Mukono District, Uganda
Uganda’s people have endured much suffering in recent years. In the 1970’s, two million died during the dictatorship of Idi Amin and the wars and famines that followed. Then, from 1988 to 2006, the Lord’s Resistance Army terrorized northern Uganda. By war’s end, countless families and communities were destroyed, leaving many with nowhere to go.
Rev. Dr. Milly Erema grew up in northern Uganda and witnessed these realities herself. She was just 13 when she watched soldiers burn her home down during Idi Amin’s time. A couple of decades later, four of her brothers were murdered in the conflict with the Lord’s Resistance Army, leaving Milly to raise and educating their children. In 2008 Milly and her family founded Kingsway Christian High School to give a Christian education to her own family and others, including orphans and youth who had endured the horrors of war.
Without money for school, the fate of orphans in Uganda is bleak. Milly writes, “We see many youth being taken up by alcoholism, drugs, promiscuity, and gangs. In relation to this kind of living is the misery they undergo. They are hunted by the police, harshly beaten, sometimes to death; others put in child detention centers with terrible conditions. Those that remain on the streets are treated like half human beings!”
When you see the enthusiastic smiles and energy of the kids at Kingsway, you’d never guess what some came out of. Some were conceived by rape. Others have lost parents to AIDS. To Milly, they are all simply her “children” and Kingsway is their family. “Unstoppable with Christ” is the school’s motto, reflecting Milly’s earnest faith and awe for Christ who has accomplished miracles in the lives of her students. Many go on to university and good jobs, a fate unthinkable for impoverished children otherwise.
Something similar happened in Milly’s life. Because of the generosity of others, she was able to attend university, earn a Ph.D. in Old Testament and be ordained as an Anglican minister. She feels a great indebtedness for this, remarking, “Some people held my hand to lift me up as an orphan girl. Therefore, I am compelled to give my hands to lift up a hopeless orphan and a desperate child to give them a hope and a future!”
Kingsway was serving forty to fifty students each term before COVID forced schools to close for almost two years. They were able to reopen in January 2022, but with far fewer students. Since then, inflation and drought have been causing prices to spiral out of reach. An additional $2000 per term is needed to pay teachers and buy food and classroom materials.
If that were not enough, the government also declared that Kingsway must build a girls’ dormitory by the end of the year in order to meet current boarding school standards. Currently, girls rearrange a classroom each night so that they can sleep on mattresses on the floor. The foundation has already been laid and they currently need approximately $50,000 to finish the dorm.
Kingsway currently has a long list of needy applicants who they must turn away, even though they have classroom space. They simply don’t have money to take them on, to Milly’s great dismay. With additional support, Kingsway could transform many more lives.
November 2022 - Please pray for an speedy end to the Ebola epidemic that struck the country in late September. Kingsway is not in the area where it is occurring but three of Kingsway's students come from a village that is locked down because of Ebola. The students will stay at school to keep them safe. The parents are likely suffering from lack of work because the government does not allow any travel. Just today (11/8/22) a report came that several schools have been struck by Ebola in Kampala. It is possible that schools will be shut down again as they were for over two years because of COVID.