An important part of our church life is the development of our relationships with other
Christian communities in different parts of the world.
Here are some of the major connections
EBENEZER BAPTIST CHURCH MAGOR and KITETIKKA
PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS, KAMPALA, UGANDA
Following the first visit of Rev Peter and Rose Kasozi to Magor in 2005, we have developed a significant programme to sponsor some of the needy children at the school they run in Uganda – many of them being orphans. A small team from Magor visited the school in summer 2007 and were very impressed with all the improvements to the school and orphanage facilities. Also we came away confident that all the money given was being put to very good use, and in such a sensitive way that did not discriminate against those children not receiving sponsorship. Currently about 40 children are receiving sponsorship in this way, although during the last 11 years over 100 children and young people have benefited from our sponsorship. A specific child can be sponsored for £10 a month (worth £12.50 with Gift Aid) and a school report will be received each term. There are also opportunities to support some of the older students who can go on to University studies, the first of whom graduated in January 2011.
At Christmas 2006 over £4,000 was raised to help provide bicycles for some of the children who had to walk long distances to the school each day. So much money was given that in the end a bigger coach was also able to be purchased, to replace the smaller minibus used to transport some of the younger children. In 2007/08 the focus was on raising funds to replace the old boys’ dormitory (part of the orphanage) which was housed in very primitive conditions. In just six months over £16,000 was raised that enabled the new building for 72 boys to be opened at the beginning of February 2008. Sadly a fire damaged a substantial part of the building in 2016 which has had to be rebuilt with new equipment, but no one was hurt. In 2009 help was given to complete a science laboratory for the high school, both financial and practical, when three members of our congregation visited Uganda.
The Kitetikka project also owns some 50 acres of farmland about 30 miles away which was largely bush until 2007. Clearing this very fertile land (capable of two crops a year) has enabled staple food crops of maize, sweet potatoes, beans and cassava to be harvested, greatly improving the health of the children. Owing to the high price of food in Uganda, the farm harvest has proved a very valuable boost to the school and orphanage. In time milk and meat production could also be an added benefit to the whole community. They have a tractor and plough, but need lots of labour to keep the ground cultivated. In recent years a church, school and dormitories have been built on the farm site, where facilities in the local villages are very primitive.
As well as the schools, orphanage and farm other churches have been established in the area around Kitetikka and also in Kampala itself. Various adult members of the Kasozi family are now involved in the different aspects of ministry. The total amount of money raised by Magor Baptist church for our partner ministry in Uganda reached £145,000 in January 2017.
Kitetikka primary school children.
Scripture Union ‘Big Day’
The Belarussian Orphanage Project (BOP) was established in 1998 and is a Christian based charity supported by Magor Baptist Church .It was initially set up to provide non critical medical treatment to children from Belarussian Orphanages.
BOP adopted Vashiliski Orphanage, which catered for approximately 340 children, many of whom have Downs Syndrome as well as those with congenital deformities. BOP has provided financial support for infrastructure improvement projects along with medical aid whilst training and developing their staff to provide basic therapies.
As it became increasingly difficult to get aid to Vashilisky, BOP changed its focus. With the help from Voluntas, a children’s charity based in Minsk, BOP formed a partnership in order to radically reduce the number of children being sent to Orphanges throughout Belarus.
BOP became a catalyst for the Voluntas Charity to make positive changes in the care and treatment of children with special needs in Belarus.
Together, we initially chose to help children with Autism, progressing to those with Talipes (Club foot) and latterly those suffering from Down Syndrome.
BOP’s support has made many things possible for children with disabilities and their families which would otherwise be beyond their reach.
Regional centres throughout Belarus have been set up to support children with autism. At these centres, BOP representatives have facilitated seminars encompassing teachers, Psychologists, Social Workers and Doctors from Minsk, Vitebsk, Mogilev and Gomel.
Voluntas along with BOP are actively supporting the establishment of early childhood development and resource centres across Belarus. These centres will act as a source for support to families in need and for up-to-date training for professionals working with special needs children. One region includes Vashiliski Orphanage .Visits to the Orphanage have been made possible once again.
As a result of the teaching and conferences that have been carried out by BOP, we believe that everything is now in place which allows Autism to tackled by the Belarusian medical teams.
The next issue that we decided to tackle was seen first-hand during the early visits to Vashiliski. It was evident that many of the children in the Orphanage had Club Foot (Talipes).
Once again specialists from Hospitals in the UK were sought and Doctors from Belarus were brought over to attend conferences on Club Foot and to visit local hospitals. Eventually conferences were set up in Belarus where over 100 doctors and students attended. We also supplied pairs of little feet to each of the Regional Centres on which to practice modern procedures, which were a great success.