Proverbs 19:17 “One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, And He will repay him for his good deed.”
What causes are you involved in? Regardless of how much money you have, it is critical to be part of a social cause. Most of the time, you don’t need money to help someone. Some people have the money and all they need is a genuine friend. Others have friends all they need is money. Others have friends and money, all they need is counselling. Man (and woman) is a social animal. When you join a social cause, you expand your networks and attain satisfaction that not any amount of money can offer.
I started attending mass at Our Lady of Africa sometime in 2007. For almost three years, I would attend mass and return home immediately after the service. I never bothered to know about who the Parish Priests were other than seeing them say mass and interacting briefly during the Sacrament of Penitence. I did not know about the Church projects. And most importantly, how a Parishioner with my kind of skills would be of possible help to the Church if required. One day in 2013, I came to the Church during lunch break, met the Parish Priest and introduced myself. And that is how I got to know about what the Church does, the projects and Reach Out Mbuya.
Founded in May 2001, Reach Out Mbuya Parish HIV/AIDS Initiative (ROM), is a project initiative under Our Lady of Africa Catholic Church, Mbuya and Kampala Archdiocese that was a brain child of Dr Margrethe Juncker, a physician, in collaboration with the then Mbuya Catholic Parish Priest, Fr. Joseph Archetti (RIP), an Italian Catholic priest of the Comboni Missionary Society and two women volunteers out of love, faith and care. The project was meant to support HIV-infected and affected people living in and around the Parish. The first workers were mainly young people from the parish, who worked on a volunteer basis. These volunteers served out of concern for the suffering.
Today, ROM has expanded to support so many people with a winning aspiration (vision) of being ‘a preferred partner in transforming the quality of life for people infected and affected by HIV through quality community health-based care’. By the end of the first year of inception, ROM served over 100 clients. Today, it supports over 8,600 clients who are affected and infected with HIV and other life-threatening illnesses. ROM has remained relevant due to its unique holistic model of care that focuses on body, mind and soul. Majority of the patients who seek ROM’s care come when their body is weak. They need good feeding and hygiene. They also need counselling and training to focus, and hence the mind. And above all, they need to know God. They need social support and a community to belong. Central to ROM’s service delivery model, is client empowerment through income generating activities, visiting the sick at their homes to understand them and offer support at their place of stay. The needs of the clients is always evolving. Patients come when they have a weak body. And as ROM puts them under a treatment regime, they start getting appetite and the need to eat well. When food is provided, they then start getting worried for their children and other dependents who need school fees. And that is how ROM introduced the School fees project to help the children and dependents of ROM clients.
As the world changes, international resource mobilization is increasingly becoming difficult. To remain sustainable, ROM has developed a 2022 strategy with a focus on diversification of revenue sources with emphasis on local resource mobilization, including involving clients in income generating projects and undertaking initiatives like annual runs to help generate some revenues to help keep the children of the people infected by HIV AIDS in school. Come December 1st, 2018, we shall have the 3rd Annual ROM run, themed “Run for School Fees.” Come and be part of this cause. Run to keep the children of our clients in school. To participate, buy a ticket at Ugx. 20,000 or 10,000 from ROM offices or visit www.ourladyofafrica.org
Bernabas M. Mugisa, Mr. Strategy, helps plant the seed of transformation. Visit www.summitcl.com/boardtools to become a better Board member TODAY.