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 12 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 had 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 nearly £163,000 by January 2019. It was a great joy to see Peter and Rose again when they paid a short visit to the UK including Magor in early December 2018.
Kitetikka primary school children.
Scripture Union ‘Big Day’
Belarussian Orphanage Project (BOP) - CLOSING THE CHARITY DOWN after some 22 YEARS.
A Special Trustee meeting was held on the 16th February 2018. As there were only 3 trustees left, we decided to close the Charity down at the end of its Financial year which was 31st of May 2018.
It was decided at that meeting that the Charity had fulfilled its useful purpose and that Voluntas were more than capable of carrying on with what B.O.P. - Lin & her team - have been doing over recent years. Truly an Answer to Prayer!
Any funds left over would be transferred to VOLUNTAS TO ENABLE THEM TO CARRY ON WITH THE WORK IN HAND.
Letter from Frank in Belarus-
Dear Erik & The Team At B.O.P.
Thank you for your very heartfelt message. Galina and I appreciate all that BOP has done for us and, more importantly, for the thousands of, children, parents, and care professionals you have supported over the years. Ten years ago we would never have believed the extent of the outreach and change that has been accomplished. This has happened only because of the advice, support and efforts of trustees and members of BOP.
The programmes which BOP and ourselves initiated and developed have become the core of all of our activities devoted to the preservation of the family. These include training workshops, seminars, individual consulting sessions, clinics, and training visits. As Galina’s reports show these programmes have national outreach and we hope soon to be able to implement them regionally. All of these have, as their foundation, our cooperation with BOP. We need now to maintain the momentum of structural change and to nurture the development of social attitudes which have evolved over the past ten years.
Galina, Elena, the rest of our team and volunteers, and myself look forward to continuing our relationship with the people of BOP who have become part of our family and mission. We look forward to your guidance and advice as we continue with the important programmes which your support made possible.
It would be more than remiss of us not to mention the debt we owe to Lin Morris. Nothing would have been achieved without the work and support of the entire team of BOP but Lin is especially special. Her unflagging energy, dedication and, above all the inspiration she provides to us and all the people who now know her in Belarus is the spiritual ingredient which has driven all this forward.
Yours with sincere gratitude,
PS: Although BOP may be closing it is important to continue to advance BOP’s cause in Belarus and regionally. In order to assure this we intend to reorganise Voluntas in the UK by recruiting additional trustees and advisors and by increasing our active presence there. We will actively seek sponsors and partners for the continued development our programmes.