The Republic of Uganda is located in the center of Africa on Lake Victoria.
Masaka is located in the south of Uganda near Lake Victoria and has a population of about 75,000. The capital of the district of the same name lies south of the equator and 140 km from Kampala.
Masaka has been the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Masaka since 1953, and has a religiously mixed population (Christians and Muslims).
c/o Ingrid Leifels
D – 41469 Neuss
Tel.: +49 (0) 2137 – 13 391
IBAN: DE76 3056 0548 2113 5350 35
Masaka Region (Uganda)
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After almost two years, the world’s longest school closure is finally over in Uganda. Students are starting the next grade up without having finished the school year. Schools finally reopened in early January. They had been closed because of Corona. In Uganda, 50% of the population is under the age of 15. For these children, no school meant no education. Families have no money for computers and tablets, mobile data is expensive. Homeschooling like here in Germany, does not exist there. The children there had one main task, to support their own family. Many parents lost their jobs due to the pandemic or earned less. Therefore, the children had to work to support their families. Girls were hit particularly hard. Cases of abuse and rape increased massively. Pregnancy among girls between the ages of 10 and 14 increased by 360%. Girls were forcibly married off. School fees are now needed for newborns. Many children and adolescents (it is estimated that about 30%) will not return to their school after the long break, as it will be difficult for them to catch up on the material they have missed. It could also be that many parents can no longer afford the school fees and are dependent on the financial support of their children. The children can no longer free themselves from poverty through education.
Menschenbrücke has provided Corona aid several times during the pandemic and supported people with food and medicine.
THE “MIHOM” CONCEPT
“Education is one of the crucial factors in the development of people, society and economy. Education not only gives people the ability to draw on other resources, but it also enables them to face not only present challenges, but also future ones.
Even though Uganda has one of the best education systems in sub-Saharan Africa, it is overly exam-oriented and theoretical, leaving out certain core aspects of human nature. These include education in values, critical and creative thinking, self-help, and developing the ability to survive.
There are other problems in Ugandan society in this context. Youth unemployment, HIV/AIDS, teenage mothers, diseases due to poor sanitary conditions,drug abuse, school dropouts and hooliganism. Indeed, there are a multitude of problems to which we must give our immediate attention! However, we can shine a light in the darkness.
Even if the state education system is the key in combating these problems – not everyone gets a chance. Menschenbrücke e.V. and MEMA can proudly report that we are working on another form of help, called “MIHOM”- Multipurpose Inspiration Home:
This project wants:
– Encourage individuals as well as groups to apply a “three-in-one solution”
– Literate adults
– Open a children and youth library (the first in the region!)
– Offer help and advice to the sick and stumbling blocks
– Provide free meals to the elderly and children at least once a week
– Create recreational spaces for children and youth
– Offer people opportunities to pray close to home
– Helping young people who have been dismissed from school to help themselves through motivational workshops
– Show young and old villagers other educational opportunities (both governmental and non-governmental)
– Establish an educational/research counseling service
It is our firm belief that students in poor regions do not need additional academic knowledge, but rather life skills that will enable them to positively shape their economic future and well-being. This means education in business and entrepreneurial skills; health care and leadership skills, plus skills in administration, teamwork, problem solving and project management. This new school focused on life ….”
This was the vision of Father Genza to offer an additional and somewhat different educational experience to both children and adults.
In the meantime, the “Mihom” building has been completed and is being actively used!
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
Lent Soup Sale
Every 4th Sunday in Lent, the period between Carnival and Easter, Menschenbrücke e.V. organises a large soup sale after the morning service in St. Andreas Norf.
Members and friends of the association cook large pots of delicious soups and stews and donate them.
Visitors to the service, all parishioners, members, friends and donors of the association and anyone else who happens to be passing by and is hungry are cordially invited. The soups are free of charge; they are served with a bread roll and usually a small dessert.
A donation box is placed at the exit, and usually it is well filled after the event so that it seems that every visitor has donated some money. A nice and well-attended event, to which many a connoisseur brings a few empty containers to freeze the leftovers at home!
Whenever possible, Pastor Musoke Genza comes to Germany once a year to visit his “Mutti”, Josefine Freibeuter.
During his stay, which usually lasts two weeks, Menschenbrücke e.V. organises a gathering after a service which Pastor Genza celebrates with the congregation (sometimes only in St. Andreas Norf, but sometimes also in St. Peter Rosellen), where it is possible to talk to Pastor Genza, the executive board and the members of the association.
Everyone who feels addressed is invited.
For the cosiness, the members and friends of Menschenbrücke e.V. have provided an abundant selection of finger food and there is a small selection of drinks.
Again, everything is free of charge – we would appreciate a donation!
Ecumenical Church Festival:
The congregations of the Protestant Friedenskirche and the Catholic St. Andreas Church in Norf alternately celebrate a joint festival around their respective churches once a year.
The proceeds from these celebrations go to a charitable project that each parish decides for itself – or a joint project is found to support.
Menschenbrücke e.V. is often the beneficiary of the events, but is also always involved in the community celebrations by helping out (handicrafts for children, selling solidarity bread, fried potatoes or other culinary delicacies, etc.).
The Lantern Exhibition at the St. Andreas School in Norf is an event that traditionally takes place at the beginning of November before St. Martin’s Day. Late in the evening, the children of the primary school present to parents and visitors the lanterns they have made themselves in class, which, in keeping with their motifs, can be viewed in a lovingly decorated classroom.
The whole school building is bustling with activity, singing and delicious smells coming from every corner. The children offer handicrafts and tasty snacks for sale and for the “grown-ups” it may also be a mulled wine. Under the motto “Grandma’s yeast cakes”, the Menschenbrücke e.V. association bakes and sells delicious yeast pastries baked in fat and sprinkled with icing sugar – with or without sultanas. The proceeds from the sales of the whole school are donated by the children and parents, sometimes in full, sometimes in part (there are many other good causes) to the Menschenbrücke e.V. association.
die COVID-19 Situation in unserer Umgebung hat sich verbessert. Im Moment haben wir täglich ungefähr 100 neue Infektionen und nicht mehr über tausend wie im Juni. Aber immer noch sind nur 1,5 Millionen Menschen geimpft. Schulen bleiben solange zu bis mindestens 5 Millionen Menschen geimpft sind! Der Präsident meint, dass die Schulen erst wieder im Januar 2022 geöffnet werden können, leider! Die Uni öffnet schon im November 2021. Der Regen ist dieses Jahr zwei Monate später gefallen, aber durch Eure Spenden haben wir genug zu essen.
Danke Ingrid, und herzliche Grüße, mit Gottes Segen
Since 2018, the company PERFACTS GmbH has been donating € 0.10 from each item sold of its own brand RUN & MOVE to Menschenbrücke e.V. several times a year, to ensure the water supply for the children at St. Aloysius School.
In 2018, the parish council of St. Andreas Parish in Norf declared a year of thanks. All volunteer groups in the parish were able to submit a proposal and apply for a corresponding budget.
Menschenbrücke e.V. also received a generous donation and used the funds to organise a festival around the potato and other beautiful, artistic and interesting events and performances.
The proceeds went 100 % to Menschenbrücke e.V.!
Campaign of the drugstore chain dm:
“In 2014, dm joined forces for the first time with Naturschutzbund Deutschland e.V., Deutscher Kinderschutzbund e.V. and the German UNESCO Commission to call for people to take part in “HelferHerzen – Der dm-Preis für Engagement” – with the aim of honouring committed people. More than 9,100 individuals and organisations responded to the call and showed the public how they are committed. More than 700 jurors helped dm and its partners to select over 1,100 prize winners.
This is why dm launched its social initiative “HelferHerzen” in 2014, because commitment deserves recognition.”
The drum journey is an event organised by the Misereor relief organisation for kindergarten children. In this case, the focus was on the theme of bread.
In the week before, bread is baked with the children in the nursery schools, African songs are practised, bread is sold, the children have received small donation boxes to take home and a service is celebrated together. This is a joint action of the Catholic Family Centre. The proceeds from the bread sale, the donations from the collection boxes and the collection from the church service go to Misereor with the obligation to pass it on for the work of Menschenbrücke e.V..
During the drum journey itself, each child receives a small drum and the practised African songs are sung. An event that Josefine Freibeuter reports about with great enthusiasm!
Heroine of everyday life
“… Josefine Freibeuter has been a volunteer in her parish of St. Andreas in Norf for a long time. It is often the little things on the fringe that catch her eye and for which she likes to take responsibility. For many years, the monthly senior citizens’ breakfast has been an important part of her work, and she also takes trips and visits to the sick for granted. She is there when she is needed and is thus one of the “everyday heroes” that the Neuß-Grevenbroicher Zeitung is currently highlighting together with RWE.
Josefine Freibeuter is involved in caring for people with disabilities and is also chairperson of the “Menschenbrücke” association, which focuses on Uganda (Africa). Contact with the local people was established through a local clergyman who had been appointed as a substitute in the local congregation in 2007. Josefine Freibeuter has already seen for herself that help is needed and welcome in Uganda. In short: With so much commitment, it is no wonder that Josefine Freibeuter is described as “the good soul in the community”…”
(Neuss-Grevenbroicher-Zeitung, 10 December 2009)
St. Andreas Market:
For many years, St. Andreas parish has always had a small but very fine Christmas market on the weekend of the 1st Advent. There are usually 8 – 13 small wooden huts, lovingly decorated for Christmas, where you can buy handicrafts and culinary delicacies.
Menschenbrücke e.V. has been running two of these huts there with its members for a long time. In one hut, handicrafts donated to the association are sold – the other hut specialises in the sale of spit-roast with onions in a roll. The proceeds from these sales go to the association and all the other operators also donate part of their proceeds to a good cause.
Traditionally, the market is opened on Saturday evening after the church service, a choir sings Christmas carols and brass players also let out atmospheric songs. The whole thing is illuminated by a large Christmas tree and the many small lights in and around the huts.
On Sunday, the market is usually open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and invites you to browse and buy.
The Burg Apotheke in Norf launched the “Burgtaler” a few years ago. This is a discount system in which, depending on the amount invoiced, you receive one or more pretty silver-coloured thalers that represent a value of € 0.50.
The Burgtaler is a gift from the pharmacy.
There are various items in the pharmacy that you can exchange the Burgtaler for, for a set number in each case. Or you can take the opportunity to donate and put your thalers into the donation box provided. These collected thalers are converted into euros and donated once a year by the Burg Apotheke to the Menschenbrücke e.V. association and the Initiative Schmetterlinge Neuss e.V. in equal parts.
Many thanks to the Burg Apotheke and its customers for this willingness to donate!
The bakeries Dresen and Soumagne in Norfer have also been supporting the projects of Menschenbrücke e.V. for many years by selling “Solibrot”.
This bread is specially baked and offered for sale several times a year for several weeks. From the proceeds of each loaf sold, 1,- € goes as a donation to the association. Our bakers also bake this bread for events such as community festivals, harvest festivals, etc. and make it available to Menschenbrücke e.V. for sale.
Here too, for every loaf of bread sold, € 1 goes into the Menschenbrücke e.V. coffers.
Paul und Luise:
Paul and Luise
Paul and Luise are two hand puppets who are always present in “Kinderkirche” (the church services for young children) and also in the day care centres. Paul has a cardboard box as his home, with which he goes on journeys – whenever he is allowed to go home with a child for a while. His friend Luise has travelled all the way to Africa to play with the children in the day care centres and to “tell” stories about the partner kindergartens (St. Andreas Norf, St. Michael Derikum and St. Peter Rosellen), as she stands as an identification figure for this partnership. The collections from the children’s church regularly go to the partnered day care centres in Uganda.