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Will you help Lazarus in our midst?

Bishop Barron notes from the gospel the Luke 16:19-31, “the rich man ‘dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day,’ while lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, ‘who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table.’ God is not pleased with this kind of economic inequality, and he burns with a passion to set things right.

This theme came roaring up out of the Bible and into the Christian tradition, and it echoes up and down the centuries.  St Thomas Aquinas says that we must distinguish between ownership and use of private property. We have a right to ownership through our hard work, through our inheritance. Fair enough. But with regard to the use of those things–how we use them, why we use them, then, says Thomas, we must always be concerned first for the common good and not our own.  This especially includes Lazarus at our gate:  those who are suffering and most in need.”

In Uganda, unemployment is over 40% with 80% of the population trying to eek out a living from farming or micro businesses.  Many families struggle to cover basic needs–food, health care, housing and school fees.  And the effects of changing weather, coupled with a lack of access to insurance options, leaves families even more exposed and vulnerable.  This Lent support our small grant programs that provides infusions of capital to income generating projects to ensure health care workers are paid for their free services rendered to the community; to provide leadership, scouting and shoe making training programs for youth; to support a rabbit farm for mothers and families with special needs children, and income generating opportunities for disabled men and woman.

We support amazing Catholic religious and lay leaders working to transform their communities through health care, work opportunitities, education, spiritual formation, and love.  Will you help the Lazarus in our midst, the marginalized families, youth and disabled in Uganda?   Join our Endeavors Giving Circle this Lent!

Following Your Dream – Solomon’s Story

Parents around the world struggle greatly to provide educational opportunities for their children, and instill the values of learning and academic growth in them. Unfortunately for many in Uganda, quality education and monetary opportunity to enroll in schools remain unattainable following the conflict in the north. With the help of generous sponsors, such as yourself, and passionate educators like Fr. Tony, SJ and the staff at Ocer Campion Jesuit College (OCJC), students who would not otherwise have the opportunity to study are able to join classrooms and fulfill their dreams and the hope of their parents.

Solomon, a 14 year old at Ocer Campion Jesuit College, was born to parents living the turmoil of wartime Uganda. During the time of the insurgency, people from Northern Uganda were moved into the family’s compound for safety, but left resource sparse. Following the war, Solomon’s parents had no land for tilling and little opportunity for financial recovery.

Dreams of educating their children looked bleak, but knowing its importance, they enrolled Solomon in a local primary school. During this time, they recognized a struggle in math and worked with the school librarian to obtain books to aid Solomon. Shortly after he was able to pass his Primary 7 examinations and was accepted into Ocer Campion. With the help of your donations which contribute to tuition payments, Solomon, like many other students at Ocer, has been able to attend school and thrive.

Solomon enjoys the environment that Ocer Campion Jesuit College, its staff and students provide. He is fond of the staff of the school, who continuously show kindness to the students and are invested in their success. Solomon is a member of the Ocer Science Club, enjoys fine arts classes, and participates in football during his leisure time. Following Ocer, Solomon hopes to become a mechanical engineer and give back to his community in whatever way he can.

Solomon’s educational dreams and opportunities would not have been possible without the good works of our wonderful missionaries serving in Uganda and our faithful donors. For a mere $660 per year or $55 per month, you can help support a student like Solomon for one year of education. Will you help give a student the opportunity to dream big and join a classroom today?   Join our Endeavors Giving Circle Today!

 

Following Your Dream – Nancy’s Story

For the youth of Uganda it is time to begin a new academic year, but sadly not all students will be able to attend.  Due to a lack of funds too many youth will remain sitting at home instead of studying with their peers.

Thanks to generous sponsors like you and me, one in three students at Ocer Campion Jesuit College (OCJC) are able to attend school today.  Many more would like to join.

Nancy first dreamed of being able to go to high school.  Now she is attending Ocer Campion Jesuit College and she dreams of becoming a judge to help make Uganda a more just country.  

Nancy was born in the bush of Northern Uganda. During the war time she lost her father, leaving her mother deeply stressed regarding the safety and survival of her family.  After escaping the war, Nancy’s mother with the help of her aunt enrolled her in a primary school specifically for war-affected children in Gulu. Nancy’s love of education blossomed and she performed well.   

Knowing that her mother, a war widow, couldn’t afford the tuition cost of high school, Nancy still continued to study hard and placed her educational fate in God’s hands. She passed her primary leaving exams and waited at home for an opportunity to continue studying. After a year she had the chance through her Uncle to work in the fields at Ocer Campion during the holiday season when the other boarding students were away.  Once she was able to meet Fr. Tony, SJ and Director of OCJC, she was able to apply for both acceptance and support. Nancy’s prayers were answered with an educational scholarship confirming for her that good does exist in the world.

Nancy, now a Senior 4 student, is active in the Ocer Campion community as a member of the Educate Club, Young Christian Society, and Debate Club. Within the Educate Club, Nancy works alongside students to make the campus and community better to study, and in the Young Christian Society, she guides and counsels youth during their difficult adolescent period. She recognizes the high-quality education Ocer Campion offers and is grateful for the ability to interact openly with her teachers. She finds the educational environment very encouraging.

Nancy dreams of continuing her education beyond Ocer Campion and one day hopes to become a lawyer. She recognizes the turmoil that surrounded the last presidential election and the corruption within the country. In becoming a lawyer, and one day a judge, she hopes to allow the people of Uganda the freedom of speech, and all freedoms. She wants to shape the world to be more just.

Nancy’s educational dreams and opportunities would not have been possible without the good works of our wonderful missionaries serving in Uganda and our faithful donors.  For a mere $660 per year or $55/month you can help support a student like Nancy for a year of high school. Will you help give a student the opportunity to dream big and join a classroom today?    Join our Endeavors Giving Circle!