The following post was written by Sempa Don who serves the St. Kizito Foundation “on the ground” in Uganda.
Having the opportunity to work with the Saint Kizito Foundation has brought me so many amazing opportunities. I have had the opportunity to help young children reach a bright future. Hearing their stories and learning what they aspire to do with their lives has been one of the best parts of working with the Saint Kizito Foundation.
An article appeared in the Wall Street Journal recently which is worth highlighting on the Saint Kizito Foundation’s website. The article, entitled “U.S. to Rebels: Listen to Mom”, was written by Michael M. Phillips in the Wall Street Journal (Saturday/Sunday, March 11-12, 2017).
The article details the rise of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) started by Joseph Kony, beginning as an ethnic war between various ethnic groups in Uganda, Africa.
The making of the beads from discarded paper products – and creating useful and desired merchandise with them such as jewelry, purses, and other lovely items has greatly helped improve the financial wellbeing of the bead makers and merchandise creators. The bead makers and merchandise creators are often times women who have little or no marketable skills. This work offers them a way forward.
African beads which are used to make a number of beautiful items – necklaces, bracelets, earrings, purses to name a few – can be made from different materials such as eggshells, ivory, bone, and other materials occurring in nature. Recently, however, discarded paper products such as flyers, posters, calendars, and magazines have been used to make beads. The use of what could be termed trash – is used to make beautiful beads which are then used to make beautiful products – which are then sold – essentially turning trash to cash.
The joy and excitement of the Saint Kizito students was evident when Father Dunson began his visit with the celebration of the mass when he visited Africa in August, 2016. Over two hundred students and their families gathered at Saint Monica’s school in Gulu to celebrate the liturgy and to share a picnic lunch prepared by the Sisters who reside at Saint Monica.
Today provided an opportunity to visit with our founder, Father Donald Dunson and a special guest from Uganda, Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe at Saint Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio.
Sister Rosemary is from the country of Uganda in Africa. She is known internationally for her advocacy for women and children, particularly those displaced and marginalized by the LRA rebellion and war in Northern Africa. Sister Rosemary was named in 2014 by Time Magazine as one of the most influential people and in 2007 as a CNN Hero. Her travels are based upon invitations; the invitee covers her travel costs. Sister Rosemary uses the opportunities presented to her to speak on behalf of Saint Monica’s and the women and children she and her community serves.
First born in a family of 6 children and an orphan withtout the father. Education has been a challenge and biggest problem not only with me but even the other siblings though fortunately, for my side, I received a helping hand from St. Kizito family that has enabled me attain A Level studies.
This is from which I derived my happiness and I would like to send a congratulatory message to everyone whose effort has thrown light on me through the St. Kizito’s family.
By: Topaco Godfrey
I offer my words of deep appreciation to St. Kizito Foundation that has made me see life. St. Kizito installed a fresh breath of life in the hearts of hundreds of children in Uganda.
Before meeting St. Kizito Foundation, I and many other children in Northern Uganda, comfortably in desperation, called ourselves plants amidst a forest of thorns.