Monday, October 20, 2014

Introducing Rwanwanja

Last week on Uganda’s Independence Day I had the privilege of driving a brand new team of Tutapona staff out to Rwamwanja refugee settlement in western Uganda. 

I’d never driven this road before and was pleasantly surprised by the scenery as we headed due north from Mbarara. I could have been driving through NZ’s King country with the steep, lowly populated hills except for the lack of sheep. The settlement itself is made up of 51,000 Congolese refugees and is two and a half years old. The inhabitants have fled from the very complex and violent war that started in the eastern DRC in 1996 and is still going today. Needless to say there is a lot of need there for trauma rehabilitation work.

Our new team is led by David who has spear-headed many of our new initiatives at Tutapona, including some work in South Sudan a couple of years back. The other two men are new staff, Doddy and Silas. Doddy is a talented musician who has produced a number of hit singles.  You can have a look at a one of them here.

While he’s singing in Luganda you can still get a good sense of the quality of his voice. Needless to say the Tutapona morning devotions in Rwamwanja are exceptionally melodious! Up until now Silas has been volunteering with us at another refugee settlement and has shown a high level of commitment to the work. All three of these guys are passionate about helping traumatised people with our Empower programme.

This new team is the result of a partnership Tutapona has just entered into with Samaritan’s Purse. SP are now supporting us to run our Empower trauma rehabilitation courses in Rwamwanja and two other refugee settlements. This is an exciting development as it has allowed us to expand our staff and to reach people in new places.

As I drove south again I was extremely conscious that these guys (and our other staff around the country) live and work in some quite challenging places. Please pray for David and the team as they get settled into this new and remote settlement and as they begin their work. I’m confident that God will work through them to bring hope to people in great need of it.


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