Meet Gertrude Kabatalemwa and NEEP Uganda
The nation of Uganda has a deeply scarred history. Somewhere close to 500,000 Ugandans were killed during the bloody rule of Idi Amin in the 1970’s when the nation was stripped of its educators, doctors, and teachers. As a result, to this day, the very soul of the people remains in need of uplifting. One of those doing something to change this is Gertrude Kabatalemwa, Hope Builder’s newest ministry partner. Born into a family of tribal power in rural Uganda, Gertrude’s father was the chief of her village. As such she was able to be educated in a culture that undervalued women. She found a job working in the government offices in Kampala. But her life of normalcy all changed when Idi Amin came to power in the 1970’s. She found herself working right in his office. When he turned the country into a dictatorship she had to endure the brutal murder of her oldest child’s father, the subsequent murder of her second husband and the kidnapping of one of her children.
In the midst of all of her pain, the Lord appeared to Gertrude and called her to be his disciple. He saved her out of many life and death situations and gave her a heart to reach out to the children in her tribal homeland. Appalled that the destitute children worked for alcohol makers and were often drunk in the streets, she started a school for them funded out of her meager retirement and some money earned from making crafts. That was the beginning of what today is called NEEP Uganda, a ministry that now serves over 600 children, evangelizes, plants churches, trains pastors and provides sustenance to the surrounding community.
NEEP stands for Nationals Efforts to Eradicate Poverty. NEEP does this by educating children and adults for a brighter future, evangelizing villages for eternity, equipping all those they teach to walk and grow in the Lord and empowering leaders to step out of poverty and impact their community. While Gertrude is teaching her people how to move toward self sufficiency through farming, craft making and finding good jobs through their educational studies, your gifts are crucial at this point in NEEP’s development to put all these programs on solid ground. This is truly an investment in eternity.
Gertrude opened a dormitory last year to care for homeless students. Sponsorships are needed to help with that cost and for the rising number of students who want to attend the school. In spite of a lack of text books, NEEP children scored in the top 2% of students in their district on their test scores (including the capital city of Kampala). With their hard work there is no limit to what these children can accomplish. A secondary school has been started to rescue and educate older boys and girls who were falling prey to alcohol, drugs and early pregnancy. In order to receive government approval, a permanent building is needed to house the students. The school building that now houses the elementary education program is the only building in the area with running water and electricity.
Because qualified teachers could not be found in the village, Gertrude hired teachers from the surrounding districts. They current live in substandard housing including drafty mud huts and are paid as funds come in. Support is needed both for construction funds and for teacher salary support.
Changing A Community
In a country devastated by the brutalities of the past, Gertrude Kabatalemwa is committed to rescuing, educating and bringing up a new generation of leaders who understand the love of God and their place in his universe. Join Hope Builders International as we help Gertrude change the culture of her people and lead them to life in Jesus Christ. Here are some support options: $30 provides a student sponsorship: 100 are needed; $40 provides a teacher sponsorship: 25 are needed; funds are needed to begin construction on the teacher housing and secondary school: all gifts are greatly appreciated. To give, go to our contribution page and designate your gift for Gertrude’s work in the comment section.