Sustainable Project Update
While the needs of vulnerable children continue to increase in the Kitgum community, IGF is placed in a unique position to continue providing opportunities for the children to have a brighter future.
We thank the generous IGF donors who are partnering with us to empower the community to provide for themselves through the sustainable agriculture project, from which 100% of the profits will be used to fund the ongoing needs of medicine, milk, textbooks etc for vulnerable children at IGF.
Our recent appeal for support to farm our first season crop of maize was funded fully by our generous partners in Australia, who invested in this profitable project to ensure lasting change.
In order to allow adequate planning and preparation, the maize project will be implemented in the first planting season of 2022 (January -June). Between August and December 2021, the qualified and experienced IGF Farm team will be conducting soil sampling and analysis to ensure good soil nutrient management plan, clearing tree stumps and roots for safe tractor ploughing, undertaking market analysis for the maize crop to ensure profitable sales and partitioning the 300-acre land into blocks.
Other activities ongoing include construction of the tractor and machinery shed, completion of fencing of the settlement site and development of policy manuals to guide the implementation of the farm and its staff.
Please pray with us for above normal rainfall to ensure great crop yields, and for an end to the covid-19 lockdown that is affecting the local economy and disrupting provision of social services.
The donated 4×4 tractor and all its implements are ready for farm work and the staff have been trained. We were blessed by a generous donor in Australia who helped us drill a borehole fully installed with a submersible solar pump.
Our urgent need is a 20,000-litre water tank that will serve the farm operational needs and supply water for small scale irrigation project.
The piggery section of the farming project is moving ahead, with a pilot project in Kitgum near the IGF site. The piggery housing was completed earlier in the year and the first batch of 22 pigs were received. We got a nice surprise before we introduced the high-breeding boar to ‘service’ the 19 sows, finding that 2 of the pigs were already ‘expecting’, producing 10 new piglets, and increasing the number of pigs unexpectedly to 32.
6 reproductive age gilts have now been ‘serviced’, and the new mothers have been weaned to be ‘serviced’ this week. We expect 60 more piglets by November 2021.
Proceeds from immediate sale of pigs will be used to provide formula milk, medicine and nutrition for the malnourished children at IGF.
The sustainability project is a major undertaking, and still requires much support to set it up, but the Ugandan team are motivated and committed to ensure its success, in order to empower them to provide for themselves.
Your continued support to this initiative, and to the ongoing needs of educating, feeding and providing healthcare will help us change the worlds of even more vulnerable children.
Top Performers in the Primary Leaving Examinations
The final year of primary education took a little longer than expected for the class of 2020, but there was a lot of relief and celebrations when the results of the Primary Leaving Exams (PLE) were released in late July!
While we do have the results, it is not yet clear what some of these graduates plan to do after primary school. We are also still waiting to hear from the Government when the next ‘school year’ will begin. Some of these children have already decided to undertake a trade through IGF’s Technical Institute, while others are still contemplating continuing into highshool.
Overall our Primary 7 pupils performed well, with generally higher performance compared to the previous graduating class. This was a great achievement in the face of ongoing school closures and disruptions to normal life.
Jerry emerged as the top performing IGF pupil from all 4 IGF schools in the 2020 Primary 7 PLE (primary leaving examinations)!
Jerry started at IGF’s main primary school in Grade 1 and has been sponsored by a wonderful Australian woman since 2014. Jerry is one of 6 children and has always loved school. But the first covid-19 lockdown in 2020 almost derailed his education.
When schools reopened for Primary 7 pupils in late 2020, Jerry was missing from class. It was discovered that challenges at home were making it difficult for him to return to school. The family was lacking food and basic needs. Jerry was supported by IGF to join the other pupils in the boarding section and return to the classroom to prepare for his final exams.
Jerry dreams of becoming a doctor – “seeing the rate of death in hospitals and few qualified doctors have inspired me to study hard and become a doctor in order to fight the rate of death in Uganda”.
Eve was the second best performing IGF pupil, scoring just behind Jerry. Eve started at IGF’s main primary school in grade 2, and at 14 years old she also dreams of becoming a doctor. Although Eve did not have a sponsor, she benefited through IGF’s sponsorship program that enables all children access to education, nutrition, medical care and clean water.
As the top performing pupils, Jerry and Eve will both receive a scholarship from IGF to continue their studies into highschool.
Congratulations to all the graduating pupils and their families for their achievements! Congratulations and appreciation is also due to their teachers who worked so hard over the past 18 months to ensure their education could continue despite the disruptions of covid-19.
Well done everyone!
Remembering Mama Irene with the Community
Each year in July we celebrate and honour the life of Mama Irene. This year, the nationwide lockdown provided the opportunity to share her stories and the testimonies of her ‘children’ far and wide. People throughout northern Uganda tuned into Mighty Fire fm radio station, while others in Uganda and overseas logged into Facebook to hear the messages being shared.
In August, friends of IGF in Uganda contributed to ‘basins of love’. The contributions were far beyond expectation, with people giving the little they had to support others. Over 3 days, 500 basins were filled with food items and distributed to the most vulnerable families in Kitgum Municipality. Among the recipients were the elderly, the disabled, the widowed, and the orphaned.
It was an incredibly humbling event for those involved, and reminded us all to reach out and support our neighbours, particularly during these challenging times.
1 Thessalonians 3:12 “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you”.
IGF's Infant Nutrition Program
Beautiful Baby Peace has returned home with her grandmother after graduating from IGF’s infant nutrition program! At 12 months old, Baby Peace is a healthy and happy little girl.
Peace lost her mother due to complications at birth, and has been at IGF under the care of her grandmother since she was only a few days old.
It has been a pleasure to watch her grow and develop over the past year, and we are excited for her next stage of life at home!
A huge thank you for the love, prayers and support from donors that enabled us to provide for Peace during her first year of life.
Our infant nutrition program is a vital support service for infants and their guardians in the region. We work together with local hospitals and authorities, receiving referrals for infants in crisis situations, and reintegrating them to their families when possible.
Right now we have 9 infants enrolled in the nutrition program, some residing on-site at IGF, and some being supported from home.
8 month old Baby Gabrielle is our most recent admission. His mother is a young single mother who has been suffering multiple health conditions since giving birth. When Gabrielle was 4 months old his mother developed liver cirrhosis and hypertension, she was constantly in and out of hospital, and her health condition was impacting on her ability to produce breast milk. Baby Gabrielle will receive nutritional support from IGF for a period of 3 months.
Your support makes it possible for us to provide these essential services to at-risk infants.
Tax deductible donations can be made through our website at https://www.irenegleesonfoundation.com/donations/donatenow/
Christian Community Church Ministers in Community
Sarah is legally blind, and as a widow with 5 children, life is not easy.
Sarah hasn’t always blind though, having clear sight until she suffered severe malaria in 2008, which badly damaged the nerves to her eyes. Since then, Sarah has relied on her children to lead her. Each Sunday her youngest son leads her to church at IGF – the young boy holding one end of a stick while his mother holds the other.
Sarah lives together with her 5 children in a grass-thatched hut. Since the passing of her husband, life has been very challenging for the family. Sarah recently reached out to the church for help – her hut did not have a door, and the blanket that was tied up to cover the entrance was letting in the rain.
A door was swiftly made and fitted to her hut. While only a small gesture, Sarah was very grateful and said she is now safe from thieves and rain that use to damage her items in the hut.
It is so encouraging to see the church congregation praising God even through their afflictions. Psalm 67.
Church Where You Are
IGF’s Christian Community Church is back on the airwaves of Mighty Fire fm, ministering to the community each day during the lock-down. The Sunday services have been reaching many new people who otherwise wouldn’t normally attend a church in person. We are blessed to have the radio to minister to many throughout the community.
Each weekday morning from 5:30-6:30am is the program called “Wake up in the Lord” (Oruu ki Rwot), and at lunch time is “Bread of Life” (Kwon me kwo). The weekday programs have always been popular, particularly reaching women working in the market, shop keepers, and people at their workplaces. With many people now restricted to their homes, these programs are providing encouragement and nourishment in the word of God.
Weeknights the team presents the “Family Alter”, a program focusing on reconciling and developing families. The program addresses many issues within families, and approaches them prayerfully and through the word of God. We have received reports that some men found it difficult staying with their family in the lockdown as they were used to staying out till late and being somewhat absent from teaching their children. The dynamics have again changed with the lockdown and night-time curfew.
The church youth have remained active and continue to minister through their drama team recording skits and dialogue on some current situations, that in turn are played on the radio. In particular, their dramas focused on the Covid-19 standard operating procedures (wearing masks, washing hands, keeping a distance etc) have been helpful in educating the community on keeping safe during the pandemic.
For information on how you can support the ministry programs of IGF’s Christian Community Church, email firstname.lastname@example.org