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In Uganda, Life Begins with Dignity


Some of the 1,000 mothers at Kilembe Mines Hospital show off their babies in their new blankets and clothes. Courtesy of AFCA

In the shadow of a shuttered mining operation in western Uganda, one thousand newborn babies are going home “in style,” beginning their lives with dignity, thanks to the layette kits their mothers received from UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, and the American Foundation for Children with AIDS (AFCA). Gifts on One Great Hour of Sharing Sunday pays for the overhead for UMCOR.

“It is pleasing to know that there are people out there who feel the plight of women; that it has touched their hearts to share God’s blessings with those in need,” said Musoki Hellen, who gave birth to her first child, a son, a week before Christmas at Kilembe Mines Hospital (KMH), where the kits were distributed.

For many new mothers at the hospital, which is located on the premises of Kilembe Mines, Ltd., a copper mine that ceased operations 30 years ago, the kits’ contents—onesies, sleeping outfits, blankets, diapers, and other necessities—are simply out of reach.

“Many impoverished women give birth at KMH, and often the babies leave with clothing that is not appropriate,” said Tanya Weaver, executive director of AFCA. “Sometimes the nurses have to give women old sheets to wrap the baby in to take him or her home.”

The kits, she said, make a big difference. “The mothers can leave the hospital with their babies dressed warmly and well no matter how poor they might be. It doesn’t matter if they live in a shack or under a tree, their babies are warm and wearing new outfits, with no tears or stains, and the women are proud,” she said. “Dignity is huge when you don’t have much else to hold onto.”


A newborn baby boy dons a sleeping outfit included in the layette kit his mother received from UMCOR and partner AFCA. Courtesy of AFCA

AFCA, which provides medical and relief supplies in support of children affected by HIV and AIDS, has partnered with UMCOR’s Relief-Supply Network on similar shipments over the past three years, relying particularly on the Mission Central and, in this case, UMCOR Sager Brown depots for relief supplies.

The layette kits, like the UMCOR health kits, school kits, birthing kits, bedding kits, sewing kits, and cleaning buckets, are all donated and assembled by volunteers working in their United Methodist congregations and at any of the seven member depots of the UMCOR Relief-Supply Network.

“In Uganda, mothers face a lot of challenges,” Musoki Hellen said as she considered the gift she’d received for her newborn. Those challenges, she said, include unemployment, child neglect by the father, and domestic violence, which “make it hard for mothers to meet their needs.”

Weaver added that the incidence of HIV and AIDS in the area is very high compared to the rest of the country. “Many cases are unreported, though, due to stigma and the knowledge that there aren’t many services available for HIV-positive people,” she said.


Hellen and the other new mothers at Kilembe Mines Hospital found their spirits lifted by the gift of the layette kits. “One thousand babies were provided with the beautiful kits and could go home in style,” Weaver said. “And, of course, the outfits will be used for future siblings as these children outgrow them.”

— story by Linda Unger, senior writer, General Board of Global Ministries.

One Great Hour of Sharing offering, a United Methodist Special Sunday, enables the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to respond to disasters around the world by covering its operational and administrative costs. Unlike other mission programs, UMCOR receives no World Service or other apportionment money. By giving to One Great Hour of Sharing, you enable UMCOR to keep the promise that 100% of designated gifts will go to support the designated PROJECTS. Please continue to give generously to the One Great Hour of Sharing. Your gift can make a difference in the lives of those who are hurting. Click here to give online.

Downloadable Resources

2013 One Great Hour of Sharing Bulletin Insert - PDF format

2013 One Great Hour of Sharing Poster - PDF format  

2013 Special Sunday Combo - Mini Poster w/Dates - PDF format

 

Print Resources

Videos

If you need a higher resolution file for any of the video clips listed, contact the Connectional Giving Team being sure to specify which video you would like.

  • One Great Hour of Sharing: Accessing Safe Water

    This video shows UMCOR helping those in developing countries to have access to safe drinking water by drilling wells and educating them on sanitation and safe hygiene practices. This video is 2:38 minutes long.

  • One Great Hour of Sharing: Hope Rises


    This video shows images of UMCOR volunteers and staff helping individuals all over the country that have been affected by natural disasters. This video is 2:43 minutes long.

     

  • One Great Hour of Sharing: Rebuilding Japan


    This video shows UMCOR continuing to help those in Japan that were affected by the 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami to rebuild their infrastructures and get their lives back to normal as soon as possible. This video is 2:18 minutes long.

     

  • Bishop Bickerton encourages local churches to support UMCOR/OGHS

    Bishop Bickerton, resident Bishop of the Pittsburgh area and Western Pennsylvania Conference is encouraging local churches to give to One Great Hour of Sharing this Sunday. Gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing pays for the administration cost of the United Methodist Committee on Relief. When disaster strikes, UMCOR is ready to respond because the administrative costs are paid through gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing. 

     

  • Bishop Dorff encourages local churches to support UMCOR/OGHS

    Bishop James E. Dorff of the San Antonio area (Rio Grande and Southwest Texas Annual Conferences) is encouraging local churches to give to One Great Hour of Sharing this Sunday. Gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing pays for the administration cost of the United Methodist Committee on Relief. When disaster strikes, UMCOR is ready to respond because the administrative costs are paid through gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing. Local churches may select an alternative date to receive an offering for One Great Hour of Sharing if they are unable to celebrate One Great Hour of Sharing on March 10, 2013.

     

  • Bishop Dyck encourages local churches to support UMCOR/OGHS

    Bishop Bishop Sally Dyck of the Chicago area (Northern Illinois Annual Conference) encourages local churches to give to One Great Hour of Sharing this Sunday. Gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing pays for the administration cost of the United Methodist Committee on Relief. When disaster strikes, UMCOR is ready to respond because the administrative costs are paid through gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing.

     

  • One Great Hour of Sharing Kamina, Congo Video

     

    High-quality downloads: QuickTime (MP4) | Windows Media (WMV)
    (To download, right-click on the desired format and select "Save link as..." or "Save target as...")

  • Darryl Tate 
    In this 3 minute video, the Rev. Darryl Tate speaks about the importance of giving
    to one Great Hour of Sharing and how through the offering, UMCOR provided assistance
    in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. 

     

    High-quality downloads: QuickTime (MP4) | Windows Media (WMV)

  • U.S. Hurricane Recovery
    Hurricane Katrina was the largest natural disaster in United States history. This video highlights the work of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) in the areas of disaster. UMCOR is financially supported through your One Great Hour of Sharing offering.
  • World Hunger
    This video focuses on world hunger and the work the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is doing to help those around the world develop sustainable agriculture and provide nutrition to those in need. UMCOR is financially supported through your One Great Hour of Sharing offering.

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