CLICK 4WARD WITH RUKIGA!
Since our links with Rukiga in South West Uganda began four years ago, we have concentrated mainly on finding sponsors for children there, and then on the development of the Water Project. The sponsorship continues of course, but as reported in December’s ICN, we were thrilled to learn of the Water Project’s successful completion; now everyone is within a 30 minute journey of reaching their drinking water each day.
And following the latest visit to the region, by Mike Whitlam, Ken Tombs and Wendy Williams, the next strands of our community link have been agreed. This time, four areas will be the focus of our support, fundraising and prayers, as Ickenham continues to move “4Ward with Rukiga”. Mike outlined these four strands for ICN:
Kyanbuhangwa Women In Development (KWID) is an organisation based in Kamwesi. It helps to mobilise the community to get the best out of local government services. But if services fall short, KWID encourages the community to support themselves. Led by Florence Tumuheirwe, KWID’s main concerns are with schooling, health issues and economic development, particularly agricultural development. Until now a volunteer based group, it would benefit from paid administrative help, and funding for resources to allow even more to be achieved.
Kamwesi Parents’ School was set up seven years ago by a group of parents to ensure their children receive a good education. There are three classrooms for children aged 10 – 18 but no electricity, or computers and they are short of books. Head teacher Peter Byarhuanga was thrilled to receive a gift of reference books from Breakspear School during Mike’s visit, and he is looking forward to making further links with Vyners School too.
St James’ Church in Buhangezi draws congregations of between 400 and 500 people each Sunday, some travelling on foot for up to 4 miles to attend. The church’s women’s groups are strong, and members use church premises for tailoring and craftwork, to earn money both for themselves and for the church. Adrian and Bernie attempt to keep in touch with St James’ Canon Christopher, but communication by post is a slow process and, as with the school, the church has no electricity or computers to allow easy email contact.
‘Young Watford’ Football Team – so named after Mike left a local team a set of Watford kit during an earlier visit – will be the fourth strand in this phase. The team turned up to entertain the Ickenham visitors with some enthusiastic dancing, and Mike plans to get them and our project some publicity at Vicarage Road in the months to come.
So why now four strands? Well, because over time we have got to know these groups, can see they are a positive force for good in their community, and that with some help, even more can be achieved. And it seems a good way to tap into the widest range of skills and interests among Ickenham folk: if you have business, IT or finance skills, or an interest in education, church life or football, there is a reason and an opportunity to get involved, so come and join in.
Watch out for further details of our plans, the next fundraising events, or get in touch with Mike Whitlam directly with any of your ideas, questions or offers of help. (Tel: 01895 678169 / email: email@example.com )
DROP-IN FOR THE BEREAVED. Third Monday of each month. St Giles’ Church Hall, 2pm to 3.30pm. A friendly, informal opportunity for a chat, over a cup of tea, with other bereaved people and bereavement visitors. The next meeting is on Monday 21st February (then Monday 21st March). Just come along, or ring the Rectory (622970) if you would like to talk to someone first.