Kabale Diocese Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Project has celebrated 20 years of service in Kabale Diocese in partnership with the Uganda AIDS Orphaned Children Foundation (UAOCF), a project which has transformed many lives in Uganda and particularly in Kabale Diocese. The celebration was held on Saturday September 16, 2023 at Rushoroza Pastoral Centre in Rushoroza Cathedral Parish.
During the celebration , an alumni association of the members who were beneficiaries of this project was officially unveiled with Fr. Benjamin Tukamushaba, Parish Priest of St. Peter’s Katojo Buyanja Parish as its Chairperson. In his remarks, Fr. Benjamin thanked Bishop Callist Rubaraminra for starting this project in 20023 when he became a bishop and has helped many orphans and vulnerable children to have a bright life. On behalf of the alumni members, Fr. Benjamin also thanked Fr. Frederick K. Byaruhanga, Executive Director of Uganda AIDS Orphaned Children Foundation for the generosity extended to orphans and vulnerable children in Kabale Diocese.
The Alumni Association has participated in the different activities of the project including contribution towards the Christmas gifts of their young brothers and sisters in the project, visiting them especially those in primary and secondary schools, offering guidance and counseling, opening a WhatsApp group to bring together all the beneficiaries of the project, holding annual meetings for the progress of the Alumni Association among others.
The Alumni Association members have different plans in future which include participating in the mentorship programs to motivate the young children in the project, participating in the church activities in reflection of the generosity of the church which has made them what they are, becoming a self sustaining association among others.
Mr Evarist Tumwekwase, the business manager of the Kabale Diocese Orphans and Vulnerable Children Project (KDOVCP) in his remarks expressed gratitude to Rev. Fr. Frederick Byaruhanga for his generous heart towards the orphans and vulnerable children in Kabale Diocese. It is this open heart that drove him to partner his Uganda Aids Orphaned Children Foundation (UAOCF) with Kabale Diocese Orphans and Vulnerable Children Project (KDOVCP) to help the needy children in Kabale Diocese. Mr. Evarist unveiled that the vision of the project has been to make formal education accessible to the needy orphans and vulnerable children as means to alleviate poverty in the community, thus creating loving and nurturing homes for orphaned children. as of today, 356 have so far benefited from the program and 504 are still benefitting. this makes a total of 860 beneficiaries. He explained that of the 504 beneficiaries, 325 are in primary schools, 121 are in secondary school, 11 are in vocational/technical schools and 47 are in universities.
He pointed out the different achievements registered by the KDOVCP which included offering education, healthcare, emotional support and vocational training to the orphans and vulnerable children. Some beneficiaries have shared their success stories to their fellows and this has encouraged them as a proof of transformative power of love, care and support.
To the Alumni Association members, Mr. Evarist said the Project is expectant that they will participate in the activities of the projects for example offering mentorship and guidance to the children in form of sharing personal experiences and success stories, offering educational support, offering vocational training, offering career guidance, fundraising, volunteering, networking, holding re-unions, sponsorship programs among others.
In his remarks Rt. Rev. Callist Rubaramira, Bishop of Kabale Diocese thanked Fr. Frederick Byaruhanga, executive Director of Uganda AIDS Orphaned Children Foundation for having accepted to partner with the Kabale Diocese Orphans and Vulnerable Children Project to help the underprivileged children in Kabale Diocese. He also thanked the management team in Los Angeles in USA, the Demiranda Foundation, the Family of late Keith Albi, Family of Late Gene Schimdt and all the sponsors who support the orphans and vulnerable children in Kabale Diocese. He also urges the sponsored children and alumni members to always pray for the donors for their generosity.
Fr. Frederick Byaruhanga who is the Executive Director of UAOCF thanked Bishop Callist for all the commitment to help the orphans and vulnerable children in Kabale Diocese. He also thanked the Alumni Association members for having come together to form an association that brings them together as members of the same project which has made them what they are. He urged them to extend a helping hand to the young children in the project and that the generosity they received should be shared with the others too. He launched a fundraising project by suggesting that members of the Alumni association can reaching out to other needy members of the project and for the start, he proposed that they can support 6 orphans and made a personal contribution of 2 million shillings. He more so called upon the members to do mentorship to their young brothers and sisters in the project.
The reunion ended with a luncheon which was prepared by the Project and shared out amongst the members