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Llandaff Mothers Union Diocesan Link with Nebbi Diocese Uganda
It is just over a year now since we managed to communicate on a regular basis with our link Diocese, Nebbi in Uganda. Our contact is the Mothers Union Community Development Coordinator, Sunday Dhugira. Nebbi is one of 37 Dioceses in Uganda!
As well as her tireless work in Mothers Union, Sunday also has great responsibility with the Threads of Blessings project led from the Women’s Vocational Training Centre where she is Director. Initially, this project was only in the Nebbi Diocese, but it has now expanded to include 13 Diocese in Uganda supporting 650 women- Testimony to the hard work and commitment of Sunday to improve the lives and future of women in Uganda. The main problem facing women in Uganda is illiteracy and poverty. Education is not regarded as important for girls and of course cultural practices encourage the belief that girls should marry, produce children, stay home and perform garden work. The practice of forcing young girls to marry so family will receive income through the bride dowry, reinforces the reasons for the lack of education amongst girls. Threads of Blessings is an inter-generational group of women who enjoy designing and sewing! They are committed to supporting and nurturing the creative process. Threads of Blessings has enabled women in Uganda to produce unique pieces of textile art that represent their culture and surroundings. Through the 100% sale of their work, these women use the money as school fees, start a business, support their local church through tithes, build better homes, buy livestock and seeds etc. As their work improves and their confidence grows, many lives are being impacted and changed.
Sunday was invited to West Texas to meet and speak with different groups to tell them the story of Threads of Blessing and the impact the ministry is having on the lives of the women in Uganda.
She arrived in San Antonio on March 12th and within three days of arriving everything changed! All programs were cancelled due to Covid 19 and before Sunday could travel back, Uganda closed the border. As I write this (June 18th) Sunday is still in America!
Sunday’s first thoughts were to her children. They had been sent home from school but thankfully they are being looked after by their father and she has been in almost daily contact thanks to social media. Her faith is strong and she prayed to God to give her the strength to carry on, and as time went on she became calmer and stronger every day with the support from her host whom she has known since she was a child – Garry and Helen Schnelzer. They were the ones who initiated the partnership that exists between Nebbi Diocese and the Diocese of West Texas. This is a photograph of Sunday in the garden of her hosts.
Sunday has not been idle during her time in San Antonio. She has been busy embroidering as well as pursuing a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Ugandan Christian University.
She has also become a part of the Christ Episcopal Church Saturday sidewalk where she volunteers for 3 hours every Saturday to give food to the poor and homeless. She has enjoyed being a part of this project and says…
“this has given me joy, seeing the needy coming and leaving with smiles on their faces for there is food for them for a few days”
There is hope of returning home but no definite date. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs gives updates through the Embassy. She registered for repatriation 2 months ago and is patiently waiting her turn to return. Only those who test negative for the virus will be allowed to board the plane and then they will have 14 days quarantine on arrival in Uganda at their own cost in hotels identified by the government. She tells me that she prays Psalm 121 daily to give her strength – I will lift mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help”
Please continue to pray for Sunday and the amazing work she does with both Mothers Union and Threads of Blessing to improve the lives of girls, women and families Mothers Union is gaining momentum in Uganda now and there are 21,500 members already.
Action and Outreach Unit Coordinator
Llandaff Diocese Mothers’ Union