In the last few months, the UCSS team and the local community have continued to work together to make Bulike self-sufficient, which is at the heart of the UCSS ministry.
We have been able to reduce our expenses in Bulike in 2016 due to increased productivity from income producing activities such as commercial farming, group saving schemes, women tailoring / craft making groups, poultry, and goat rearing. We have also asked people to make contributions for medical care and and secondary school tuition. We have sent students to skills development training for teaching, mechanics and nursing courses; and conducting health sensitization in the community.
The model farm is aimed at not only teaching Bulike and the neighboring villages about productive farming but also to provide income for UCSS. Last year, the farm productivity increased by 74% . We hope that this year the productivity of the farm will increase and that the farm income can continue to fund a considerable part of the UCSS budget.
Expansion to the Buluya Community
The combination of all of these activities have contributed to the self-sufficiency of the community and has reduced UCSS’ expenses. As a result, we have begun to expand the ministry into a new community called Buluya, about a 30-minute drive from Bulike.
Our first priority is the construction of the high school building to ensure continuity for the students that have graduated from the 7th grade in Bulike. Currently the foundation and walls are complete and classes have begun. We still need about $5,000 to complete the 8th grade class room. If you feel called to help with this, please let me know.
The UCSS team has worked with church leaders to strengthen their evangelism and discipleship programs and have established permanent church structures. UCSS also worked on strategies to plant new churches and bible study groups and hosted international and local missionaries.
Other activities done during this period include mental health facilitation for communities in Buluya (Kaliro) and Kabale District as well as the construction of two houses for disabled families.
New Fundraising coordinator in Uganda
We have hired a Uganda-based fundraising coordinator to help us increase our visibility within the Ugandan government as well as with other non-profit organizations active in Uganda. For example, UCSS’ relationship with the Uganda Red Cross has led to the repair of 2 water wells that had malfunctioned in Bulike.
Due to budgetary restrictions, the government has delayed their assistance to take over the Bulike primary community school and the Nana clinic operations.
Earlier this month, the fundraising coordinator organized a meeting with the Uganda Speaker of Parliament. As a result of this meeting, the Speaker pledged support to UCSS and wrote letters to different government ministries encouraging them to take on the Bulike School and the medical facility.
New Office in Kampala
Because Bulike is located in such a remote area with poor roads it makes it nearly impossible for others to visit. That is why we opened an office in the Ugandan capitol of Kampala. Since the Kampala office opened, we have had visitors from different organizations and government officials.
As we have seen Bulike community move towards self sufficiency, we are excited about our ministry in the Buluya community, which is in great spiritual, physical and emotional need, just like Bulike was five years ago.
Buluya community has similar needs as Bulike: fresh water, medicine, evangelism, and economic empowerment. Since Buluya already has a primary school, UCSS chose to build a secondary school to offer continuity of education for the children in the area. Instead of sending fewer students to more expensive private schools, we will be able to send more students to our new secondary school.
We believe that with the Lord on our side, the support of loving friends and the lessons learned from Bulike, Buluya is going to be transformed for the glory of the Lord.
We give glory to God Almighty for his grace that has brought us this far. We have a testimony that if a community is holistically empowered, self sufficiency can be achieved.
God bless you all.