Simon Peter’s Story

Thanks to your support Simon Peter Omollo has become a vibrant young Catholic leader in his community.  This wasn’t always to be his story. The second oldest of 5 children of faithful Catholic parents, his father was a Mentor teacher at a Teacher’s College and his mother a peasant farmer.  While it was Simon Peter’s dream and that of his parents that he should graduate from university, there were no extra resources available for him to attend university after finishing A levels.  Active as a youth leader in his parish, St. Theresa in Achilet, in the Archdiocese of Tororo, he was recommended by his parish to participate in the youth leadership camp designed and lead by eChange Endeavors founder Laura Frederick in collaboration with the John Paul II Justice and Peace Center.  This two-week youth leadership camp provided Simon Peter and many youths the opportunity to grow in their faith, learn about Catholic social teaching, build community, and develop leadership skills. In addition, through this experience, he was introduced to the Mill Hill Missionaries in Uganda, which lead to his joining their formation program for three years.

Following his time with the Mill Hills Simon Peter finally had the opportunity to begin attending University.  He was accepted to St. Lawrence University and began studying education to teach at the secondary (high) school level.  In the middle of his second-year disaster struck their family. His father, Raphael Owori, was diagnosed with esophagus (throat) cancer.  In a country that has only one radiation machine and limited medical support for cancer this a devastating blow, not only emotionally, but financially affecting both current and future livelihood of the family.  Without insurance, all the family resources were directed towards his father’s medical needs to fight this terrible disease, thus leaving nothing for Simon Peter’s education fees. He would have had to drop out of university.  With your generous support, we were able to step in and fill the gap covering his university fees for the last two years of his education. With immense gratitude from the whole family, Simon Peter continued on with his coursework, his father kept fighting to regain his health, and his mother worked to feed the family from her garden labors.  

Sadly, Simon Peter’s father succumbed to cancer shortly before his graduation.   While the loss of Simon Peter’s father brought great sorrow to the family, Simon Peter’s graduation brought much joy and hope!  As a university graduate and qualified teacher, Simon Peter would be able to get work and help his younger siblings finish school too, something his mother would never be able to have afforded on farming alone.  This has brought status and support to his mother, now a widow in her community, and ensured that the family does not fall into abject poverty. Simon Peter’s education achievement has also continued his father’s legacy of prioritizing education for the good of the family and the next generation of Ugandan youth.

Subsequently, Simon Peter was chosen as a scholarship recipient to enter a one year program in Franciscan Spirituality at Tangaza University College in Nairobi, Kenya. Leveraging our existing investment in Simon Peter, eChange Endeavors contributed to the scholarship, helping with room, board, books and supply costs. Simon Peter graduated in May of 2018 ever grateful for our prayers and support he received from our Endeavors Giving Circle.  He continues to be a very active youth leader in his parish and to work for the good of his community, even galvanizing food aid in the midst of the drought in the Spring of 2017. He looks toward his dream of becoming a high school teacher and is open to one day entering a masters program in education.

With your generous support, we were able to turn a devastating crisis into another story of joy, enriching people’s faith in God and renewing hope in our Christian community globally.  Thank you!  

If you are not yet a member, consider joining our Endeavors Circle today.

 

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eChange Endeavors

We are a community inspired by our Catholic faith to serve one another in love. We have committed resources and ourselves to create inclusive empowerment opportunities for our Brothers and Sisters in Africa. We currently work in Uganda, East Africa.