This year's international training team was experienced, gifted and motivated: Rev. Michele Robbins (pastor of Orinda UMC, in CA), Dr. Doug Smith (retired professor of computer science and current secretary of WHC board), Dr. Caroline Njuki (former associate general secretary and head of the Africa Desk at UMC Global Ministries; and current board member of WHC), Bishop Baamu Moses (District Director/Mayor in Ssese Bugalo, Uganda), Br. Julius Kasaji (Executive Director of Sustainable Action Uganda), Pastor Dennis Singini (Program Director of WorldHope Corps Malawi) and Dr. Michael Christensen (Founder/Director of WorldHope Corps, Inc. and team leader). We worked together with our partners for two weeks, supported by our sponsors, to accomplish the following outcomes:
Accomplishments in Uganda:
Strengthened international friendships and partnerships by sharing in meals, visiting projects, preaching in churches, consulting with boards and cooperatives, sharing social innovation ideas, visiting orphan care centers, and participating in other mission activities. "Reverse mission" is what this is about. We come here to help but find we are the recipients of great gifts our friends have to offer; that we gain much more than we give. Thank you Mayor/Pastor Baamu Moses for being our example and leader in our shared work in Uganda.
- Conducted Leadership Training for 132 community leaders- local politicians, cultural and religious leaders, and community health workers--sponsored by WHC and hosted by Mayor's Office at District HQ. Focus of the day-long training was on Stigma Reduction under title "Is AIDS God's Punishment?" (You wouldn't do it this way in Dan Diego City Hall, but it worked well here near the Source of the Nile!).
Assessed and planned with Br. Julius (Director of Sustainable Action) on the progress of the Water Store in Western Uganda, and identified "benchmarks of success" in going forward. Unfortunately, the project is stalled until we can raise another $5,000 to complete the electrical wiring for the water purification system. We continue to pray for a new sponsor.
Processed "incubation" loans and consulted with young entrepreneurs on their good ideas for
social innovation, micro loan projects, and small business development. I predict good success!
Accomplishments in Malawi
Consulted with new board members of WorldHope Corps Malawi, saw their vision, heard their great ideas, felt their passion, celebrated recent accomplishments, and processed new proposals for program design and organizational development for the common good. The work is in good hands: Mrs. Marion Phiri (secretary of the board), Burton N. Kayinga (Treasurer), Reuben Kahonge (Legal Advisor), Kelvin Zulu (Program Assistant) and Matrider Mtemangao (community workers and volunteer).