In recent months there has been much heavy rain and wind in and around Kabale. Up at 8000 feet, in the hill top Batwa community of Rwamahano, this has caused terrible damage to the primary school run by AICM. Classrooms and the teachers’ house have been wrecked. The pictures show the damage. Between 150 and 180 students are catered for at this little school and so AICM faces a major crisis. It has to consider what is best to do for the future of this community and its school. Well constructed buildings, adequate, clean water provision, housing for teachers are all essential and the necessary funding for this will be large. In the meantime, AICM also has to make adequate provision for the teachers and students. Currently a room has been hired at the nearby trading centre to help house teachers and equipment. In the short term AICM has to consider how it can continue to provide food daily for these children, and temporary classrooms will be needed. Please pray for Faith and the AICM staff as they consider what to do, and pray also for those children and their teachers coping with such a difficult situation. Pray for us in FAICM that we too may have God's wisdom as we seek to advise and help.
It is obvious that funding help is going to be needed. FAICM will keep supporters and friends informed.
For the first half of July this year a team travelled to serve with AICM in Kabale from St Ebbes church in Oxford. This was the third year a team has gone from the church and in each case the they were accompanied by two trustees :-
Each morning the whole team led bible studies with students and staff in the Vocational Training College chapel. The team took bible teaching resources which they left with Rachael, the AICM evangelist, and Patience, the college chapel mistress, to encourage continued bible study. They also introduced the students to some more worship songs, and left words/music and CDs so that they could continue to use them. Around 40 Good News Bibles were gifted to students who did not have one. This follows on from a similar gift in both the previous years, so now around 120 GNB have been distributed. In the late afternoons between 4-
A visit to Muko Secondary school was organised:-
The team were privileged to visit Rugarama hospital which is run by the Church of Uganda. They were shown round by the chaplain and were able to pray with various patients and in particular, visited maternity /neonatal wards and children’s wards. Some kind UK ladies had given a big bag of knitted teddy bears which proved ideal gifts for the children and were gratefully received.
The team were privileged to make two visits to AICM community groups. At Nyamabale, the local pastor, Simon, and his wife graciously offered hospitality, followed by a welcome from various ladies’ groups, especially their chair persons, in the church. Long term AICM field worker, Benson, introduced the ladies. After singing together and listening to God`s word, several women then volunteered testimonies and spoke of their work among their communities before singing and dancing as the team took leave. It was a humbling and moving occasion.
At Ndeego, the team were welcomed outside a local primary school by children and ladies representing the many AICM rural community groups. Accompanying us this time were also Bishop Enoch, AICM staff including field workers and local council officials. The occasion was a thanksgiving and presentation of gifts purchased thanks to the UK “Alternative Gift” scheme. Most of the gifts on this occasion were sheep and goats. There was a huge audience and various people spoke including the Bishop and team members. The team leader preached powerfully from James 1 v16-
For four days the team were involved in primary school ministry at the two AICM Batwa primary schools. One school was at Rwamahano, a very needy community with the parents facing real problems from lack of water and hunger—all of which AICM are challenged to address. The children first sang to us songs that the Ebbe’s team had taught them over the last two years, which was really encouraging. On both days there were new songs to teach them which they learned easily and enjoyed. The children were then divided into two groups:-
The other school was at Muribindi. The two visits followed the same programme. The group of children was smaller, but very welcoming and very responsive. These parents were also extremely welcoming and showed a warmth of fellowship and a keen desire to hear the Word of God. They are pastored by AICM worker and lay reader Datsun, who lives among them with his wife and two children. The result of his commitment and ministry is obvious for all to see. The team really enjoyed both their visits.
We also took part in both English services at All Saints Church on the first Sunday and the team leader had the privilege of preaching at both these services, and also at the third local language (Rukiga) service which is the one with the biggest attendance. The following Sunday we were part of the service at the VTC chapel and the team leader was invited to preach on “The Voice of Kigezi” local radio.
Due to the generosity of many folk, the team used their full luggage allowance to take many gifts. Booklets and bibles and teddy bears have already been mentioned. We also took some sports equipment for both the VTC and schools, and a great number of woollen blankets, knitted vests and hats of various sizes which will be given to the Batwa communities. A quantity of ladies underwear and some other clothing were also given, which will be distributed among needy girls at the VTC. Using a quantity of knitting needles and wool that we had taken, a lot of the girls were successfully encouraged to knit. We also were thankful for some donated money, which enabled us to leave funds for the purchase of around 30 local language (Rukiga) bibles, to be carefully distributed among leaders in the rural communities.
This is an attempt to help AICM in Kabale with some severe challenges they have at the moment with the Batwa. Basically, this means in the short term giving the children at least one square meal a day, and in the longer term, rebuilding the school. Below is included a brief history of the school sent to us by Faith Tushabe, AICM Executive Director.
Warm greetings from AICM-
AICM is grateful for your commitment and generosity to the Ministry of AICM; and we can’t thank you enough.
Brief history of Rwamahano Batwa Primary school
The school started in 1991 with 7 Batwa children and 5 non Batwa children. The then extension worker of the centre was Rwabinumi Nichodemus, and Biryomumeisho was the Head teacher and teacher at the time, and by then, the pupils were studying in two semi permanent wooden structures.
The primary school is now currently headed by an acting head teacher by the names of Tumwebaze Confidence (but we shall soon change to have a qualified headteacher-
The primary school runs from Primary One to Primary Five with a population of 106 pupils. The pupils include both Batwa who are 66 in number and 40 non Batwa.
Life at the school
Since 22nd December, 2012, when the school was blown away by wind and heavy rains, the pupils have been studying from an unaccomplished community hall turned into a classroom and another classroom which is also currently in a poor shape. (Whenever it rains, the wind brows the rain towards pupils in class and inevitably, teaching stops).
There is currently no store and an office for the school. The school currently rents from a neighbouring trading centre. AICM pays rent every month to the landlord.
The teachers travel to the school from their homes because part of the teacher’s house also collapsed and AICM could only rent for the head teacher so that she can be near the school. Amos, the extension worker, also stays in the same house.
The pupils who study from the school are very poor and some can hardly afford one meal a day. Their parents are so poor that they cannot support their children with scholastic materials, clothes or even medical attention. The children only go to school if they are assured of a breakfast provided by the school, scholastic materials and school uniforms, all which are provided with support from FAICM-
A day at Rwamahano Batwa primary school
The school runs on a term system which is three months in a row before they break off. The school operates under the Uganda Ministry of Sports calendar though there has not been any government support because they require surveying of the land first.
Pupils report to school at 8:30 am and it is usually very cold. Children here can only be saved by having a school sweater on, or a jumper. The day starts with prayers and devotion, and the teachers then share with the children the program for the day.
Classes start at 9:00am and at 10:30am children break off and have a cup of Porridge, play and return to class at 11:00am. The pupils study and break off at 1:00pm when they go for their lunch prepared at school and lasts for an hour. Children return to class at 2:00pm for studies and break at 3:30pm for games and sports. The day ends at 4:00pm with an assembly when pupils and teachers retire to their homes.
Requirements for the school facilities
The school requires a four classroom block, a store, staffroom and a head teacher’s office. This will be in addition to completion of the Community hall turned into classroom. The school also needs a teacher’s house which can accommodate at least two teachers and a Community extension worker, as well as a school kitchen with a store attached.
Concerning the issue of water, the buildings will be built in such a way that they will feed into the available tanks which will be renovated during construction. As a water harvest measure, more containers like water jars will also be availed to provide water.
Lightning conductors will also be introduced.
Thank you once again for your selfless commitment to the work of AICM and may God richly bless you!
With much love and Prayers
AICM Executive Director
The team gives much thanks to God for protection and safety in every respect of our two weeks in Uganda.
This was the fourth team to join in ministry and outreach with AICM among desperately needy and disadvantaged communities in and around Kabale, and this continuity is itself very valuable. The following is not fully comprehensive, but gives a broad outline of our visit.
The team of six was ably led by Wycliffe student, Nick Wooldridge, who had many preaching opportunities. Each morning the whole team led bible studies with students and staff in the AICM Vocational Training College. We led seven studies giving a bible overview, based on Vaughan Robert`s “God`s Big Picture”. Vaughan is rector of St Ebbe’s, Oxford. These seemed to be much appreciated, and we left copies of the book with strategic people and all had a copy of the overview matrix from the book. As in the last two years, we also introduced some new songs into their morning worship, and this year Sue spent some afternoon sessions teaching some of the songs to the choir who then sang some of them in the mornings. We were able to take over fifty Good News Bibles with us, and these were all purchased by students for a small sum, to ensure that they valued them. There were other opportunities to mix with staff and students informally, although our return from the field most days didn’t seem to coincide with sports this year, as it had for much of the time in previous years.
We spent two days each at the two AICM Batwa primary schools. These serve extremely needy communities, and both schools welcomed us warmly, remembering previous visits. It was gratifying that songs we had taught them were sung to us with great pleasure. In both communities, adults were pleased to greet us as well as children. Nick taught on Noah and the Flood from Genesis in two sessions, and was able to tell the parents what he was teaching their children. Both communities were very responsive, and what was especially encouraging, was that the most needy of the two, who last year seemed not so welcoming, were much more positive. All of us had great fun playing a variety of games with the children, and we had gifts to give them from school children here in UK, which gave huge pleasure. Many thanks to St Nicholas Primary school, Marston, to Stelling Minnis Primary school in Kent and to Emmanuel Christian school in Oxford.
A mark of the impact the gospel is beginning to have on these communities is that on our middle Sunday, we were privileged to attend a service in a village church, where 61 of the Batwa were baptised. Some were babies, others were older, young people and some were adults. One couple actually presented themselves for marriage, with other couples apparently asking to be married also. Nick was privileged to preach at this service. We met and sought to encourage the two AICM field workers who live and work among these two Batwa communities.
The team also attended an assembly at the secondary school where AICM have some sponsored students. Again, we have visited this church school previously and their welcome was infectious. They are clearly taught the gospel and expected and received a good message from Nick.
On another occasion we were privileged to take part in the presentation of gifts purchased by AICM through the UK organised “alternative gift” scheme. This is a method of fund raising for a wide variety of very necessary needs, such as goats and sheep, crop sprayers, blankets, savings boxes, mosquito nets etc. Sheep and goats were the main commodity handed over, but also, importantly, some local language (Rukiga) bibles. Very few of those in the communities have the bible in their own language. Many cannot read, but if they can, then they are able to teach others if they have the bible in their own language. AICM has also discovered that having access to a Rukiga bible gives an incentive to want to read. It was remarkable therefore that several Rukiga bibles were gifted to some Batwa who had learned to read, and who now have the bible in a language they can read themselves and impart to others.
There was a good amount of time to get alongside, chat and encourage key AICM staff. One of our team, Esther, was able to give some help to the Executive Director on project writing, which was very valuable. Our fellowship was much valued and we too learnt a lot from them. We had also, as last year, used all our luggage allowance to carry a wide variety of useful gifts, including some for students from their UK sponsors, all of which were gratefully received.
Returning to the UK, even after only two weeks, is a culture shock. One is humbled by our experiences, amazed at the wonder of God`s creation (South West Uganda is truly beautiful), aware of God at work in peoples` lives, but also aware of continuing huge need.
Photos from this visit are on a separate sub-
2016 Mission Trip from Students of St. Ebbe’s Church
The St Ebbes Uganda mission team, 2016, have recently returned from an excellent visit to AICM. Led for a second year by Nick Wooldridge, a second year theological student from Wycliffe College , Oxford, the team give thanks to God for His gracious protection on our flights and on our many travels on long and dusty roads. The visit was very full with a very varied programme, thanks to the folk at AICM who planned it.
Here are some highlights:-
Much fun with Batwa primary school children with our rainbow parachute.
Joining with two great head teachers and staff at the two Batwa primary schools at Rwamahano and Murubindi for bible teaching and lots of games. These two schools are very remote, dealing with the poorest of the poor -
Joining in the joyful dancing, thanksgiving and praise to God with local communities learning to integrate Bakiga and Batwa communities. Please pray for AICM and their field staff who are teaching these communities to work together and support one another. It is challenging work requiring great commitment and resources .
Joining with students and staff at the AICM vocational college each morning for praise and worship and bible teaching from John`s gospel. Great times of sharing. Pray that they will continue to read their bibles each day and for their faith to grow.
A visit to the local government prison. An overwhelming and humbling experience from a huge number of prisoners, many full of praise to God and ready to hear His word. Their singing was amazing. God is plainly at work here.
The opportunity to give a gift of a sheep to members of various rural communities, on behalf of Friends of AICM whose alternative gift scheme provides gifts of sheep or goats. Let’s try to encourage more folk to use this scheme for various gifts as it is a vital means of providing resources to these needy communities. It was a privilege to see such gratitude.
The opportunity given to Nick, our team leader, to preach at all three services at All Saints Church, Kabale, the third service in the local language where he was interpreted by a bishop. A surprise wedding was part of this service!! This is the major Church of Uganda church in Kabale. Please pray for the clergy to be well trained and faithful in bible teaching.
These are only a few highlights. We give thanks for many opportunities to work alongside the small but committed team at AICM and to begin to understand the challenges of sharing the love of God amongst such needy communities. Our experiences have fuelled our prayers. Please join us.
|The Geograghy of AICM|
|The Work of AICM|
|The People of AICM and FAICM|
|A hopeful future|
|Vocational Training College|
|Rt Reverend Enoch W.M.Kayeeye|
|Canon Trevor Williams|
|The Venerable Gordon Ogilvie|
|Sponsor a Child in Secondary Education|
|Sponsor a Student at the VTC|
|Donate to the AICM Education Fund|
|2016 Lenten Appeal|
|Garanca La Mache|