time of the accident.
We trust in our God for the construction of permanent church structures and ask you, our kind supporters, to help us.
We are making a most humble appeal to all partners and friends of our ministry to consider giving a gift of any amount to support this work. God bless you abundantly as you do.
Before drilling of boreholes in Bulike, its residents drew their water solely from contaminated ponds and swamps which they shared with animals. This water exposed them to a number of water-borne diseases, and without any medical care in the village, at least one person died of an illness every day.
So far we’ve drilled 13 boreholes, and they’ve become reliable water sources whereas the swamps dried up in the dry seasons and only provided water in the rainy seasons.
However, during the period between November 2016 and February 2017, there was devastating drought, and unusually long queues of people were observed at the boreholes.The borehole which usually serves about 400 people was serving upwards of 600 people which brought a burden on the time, productivity, as well as put a strain on the efficiency and maintenance of existing boreholes.
The drought led to a decrease in the amount of water produced by the boreholes. All the other sources of water i.e. the swamps and ponds also dried up. Therefore a significant number of residents had to walk extraordinarily long distances to access any quality of water.
UCSS is in the best position ever to solve the above challenges because we have a water well drilling rig, which has brought down the cost of drilling from $6,000 to $2,500. Nevertheless, we are in need of an air compressor and related drilling in order to provide more clean water sources in this area in rural Uganda.
If God is moving you to support this ministry, there are three things you can do now:
Thank you for all of your prayers and support!
Dr. Ronald Kaluya
This is a short video about Mr. Martin, who became a certified UCSS counselor and is making a difference in this community.
The video wouldn’t be that extraordinary were it not for the fact that five short years ago, this community was barely able to survive. There was no clean water, not enough food, and no medicine.
People were dying every day.
But today, this community is completely transformed: we have fresh water wells, a medical clinic, and people are growing their own crops.
Not only are they surviving but they’re starting to thrive.
As is evidenced by Mr. Martin, who is so overjoyed with what UCSS has done (with your support!) that he wants to help his community by providing counseling.
This is an example of LASTING transformation that you have enabled. Through your help, UCSS has taught the people of Bulike how to survive on their own and to become self-sufficient. They are starting to thrive and to even give back to their own community.
What a wonder and blessing!
As Mr. Martin says, we want to expand the impact of our mission into the neighboring area of Buluya, so we need your continued prayers and support.
Please watch this short video interview with Mr. Martin:
Thank you all …!
if God is moving you to support this ministry, there are three things you can do now:
Thank you for all of your prayers and support!
Dr. Ronald Kaluya
I pray and hope that you and your loved ones had a wonderful Christmas celebration as we did here in Uganda.
You all have been in my mind and thoughts. It has been a very engaging time of ministry from one ministry activity after the other all activities aimed at improving the quality of life and spreading God’s love to his people.
This, you are making possible, and I would not miss this opportunity to say thank you. Thank you for your guidance, prayers, and most generous support.
Since my return from the USA; I have conducted leadership training classes for Ministry leaders, had a very impactful outreach that was conducted by students from 5 universities in Uganda. This led to over 500 people give their lives to Christ. We also planted a new church in Bugembe, this was out of one of our Bible studies that were boosted by the outreach. We also had a very impactful youth seminar that brought different youth together to share their experiences and were encouraged spiritually and emotionally.
We test pumped and installed 7 water wells, and 6 water wells are now providing fresh clean water to over 150 homesteads each in Bulike and the surrounding areas. Over 80 children were immunized at the Nana clinic, one of the fruits of the partnerships of UCSS and the Ugandan Ministry of Health.
Bulike Primary school had an open day, an event where we invited the community to see the activities at the school. Since it was also the school of the term, we encouraged the children to teach their families what they learned at school.
We also had a thanksgiving event, where UCSS together with the different community leaders and stakeholders gave their praises and gratitude to God for the great transformation happening in Bulike and Buluya and its surrounding areas. With undoubtedly many praises, we also acknowledge the great drought and extremely hot weather that has greatly affected both the UCSS and community farms. With many crops drying off to the extent of looking that they have been burnt with fire. This has adversely affected the community who have had an extremely low harvest for the past 2 seasons and have worries of no food for the future. Please continue to pray that God can provide a compressor to be able to irrigate.
To crown it all, we had a wonderful Christmas celebration. The people UCSS serves are now able to grow, thrive, and celebrate the birth of Christ because of your continued love, prayers, and support. We at UCSS look forward to many more years of partnering with you in His service.
Thank you so much for your support!
Peace and joy.