On a personal level, the first half of 2022 has been marked by challenging and encouraging situations. First, I had some health problems, but after one month of treatment in Kampala, I feel much better than before, and I am happy I could travel and fulfil my assignments without problem after the treatment. On the other hand, spending a few months with our last boy after his graduation was also a good time. But it was not for long because he had to move again to hunt for possible employment opportunities in the capital city. So we are alone again in the empty nest because even our granddaughter has rejoined her parents, who are currently living in Tanzania for further studies and work. The second event, which is the most interesting, is the wedding of my niece Esther, the daughter of my late brother, who passed away when she was just five years old. I am happy that God has helped me to give her a university education (she is graduating this year) and a household of her own. Her husband, a young theologian, is preparing to get ordained as pastor of the CBCA by the end of this year.
After Covid-19 regulations were alleviated, I have been able to visit all partners since the beginning of this year.
Visit to ACC&S in Kenya
I visited Kenya in March to take part in the ACC&S peer capacity assessment. On the same occasion, CBM signed a new partnership agreement with ACC&S. On the same occasion, together with John Chan and Laura Muema, I attended the meeting of one of the VSLAs in the framework of the food security project. The project reaches out to school pupils to train them on CA as a way to reach also their parents, most of whom live on farming
Visit to AEBR in Rwanda
I took part in the research evaluation, which was organized jointly by AEBR and PDN, both partners of CFGB I also visited some farmers and appreciated the ownership of kitchen gardens.
Visit to FEBAC in South Sudan
The third visit took me to South Sudan, where I accompanied the implementation of two activities. First, I took part in the situation analysis for the new food security project in South Sudan implemented by FEBAC. Afterwards, I conducted a two days training workshop on leadership, resource mobilization and management for 39 pastors and leaders of FEBAC, after which the church held its second general assembly, during which they renewed their leadership. Rev. Saphano was re-elected as Church Moderator.
Visit to Northern DRC
In July, I travelled to Butembo to visit CFGB and CBM supported projects implemented by the CBCA together with Jean Pierre Kanyamunyu, Project Secretary at the CBCA head office. The first visit was intended for the CFGB supported project. We planned to travel with Anja Oussoren from Tearfund Canada because the project is jointly implemented with the accompaniment of CBM and TFC, but she had to cancel her trip because of insecurity in the region. Nevertheless, I met the newly appointed project staff and visited one of the farmers’ cooperatives. I also visited some other projects supported by CBM. One of them is the eco-ecological project, which also includes indigenous people who had embarked in cocoa farming. Two challenges have recently hit this project: on the one hand, the indigenous people have been evacuated from the land on which they were living and farming. Fortunately, the CBCA has purchased a new site and secured it for the indigenous people to live and farm in security. This is heartbreaking because they were expecting the first harvest next year. However, they accepted the new site, and they are ready to start again. On the other hand, the other farmers in Maboya village were hit by hail rain, which destroyed all fields, which might cause hunger in the village until they can grow new crops. They need food and seeds.
I also visited the vocational training center for people with disabilities, where people with handicap or trauma are provided with vocational training for their socio-economic integration. My attention was drawn to three activities: The opening of a daycare room at the center makes it possible for single mothers to learn a profession while their babies are being cared for. Secondly, the increase in the number of developmentally disabled children is due to the fact that the center was able to build a new classroom to separate them according to their level of vulnerability. Thirdly, elderly people have been integrated through simple activities such as making baskets while talking, which helps them to reduce stress while talking with agemates.
I welcomed and accompanied John, André and Gato during their visit to Goma. I attended the graduation ceremony of TOTs after their training at CEBCE by Gato Perspectives for the first half of 2022. In addition to this I also,
- Attended the CBM Africa team retreat online
- Attended CBCA Annual General Assembly
- Followed up on the implementation of the Bashu/Kimbulu food security project
- Travelled to South Sudan to provide training on VSLA and follow up on the farming component of the food security project.
- Travelled to Kenya to follow up on project implementation and possibly visit Kakuma refugee camp.
- Visited AEBR food security project in preparation for annual report.
- Visited the Eco-ecological project to accompany indigenous people in replanting their cocoa fields and possibly rehabilitating their houses.
Word of appreciation
CBM is making a great impact among partners in Africa. The exchange programs between partners in the region are also an excellent opportunity for mutual learning. During my visits, the closing prayer was always a request to bless CBM and its donors.
We pray for peace in our respective countries, especially South Sudan and DRC, so that our efforts may bear fruit for the glory of God. Your prayers are a great encouragement which helps us to keep strong despite the difficult situation.