Uganda, located in East Africa at the equator, is approximately twice the size of Pennsylvania. The Congo is on its western border, Sudan is to the North, Kenya is on its eastern border and on the south it is bordered by Lake Victoria, Tanzania and Rwanda.
The country is divided into three main areas – a desert region, a fertile plateau with wooded hills, and a swampy lowland area. Uganda is on an elevated plateau between the two main African rifts. Earthquakes in Uganda are common. For example, in September of 2016, an earthquake of about Richter 6.6 rumbled on for what seemed like 5 minutes southwest of Nakawuka near the Tanzania border.
The infant mortality rate is @60/1,000 and the life expectancy is @54 years old. It remains one of Africa’s poorest countries.
Uganda’s 18-year-long battle against the brutal Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), an extremist rebel group based in Sudan, showed signs of abating in Aug. 2006, when the rebels agreed to declare a truce. Between 8,000 and 10,000 children have been abducted by the LRA to form the army of “prophet” Joseph Kony, whose aim was to take over Uganda and run it according to his vision of Christianity.
The boys are turned into soldiers and the girls into sex slaves. Up to 1.5 million people in northern Uganda have been displaced because of the fighting and the fear that their children will be abducted.
The Wambale Catholic Mission in Uganda is a safe space for these children and is funded, engineered and maintained by dedicated and caring people. The mission efforts aim to provide the village children with an education and the village families with a healthy environment. Teaching the young boys and girls a trade is the first step in breaking the cycle of the LRA’s influence in their lives. Sustainable farming, water collection and irrigation and the responsibilities of the maintenance are all important lessons for the young men and boys to learn. And teaching the girls a trade like sewing and crafting become a wholesome income source breaks the oppressive cycle of the LRA.
So building schools, medical clinics, engineering water and sanitation facilities directly affect the children and families of the region. This is the Wambale Catholic Mission. Teaching Catholic values administering the Sacraments and tending to their spiritual well-being is brought forth in all the actions of the mission.
According to Fr. Francis, his village and sub-parishes often experience drought conditions leaving everything extremely dry and dusty. This certainly makes water a high commodity both for human consumption and for the gardens. Since most of the villagers grow their own gardens for personal use, this condition weakens the crops substantially and leaves the villagers scrambling for food. When relief from the drought finally arrives, it is often in the form of a high wind rainstorms. Weak crops are then flooded and wash away. Homes are destroyed by the high winds and sudden flooding.
In the village of Wambale, where Fr. Francis grew up as a young man, construction on the staff housing is complete and occupied by four teachers at the school in this village north of Kampala. This staff housing unit was built for several reasons. The first was to compensate the teachers with a place to live close to their work. Secondly, it created a staff presence available at all times for tutoring and special studies classes. And finally, staff living right there on campus heightened their security dimensions.
In the Nakauka village, at the sub-parish of Nasaggu, work has begun to make improvements to the church. Already the concrete floors, altar steps, landing, and the altar itself have been poured. They are now getting ready to start plastering the wall and installing windows and doors. The exterior architecture of this church is very interesting and uniquely charming.
Please donate to the Wambale Catholic Mission effort! Keep Fr. Francis in your prayers. He is continually gaining new souls for the Catholic Church in spite of the growing numbers of Muslims and Pentecostals in the area.
- Through the Lord’s hands may we give to those in Uganda.
- From our hands to Father Francis Mayinja’s hands giving education, healthcare and welfare to Uganda.
- The importance of helping others has inspired Father Francis since 2008.
- We trust the Lord to guide our ways in giving, sharing and loving through the gifts he has given.
- Supporting education, health, and welfare associated with the work of Father Francis.
- May the Lord guide our hands in every way, through our thoughts and actions, loving the people of Uganda.
- Giving love to the people in Uganda through the works of Father Francis.
- Love those who need loving, give to those who need to receive, through the Lord and the hands of Father Francis.