BOBI (UGANDA) APPEAL
Our target of £5000 to help the people of Bobi in Northern Uganda roof their church building was reached in September 2007 (see pictures, right)
We also raised extra funds by early 2008 to supply them with Bibles in their local Acholi language.
Finally in April 2009 we raised enough funds to help provide a water borehole in the village.
To keep the borehole working efficiently we are currently holding some small fundraIsing events to raise enough funds to cover the cost of its annual maintenance.
Some articles from the Parish News describing these projects are given below, in reverse chronological order.
[The following is an article by the Appeal organisers in the February 2018 edition of our parish magazine, the Parish News]
BOBI UPDATE - FEBRUARY 2018
We have received an update from Canon Jackson Ocan the Vicar of Bobi together with details of what they were able to do with the donation we sent them in May 2017. Canon Jackson sadly had an accident on his motor cycle when travelling around his parish a few months ago and suffered a badly broken leg. He is recovering well but has been transferred to a parish near to his home village where he will serve until his retirement in three years time. It has been a pleasure to correspond with him over the past few years and he has always been very diligent in passing on news to us from Bobi. We look forward to communicating with Bobi's new vicar, Rev. Canon Wilson Akutta who took up his post on the 1st of January.
Canon Jackson's letter dated 21st December read as follows:
'Dear Sally and all the Christians of Kirdford and Plaistow Parish.
RE: ACKNOWLEDGEMENT & APPRECIATIONS
Greetings to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
On my own behalf and on behalf of the Christians of Bobi Parish, we express our sincere gratitudes of appreciations and thanks to you for the donation we received in the Month of May this year to continue giving support to the parish.
Our Bishop came for his pastoral visit to our Parish on the 10th September 2017 where he confirmed 76 people. It was so wonderful and lovely.
Three couples also got wedded in the holy matrimony during the day when our Diocese celebrates the arrival of Christianity by missionaries in our Diocese at Musalba Keyo.
Sorry that am going to miss you because I have been transferred to another Parish and the person coming to replace me is called Rev. Canon Wilson Akutta. He is a good person, you will enjoy working with him. The attached sheet shows how we spent the money.
Thank you very much and be blessed.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2018.
Canon Jackson Ocan – Outgoing Parish Priest Bobi.
Below is what the money was spent on:
1. Bobi Borehole maintenance
2. Support to Bobi Primary School
3. Repair of motor bike of the Parish Priest
4. Renovation of the Parish Priest accommodation
5. Repair of church floor
6. Purchase of stationeries
7. Element Equipment
8. Typing and photocopying
The fundraising coffee morning this year is on Wednesday March 14th , 10am at 5, Herons Close, Kirdford – see advert for details.
As you know our annual fundraising coffee morning is essentially to raise money to have the maintenance of the water borehole carried out so that it continues to work efficiently to supply the people of Bobi with fresh clean water. The borehole has now been doing this successfully since 2009 when it was first put in. After the work has been done each year, and at our request, a donation has been given to the village school, they spend the remainder of the money on whatever other needs they have and each year we are amazed just how much they manage to accomplish. It is such a worthwhile project to keep supporting. Apart from keeping the water borehole working it is making such a difference to their lives at the church and school, the hubs of their community.
June, Daphne & Sally
[The following is an article by the Appeal organisers in the April 2017 edition of our parish magazine, the Parish News]
BOBI UPDATE - APRIL 2017
Many, many thanks to everyone who came and supported our Bobi Coffee Morning and to everyone who donated money or items for us to sell. Thanks also to the wonderful ladies who come and help us each year serving coffee and cakes, selling raffle tickets and helping on the Bring & Buy tables, we couldn't do it without you. We had another very successful event and raised the wonderful sum of £1310.12.
As you all know this fundraising event is now held each year to raise the money for the annual maintenance of the water borehole in Bobi, we have once again more than achieved this and so as in the past donations will also be given to the village school and to St. Peter's Church in Bobi.
We were delighted that this year Martin Carr from the Janani Luwum Trust was able to join us for the morning and to speak about his recent visit to Bobi and show us some video clips he had taken. Martin is going to put together a video of his visit and will let us have this to maybe show in church or pass round to anyone who would like to see it.
We could see the women of the village getting water from the 30 metre deep borehole. It takes about 40 pumps to bring the water to the surface so the ladies work hard to fill their 20 litre containers. We also saw inside a simple kitchen hut where food was cooking over a wood fire. They live a very simple life surviving in the main on what they can grow or keep in the way of livestock and it was quite humbling to hear Martin say that they regularly pray for us here in Kirdford.
Martin's visit and talk brought the Bobi community closer to us and made us realise just how much our support is appreciated by all of them and the difference it has made to their lives.
Many thanks again to you all.
June, Daphne & Sally
[The following is an article by Sally Williams, one of the Appeal organisers, in the March 2017 edition of our parish magazine, the Parish News]
BOBI UPDATE - MARCH 2017
Things do move a little slowly with respect to communications between us and Bobi village in Uganda but that is the African way and we do always eventually receive news and sometimes photos.
We have just received an email from Bishop Johnson Gakumba the Bishop of Northern Uganda where Bobi is situated and who is our contact, telling us that the maintenance of the water borehole had been carried out last year and that it is working efficiently.
With the funds left over after this work had been carried out they had been able to purchase Solar Equipment, Cupboards, Tables, a new Altar Table for St. Peters Church and some tiling work had also been done. A donation had also been given as per our request to the village school for equipment and books,etc.
Last year we sent them £1600, the amount raised at our coffee morning, and it never ceases to amaze just how much they manage to do with the money. It really does make it such a worthwhile project to continue supporting. Keeping the water borehole maintained and the other work they are able to do each year makes such a difference to their lives in the village and community and our help is so much appreciated.
[The following is an article by the Appeal organisers, in the April 2016 edition of our parish magazine, the Parish News]
BOBI UPDATE - APRIL 2016
On Saturday 20th February June Long, Sue Bowman and I travelled up to Stratford in North East London to attend the annual Memorial service for Archbishop Janani Luwum.
Janani Jakaliya Luwum (c. 1922 – 17 February 1977) was the archbishop of the Church of Uganda from 1974 to 1977 and one of the most influential leaders of the modern church in Africa. He was arrested in February 1977 and died shortly after. Although the official account describes a car crash, it is generally accepted that he was murdered on the orders of then-President Idi Amin. A trust was set up in his memory and it is through this trust that we have been supporting the Bobi community in Northern Uganda for the past ten years.
We were invited to attend the service to meet the Bishop of Northern Uganda, Bishop Johnson Gakumba, who was visiting the UK and we given a very warm welcome by the congregation of almost entirely Ugandan Christians. The Bishop led the service and preached giving us a history of the growth of Christianity in his country, the problems they had endured, and how it continues to thrive today. We were also able to meet up with Rev. Jeanette Meadway who is treasurer of the trust and has been our UK contact with Bobi since the beginning.
Following the service we were invited to attend a reception where a splendid buffet of hot African food was served and where we had the opportunity to meet and chat with the Bishop. Everyone we met was aware of the part our parish had played in supporting Bobi, funding the building of St. Peters Church there, providing bibles for the families and of course more recently putting in the water borehole and providing for its annual maintenance. Their gratitude and delight in meeting us was somewhat overwhelming, particularly talking to Rev. Modicum Okello, who was born in Bobi prior to the civil war which broke out in the early 1980's, and who remembers the start that had been made on the church which was then abandoned when war came and the people were forced out and into refugee camps. Three years ago he returned to Bobi for the first time since his childhood and was so full of joy and amazement to see St. Peter's Church and all the people worshipping there. He gave us a leaflet he had written about the church in Bobi and looking inside were all the pictures that had been taken and sent to us over the years along with photos of our two churches that we had sent to them. Towards the back of the leaflet he had written:
Bobi – from disheartenment to religious revival – Churches in Northern Uganda
Before the war, many villages had churches. Most of these were traditional thatched buildings, which last ten years. During the 20 years of war, 80% of local people were forced to move away to camps and live in poverty dependent upon food handouts. Churches which weren't burned simply fell down. In 2004, in all of Northern Uganda only two churches remained standing, both in Gulu town. 3 Churches built by overseas funding – Bobi the first to open!
The friendship and fellowship we shared with these wonderful people on that Saturday afternoon and all the conversations we had made our association with Bobi feel very real and also quite humble that our relatively small contributions had achieved so much. We thank everyone who has supported and contributed to our fundraising events over the last ten years, it really has made such a difference to so many lives in Bobi.
This year's Bring & Buy Coffee Morning on Wednesday 2nd March was again a resounding success and raised £1299.08 which with gift aid will be well over £1600. Ths money will be sent out shortly to Bobi for the annual maintenance of the water borehole and for other needs at the church and school.
Our heartfelt thanks to you all,
Sally Williams, June Long & Daphne Wooldridge
[The following is an article by the Appeal organisers in the December 2015 edition of our parish magazine, the Parish News]
BOBI UPDATE - DECEMBER 2015
The messages reproduced below were received from the Parish of Bobi in Northern Uganda and from their Bishop. This is the church we have been supporting by means of an annual coffee morning for many years now .
As always we are astounded how much they can do with the money we send and as you can see they are so grateful for our support.
We will be fundraising for them again in the spring so look out for the 'Bobi Bring & Buy Coffee Morning' and come and support our friends in Uganda.
Sally, June and Daphne
Message received from Bobi Parish in Uganda – 11th November 2015
Expression of Appreciation and Report on Acccountability
“Greetings to you in the most wonderful name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.
As usual, on behalf of the entire Christians of Bobi Parish and on my own behalf and family, with much gratitude and honour wish to express our sincere thanks and appreciations for the support of donation of money sent to us through the office of the Bishop of the Diocese of Northern Uganda the amount of seven million and twenty thousand Ugandan Shillings help us continue on with finishing the church construction and borehole maintenance.
With this money we have been able to finish church construction by painting the church both inside and outside, buyingaddress system, renovation of parish priest accommodation and maintenance of the water borehole. May God reward you and bless you abundantly.
The children ministry is continuing in our church.They come to church every Saturday whereby we teach them with the word of God and also we give them tea and lunch break. Still this year again we are going to have youth conference in December at Gulu High School during the school holiday.We are preparing our youth to go and attend.
The numbers of Christians has greatly increased in our church. Praise is to God. Amen.
I wish you and the Christians in your church God's blessing and Merry Christmas celebration and happy New Year 2016.
Rev. Canon Jackson, Parish Priest, Bobi.
Message from Bishop Johnson (Bishop of Northern Uganda)
“Am told the borehole also was repaired and it is in working condition.
On behalf of the parish and on my own behalf I would like to thank you so much for your continued support to this parish. May God bless you .”
[The following is an article by the Appeal organisers in the April 2015 edition of our parish magazine, the Parish News]
BOBI UPDATE - APRIL 2015
Many, many thanks to everyone who came and supported our Bobi Coffee Morning and to everyone who donated money or items for us to sell. We raised the wonderful sum of £1384.30.
As you all know this fundraising event is now held each year to raise the money for the annual maintenance of the water borehole in Bobi in Uganda. We have once again more than achieved this and so as in the past donations will also be given to the village school and to St. Peter's Church in Bobi.
It is amazing how much they achieve with the money we send, last year in addition to money set aside for the borehole work, new latrines were built at the school and plasterwork done inside and outside of the church and new facia boards fitted.
The water borehole has now been operating for five years and it continues to supply fresh water to the school, church and local residents making a huge difference to their health and welfare and reducing waterborne deceases dramatically.
Many thanks again to you all for your support.
June, Daphne & Sally
[The following is an article by the Appeal organisers in the July 2014 edition of our parish magazine, the Parish News]
BOBI UPDATE - JULY 2014
It had been a while since we had heard anything from Bobi as Rev. Jeanette Meadway was unable to make her usual journey out there this year due to illness. The Bishop of Uganda asked the new vicar of Bobi, Rev.Ocan, to write to us with an update - his letter is reproduced below. The servicing of the borehole he refers to was carried out last year and they have have now received our donation of £1000 for this year to enable them to service it again, with any extra funds helping the Primary School and Church.
In a recent e-mail from the Bishop of Uganda thanking us for our donation again this year he said that ‘it is rare these days to find people who support a project for such a long time - your kindness and support to the people of Bobi is much valued and has made a big difference to their lives.’
Thanks again to all of you who support our efforts to help the people of Bobi.
Sally Williams, June Long & Daphne Wooldridge
Letter from Canon Jackson Ocan – Vicar of Bobi, Uganda
Re: Report of Borehole at Bobi Parish
Greetings to you in the most wonderful name of Jesus Our Lord and Saviour of the World.
We cannot get tired to thank you sincerely with our own hearts for the great support you are rendering to our Church. I am glad to report to you that service has been done to the borehole and it is working on well now.
Just recently we had two big functions in our parish:
The first was the primary athletics whereby thirteen schools with over five thousand school children and spectators participated in the event.
The second function was the celebration of Mary’s day by the Mother’s Union whereby the twenty four parishes converged on Bobi Parish for the celebrations. The 1st Lady of Uganda was the guest of honour. There were very many people and other important dignitaries who came for the celebration. We were indeed very happy as the host parish. All these people were depending on water from the church borehole, because we have a saying which say ‘Water is life’.
We also have Children Ministry, and soon, we are going to start receiving 200 children coming to our church every Saturday whereby they will be taught with the words of God and other teachings. They will too need water.
Therefore there is need for frequent services of the borehole in order to continue working well.
Part of the money sent for the borehole maintenance was given to Bobi Primary School and the attached letter from the school acknowledging receiving the money.
Our Bishop is visiting us on 4th October 2014 and we are preparing a big number of confirmation candidates.
We pray that the good Lord sustain you and bless you abundantly.
Rev. Canon Jackson Ocan.
Above: St Peter’s, Bobi, Uganda - various
stages in the roofing project
[The following is an article by the Appeal organisers in the April 2014 edition of our parish magazine, the Parish News]
BOBI UPDATE - APRIL 2014
Many, many thanks to everyone who came along and supported the Bobi Coffee Morning in March 2014 and also to all who donated goods and money. This year we raised the fantastic sum of £895.19 and we were quite overwhelmed by everyone's kindness and generosity.
As you all know we hold this coffee morning every year to raise the funds to carry out the maintenance of the water borehole that was constructed in 2009. Because of this annual work the borehole has been working efficiently now for nearly five years and has made such a difference to the lives and the health of the people of Bobi. With the money raised we are also able support the local school and church and each year, via our contacts, we receive their very heartfelt thanks.
Many thanks to you all.
June, Daphne & Sally
[The following is an article by the Appeal organisers in the April 2013 edition of our parish magazine, the Parish News]
BOBI UPDATE - APRIL 2013
Many, many thanks to everyone who came and supported our Bobi Coffee Morning in March, and to all those who were unable to come but very kindly gave donations of money and items for the Bring & Buy table. We would also like to thank those who came and helped us on the day. We raised the wonderful sum of £550.26, with additional private donations of £190.00 taking our total to a staggering £740.26.
As you all know this fundraising event is held each year to raise the money for the annual maintenance of the water borehole in Bobi, Uganda. We have once again more than achieved this and so, as in the past, any additional money will be given to the village school to buy books for the pupils.
An email was received recently from Rev. John Olanya, our contact in Uganda, and we give below an extract:
“My recent visit to Bobi revealed that the people value so much the monies that you always collect from your Christians and send to them for the maintenance of the Borehole and for the School. The Borehole serves both the Church and the School and those who live in the area and the clean water being provided has greatly reduced the water borne diseases in the area particularly in the young children. The primary school reported that they have been able to buy books to add to their library to ease the access for their pupils who would crowd and queue for the few copies of reference books available. They are working on writing their own letters of thanks (in English) and I will send them through to you soon.
With thanks and Blessings, Rev. John”
Many thanks again to you all.
June, Daphne & Sally
[The following is an edited version of an email message received by one of the appeal organisers from Rev John Olanya on 12th April 2012 following the donation sent out to Bobi for the maintenance of their water borehole and for their village school. It first appeared in the May 2012 edition of our parish magazine, the Parish News.]
BOBI UPDATE - MAY 2012
It has been a while since our last communication. The Bobi people send their warm greetings to you all there.
Generally the weather has not changed much from the dry season. There are rainfalls here and there which have just begun at Easter time - that means many people are still redundant as the rain is not yet enough for cultivation to take place. Again there is hunger threat due to the delayed rain; the normal time would always be at the middle of the month of March.
Despite all that the Easter season was well celebrated with people fully packed in St Peter's Church in Bobi compared to the earlier years when the Church was not there. The women particularly (Mother's Union) are very active and making the church worship lively. Recently they elected a new President of the Mother's Union for the diocese and a new executive which will lead the women for the next 4 yrs in the person of Mrs Christine Onyango, the wife of Rev William Onyango.
The borehole is still working well having undergone major repairs, replacing some important parts. The pump mechanics have advised that the routine maintenance should be done every six months to avoid major repairs as we did this time. With our recent experience about the cost of repair or maintenance, and also with the high inflation rates now in Uganda, the committee feel the spares should be purchased and stored in advance to assist the routine work of maintenance.
The Bobi School has also benefited from the amount that was sent and the immediate result has been in the improvement of the pupils performance in the Primary Leaving examinations, as new books were able to be purchased by part of the borehole money. We are happy to see the immediate benefit of the help from your church.
May God reward the Christians there for their heartfelt love for the people of Bobi.
[The following is an edited article by one of the Appeal organisers in the March 2011 edition of our parish magazine, the Parish News]
BOBI UPDATE - MARCH 2011
We have received a very nice letter from the Parish Priest in Bobi letting us know how everyone is getting along there in the village.
He tells us that they had over four hundred people attending the Christmas services in St. Peter’s church and the building was completely full. Over the Christmas period forty two children were baptized and their new Bishop during his pastoral visit last October confirmed eighty six people.
During the Bishop’s visit they were able to do some fundraising of their own in cash and kind and this has led to them being able to finish the plastering of the walls on the inside of the church. Their next challenge is to cement the floor and fix in thirteen iron windows. It is lovely to see how the church is developing after our initial efforts to help them build it a few years ago.
The water borehole is still going strong and supplying the people with fresh water every day. We are holding a Coffee Morning in March to raise the money for the annual maintenance of the borehole and as before any extra money raised will be passed on the Bobi village primary school for books and materials.
[The following is an edited article by the Appeal organisers in the July 2009 edition of our parish magazine, the Parish News]
THE VILLAGE OF BOBI HAVE THEIR WATER BOREHOLE
The water borehole for the village of Bobi in Uganda has now been constructed and we have received a photo showing fresh water flowing for the first time and a service of thanksgiving and commissioning taking place. The photo was taken at the beginning of June, so in just a few weeks of receiving the funds to build it the people of Bobi have fresh water on their doorstep. We have been sent a wonderful set of pictures showing the process of the engineer finding the water source, the locals clearing the site, the construction of the borehole and finally the people queuing to fill their water cans. These pictures can now been seen on a display board in Kirdford Church. We have received messages of great thanks from Bobi for all we have done for them. Our thanks again to everyone who has supported our fundraising events over the last three years through which we have been able to give the people of Bobi this water borehole, complete the building of their church and send them the 100 bibles in their local language.
[The following is an edited article by the Appeal organisers in the July 2008 edition of our parish magazine, the Parish News, giving information on the borehole project and feedback from Uganda on the completion of the church roof.]
UPDATE ON THE BOBI PROJECT, JULY 2008
As you all know, our next project to help the people of Bobi in Uganda is to raise enough money to establish a water borehole in the village near to the church and the school. Unlike us they cannot just turn on a tap for a drink or to do the cooking, they currently have to walk several kilometers each day to fetch fresh water. We did not feel we could give up our support for this village when they were still without such a basic need. So to this end our fundraising activities will begin again next month with a Garden Party. Later events will include an Auction of Promises in the Autumn and a Sponsored Walk in the Spring.
In connection with "Bobi" we have received the following message from Rev Stuart Kersley, who launched the Bobi Appeal whilst our Vicar ...
"I have received a letter from Bishop Gideon our friend from Uganda who, you may remember, provided the inspiration for the project. He writes: 'Thank you so much for what you and your former Parishioners have done to support Bobi Parish in putting up the roof on their church. Please do convey our thanks and appreciation to them all. May the Lord bless and keep you all.’ ”
[The following is an edited version of the first article by the Appeal organisers from our parish magazine in August 2006, which explains the initial project]
THE BACKGROUND TO THE APPEAL
Our parish held a series of weekly Lent Group meetings in 2006 in which we followed a course supplied by the USPG called 'Life in all its fullness' which was based on perspectives of life from Malawi.
During the five weeks that we met, we looked at and compared the things that we consider as essential ingredients to living a full and satisfied life in our culture to those of people living in very different conditions in villages in Malawi. It was a reminder once again of how easily we take for granted all that we have in our own lives: easy access to education, health care, employment, water, food and all the other natural resources that surround us.
The course had given us much food for thought and we all felt that we should try to do something, however small, to make a difference. There are of course so many worthy causes and areas of need and so we gave our Vicar, the Revd Stuart Kersley, the task of finding a project in Africa that we could support, and through his friend Bishop Gideon Oboma (retired Bishop of Northern Uganda) he came up with the Bobi church roof project.
Bobi is a small village in Gulu, Northern Uganda. Thirty years ago a project was started to build St. Peter’s Church in Bobi and the foundation stone was laid by the late Archbishop of Uganda, the Right Reverend Janani Luwum. It was a difficult time and the building project came to a halt because of the financial and political crisis that engulfed the country leading to the murder of Archbishop Janani Luwum in 1977.
Devastated by the loss of their Christian and spiritual leader the local people determined to continue with the building of their church in his memory, and enough funds were raised to erect the walls. However things went from bad to worse and for the last 21 years the area has been seriously affected by conflict between various warring factions, and the local people have been unable to complete their church building.
Whilst the main purpose of St. Peter’s is still for Christian worship, following all the troubles the need has grown for a more multipurpose building, and the plan is now to establish it as a Social and Community Centre, with use for educational and training purposes and as an AIDS/HIV and Advocacy Centre. Just £5000 is needed to put the roof on the building so that they can move forward with their plans, and a registered charitable trust has been set up to oversee the project. With the backing of our PCC we have decided to try and help them achieve their goal.
There is currently a huge amount of fund raising going on in our parish, for example for our own church roof at Kirdford, and it is always rather daunting to start yet another campaign, but to do nothing just doesn't seem an option. So we are organising a series of small events in aid of the Bobi church project with the aim of helping to make a difference to the people of this small African village. All money raised will go through our PCC to the Janani Luwum Trust and will be then be used directly to purchase materials and labour.
Bobi (Uganda) appeal