Uganda – Kampala
Expansion and Development
In addition to Bethlehem Children’s Home which was established at the last quarter of 2010 under the leadership of Fr Hayden Augustine—successor to Fr Philip Selvaraj and Br John Reddy—our various ministries and outreach programmes saw their expansion over the years. Below is a summary of these activities from 2007 to present. As for the two Homes, they currently have a total of a little more than 400 residents:
In 2007, the Good Shepherd Educational Sponsorship Programme provided full and partial scholarships to 300 children and youth, 350 in 2008 and 2009, 500 in 2010, and 650 in 2011 and 2012. There is close to 700 children in the present school year.
The Good Shepherd Medical Dispensary (Health Center III) served over 12,000 people each year from the Mengo-Kisenyi slum and surrounding communities with an average daily outpatient load of 40 persons. In the past year, however, we had a record high of 19,861 patients. Most of the cases seen were those of malaria, cough, intestinal worms, and various skin diseases. Minor injuries like abrasion, cuts, etc. were also treated. Finally, there were those that were treated from diarrhea, HIV/AIDS, STD, UTI, pneumonia, dysentery, depression (treated with both medication and counseling), epilepsy, mental retardation, malnutrition, anemia, asthma, diabetes and hypertension. At present, we see an average of 50 outpatients daily.
Daily lunches were served for over 300 children with freshly cooked food prepared at the kitchen of the Good Shepherd Home. On Sundays, close to 1,000 children are given snacks at Our Lady of Good Counsel Monastery shortly after our 10:00AM Mass. This programme is still very much active to-date.
Weekly distribution of food packages made up of posho, rice, wheat flour, and beans (with the addition of soap and clothing occasionally) to several indigent persons, including Karimojong tribals, internally displaced persons, refugees, and elderly people. Starting at 300 families in 2007, it went to 500 in 2008 and 2009. In 2010 and 2011, however, the numbers dropped down to about 100 due to the shortage in supply. Still, we have continued to help some 20 families with the same on a daily basis.
Catechism classes were held for 100-150 children and youth during holidays. After each session, a meal was served to all the participants.
Daily ongoing physiotherapy and rehabilitation programmes were provided to over 100 mentally and physically disabled children at the Good Shepherd Home through in-house exercises and appointments at the Katalemwa Cheshire Home and CoRSU Rehabilitation Center.
House visitations were made at the slum neighbourhood of Mengo-Kisenyi on an ongoing basis to understand their needs and also build good relationships. In some cases, these visits resulted to us building or repairing their houses.