Norwich Diocese project will help change lives
Lives will be changed for the better after two African charities with close links to Norfolk were chosen to be supported by the Diocese of Norwich’s annual Lent Project. Keith Morris reports.
The Lent Project encourages parishes to raise money to support charities both at home and abroad and this year it will focus on two charities in Uganda with links to the Diocese.
World Shine Foundation is building a dormitory at a school in a poor part of west Uganda so children won’t have to walk up to six miles to school every day which can be dangerous.
Rev Adrian Miller, Team Vicar in Tas Valley Team Ministry, recently led a team of over 20 people, mainly from Norfolk to a school established by World Shine Ministries. Since this visit, World Shine Ministries have become an important charity to the Tas Valley team and now, the Diocese.
Freda Lewis, a retired teacher living in Norwich was so appalled by the plight facing starving children in Northern Uganda, she set up The Oasis of Life charity, and has worked hard to make a real difference.
The Oasis of Life is building a medical centre in Northern Uganda aiming to bring hope, health and happiness to a people devastated by war over the past 20 years.
Speaking of this year’s Lent Project, the Right Rev Graham James, Bishop of Norwich said: “Everybody’s heard of Lent. Most people think it’s a season when you give something up, whether it’s chocolate, cheese, alcohol or some other commodity which makes us fatter.
“But Lent is really about giving away more than giving up. It prepares us for Holy Week, Easter and Jesus giving his life away for us. So during Lent I want to encourage the church congregation to give something of their good fortune away to parts of the world where people’s needs are even greater than here.”
To find out more about the Lent Project visit: www.norwich.anglican.org/lent
Pictured above is the Bishop of Norwich launching the Lent Project with Freda Lewis and Rev Adrian Miller.
Chairty aims to provide a hope of good health
The north of Uganda has been devastated over the past years by the Lord’s Resistance Army. It became so dangerous that people had to leave their own homes to seek refuge in Internally Displaced People’s Camps. With the threat from the Lords Resistance Army receding, the camps are closing, but how do the people re-establish their communities when they have nothing?
Freda Lewis, a retired teacher living in Norwich, first went out to Lira as a volunteer to give humanitarian aid in the IDP camps. She distributed relief supplies to people on the verge of starvation, living without hope of relief or an end to their suffering. Appalled particularly by the plight of the children, she returned on her own.
She established The Oasis of Life charity which raises money to alleviate the despair and despondency of children living in IDP Camps in Northern Uganda. Working with the church community in Lira and Steve Puleh from Makerere University in Kampala, it uses small scale projects to actively make a difference.
The Diocese of Norwich’s Lent Project is partnering with Oasis of Life to build a clinic at Lira to provide some of the basic medical health care we take for granted for our own children.
New school will give an education for the future
Rev Dr Medad Birungi was abused as a child, but his life was turned around when he became a Christian. He established World Shine Ministries to spread the knowledge of the Christian gospel, to relieve poverty and suffering and to assist needy children and students with education so that their conditions of life can be improved.
Last summer, Rev Adrian Miller (pictured right), Team Vicar in Tas Valley Team Ministry led a team of over 20 people, mainly from Norfolk to a school established by World Shine Ministries in a poor part of West Uganda at Rwentobo. Children travel up to 10 km into school, and this affects attendance and can be dangerous - particularly for the girls.
The school has been designed so dormitories can be added, and it is hoped to raise enough money through the Lent Project to secure the building of the first of these so the children living furthest from the school can be educated safely. But Medad has a bigger vision – to raise up a future generation of leaders with Christian values to change the whole of Uganda.
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