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Sewing a better future

Sewing Project 002For many in the Western world, sewing is a fun hobby, but to a group of women in Uganda it provides the opportunity for a whole new life for themselves and their families. On May 1, 2016, five women from Karamoja enrolled in a sewing course with the Comboni Missionary Sisters.

They are learning the art of sewing garments and hand beading. When the course ends in October 2016, these women will receive their own personal sewing machine and a small kit with some fabric, beads, and thread.

 While most of Uganda is green and lush, Karamoja, situated in the northeast corner of Uganda, is plagued by drought. It is one of the harshest places in the country to live. Karamoja is a beautiful, broken place. However, the women and children often bear the brunt of the brokenness. The women look after the house, cook, collect firewood, and take care of the children while the men tend the cattle.

For less than $1,000 Sr. Rosario was able to buy dozens of machines and all the supplies they need. This new sewing program has the potential to open doors for these women.

“The women are very enthusiastic, especially because they see a possible change in their life,” Sr. Rosario Marrone said. “They feel proud because they know they might be able to support their family. And we, convinced as we are that women are the engines of any great change in society, are even more enthusiastic than they are!”

The sewing machines the women use do not require electricity, which isn’t always readily available in parts of Uganda. Instead, a foot pedal sets the machine in motion. And instead of strenuous hours spent working fields that won’t grow, these women can create beautiful garments in less time.

The opportunity is there. As the Karamoja make the change from leather coverings to handmade fabric garments, more and more seamstresses will be needed.

With their newfound sewing skills, the women of Karamoja can create and sell garments and jewelry providing income for their families that can be used to purchase the necessities of life—food, shelter, medicine. By encouraging these women to better their circumstances, we are also encouraging them to have a stronger voice in their communities and to see themselves as change-makers and as daughters of God.

What can $50 buy?

Sr LouisaEvery month a couple from Cincinnati gives us $50 to help the missions. Recently they asked us to give it to a Comboni Missionary Sister. Now $50 might not feel like a large sum of money. Maybe you could take your family out to a nice dinner. Or, perhaps, you could fill up the gas tank in an SUV. But that’s just in the United States.

Think about what that much money means to someone living in an impoverished community.

In Uganda, that $50 donation is saving lives. Sr. Maria Luisa Micolli, CMS, works with women and children in Arua who are affected by HIV. With this money Sr. Maria bought milk for the children who cannot be breastfed by their mothers because the latter are HIV positive.

Thank you for your continued generosity. Every donation made to the Comboni Missionaries is making a difference in the lives of families around the world. You are bringing hope and joy to those who need it most.

Blessing a Church and Community in Ethiopia

160507 Blessing Church 19The Corporal Work of Mercy to shelter the homeless may be interpreted both literally and figuratively as demonstrated in the Guji region of Ethiopia. Through your support the Comboni Missionaries helped build the Adoola Project at the Killensoo-Adoola Mission. The idea behind the project is to give the Catholic Church a more visible presence in the town of Adoola, the commercial and cultural center for the area.

The project included the construction of a church and public library, which is very important to the 50,000 people living in Adoola. And on May 7, the project was formally blessed and opened for the whole community!

The newly constructed church provides a place for the growing Catholic community to worship. Especially since Catholics from all over Ethiopia, which make up less than 1% of the population, have immigrated to town in search of a better life.

The motivation behind the library, the first of its kind in southern Ethiopia, is the 11,000 students in the town who do not have a proper place to study or read. Many come from villages and rent very small rooms to live in during the school year. These single rooms serve as a living room, kitchen, bedroom and study place for the student. The library will provide a space for the students to concentrate on their studies. A multimedia room will allow for academic research. The church and library provide a place for the town to learn more about the Catholic faith as well as the Catholic community a place to worship and better their lives.

Father Pedro Pablo, the Comboni Missionary overseeing the Adoola Project put it best,

The mission receives with joy the people who have the desire to know better or join the Catholic Church… . It knows well too that the missionaries cannot do anything alone and need still the external help from friends, relatives, and people with a generous heart who become missionaries like them with their contribution.”

 

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