Archiv der Kategorie: News from Obiya Palaro

Pupils from Palabek settlement camp in Obiya Palaro from Fr. Cyprian Odongo – Obiya Palaro 2019-03-02

St. Mauritz Obiya Palaro has received 32 pupils from Palabek refugees’ Settlement camp. These are children of the refugees from South Sudan who are in Uganda due to war and fighting in their country. Palabek settlement camp is located 77kilometers North towards South Sudan from our projects in Obiya Palaro Gulu. Many of these children do not have their parents and some do not know whether their parents are alive or not because when the war and fighting broke out in South Sudan, people were scattered and some managed and made it to Uganda and these children came along with them. Many international and local non-governmental organisations are trying their best to help them by meeting some basic needs. 

Personally, I have visited the camp many times. Our volunteers from Muenster Germany in the person of Judith Eveding, Sabrina Jevric, Christina Strobel, Henrike Quest and Nicola Tomlin have visited this Settlement camp. In 2018 November Uli, Andrea and John who visited the projects in Obiya Palaro also extended their visit to the Settlement camp. 

Fr. Arasu Lazarus who is officially appointed by the Archbishop of Gulu Archdiocese is taking care of the basic spiritual needs for many refugees in the camp and through supports of Don Bosco community worldwide they are running many activities for the refugees. In cooperation with the families of the children, camp leaders, local leaders, government offices and the priests who are based and working in the camp we have agreed to move some of these children out the camp and bring them to place where they can learn something different which can give them hope and therefore Obiya Palaro Gulu was found to be one of the best places can offer them good environment to be educated and also learn and see the projects since there are most of the basic things like running water, electricity, hospital, etc compared to what is offered in the settlement camp. 

These children are affected psychologically by what they went through like seeing their parents or guidance murdered, other siblings abducted or killed, spending nights in the jungles sometimes in heavy tropical rain, seeing friends and relatives sexually abused by armed soldiers, walking long distance without food and all shorts unspeakable things that some of are afraid to speak about them.

On arrival in Obiya Palaro from the settlement camp, after medical examinations from our medical station or health centre in Obiya Palaro, many of these children were found to have a lot of health complicated cases like skin diseases, poor hygiene, malnourished, some are HIV Positive and are on ARVs treatments, and many others. 

The projects in St. Mauritz Obiya offer some basic things that are needed to make these children have hope through providing clean water, better food, routine check ups in the health centre and offering basic treatments, education, and spiritual activities like celebrating mass and singing in the church and other games like football and netball and others. As a priest and as someone who spent have of his life during war in the Northern part of Uganda, I am constantly encouraging them not to lose hope because the northern of Uganda also experienced war and fighting and these projects in Obiya Palaro survived of which during the time of war it was referred to as a corner of hope. They should be focused on their education so that after war they can go build their country.

An appeal:

Dear friends and all well-wishers, I am appealing for supports to help these children to be much better when there here because our capacity can not solder all the things needed for them. They basic things for their education like books, school fees, school uniforms as in the case of Uganda, bed sheets and blankets, food, medical fees for their treatments, and others. Any donation will help us to make the children from South Sudan have a better life in Obiya Palaro. 

Thank you very much. 

Yours Fr. Cyprian Odongo 

Parish Priest St. Mauritz Obiya Palaro.

New years report Father Cyprian 2018

Dear Friends in Germany,

Greetings and best wishes to you all. 

Christmas and the New Year have come. Every year we celebrate these days – it is all new experience. We give thanks to God and we congratulate each other for being friends and for working for humanity and ourselves as well. Some of our friends didn’t make it up to this time. We thank them for being our friends and all their contributions and we also thank God for bringing them into the world (May their souls rest in eternal peace). We continue to pray for their family members and all relatives to be strong and to move on with life. 

Friends, this year 2018 is a big success for our projects in St. Mauritz Obiya Palaro. Many things have been achieved. 

Nursery school: 230 pupils registered at the beginning of the year and 220 pupils were present at the end of this year.

Primary: 803 pupils were registered at the beginning of the year and 771 were present at the end of the year.

Dormitory: It was officially opened this year and handed over to St. Mauritz Obiya Palaro. 72 pupils, both boys and girls from our school, used it during 3rd term this year and 140 students from Lira School of Nursing rented it for 60 days. 212 students used the Dormitory already this year. 

Library: This is also running very well. The photocopying machine was installed, Networking was done and quite a good number of people are turning to read and borrow books.  

School fees: We support 20 students in secondary schools and other institutions within Gulu town. Many students are performing well. We also support 200 pupils in the Nursery and 100 pupils in the Primary School. 

Health Centre:  39,804 people have been registered so far since the beginning of the year 2018. This will still increase because the last 7 days of this year are not included. (OPD=5813, ANC=2308, Deliveries=445, PNC=2556, Immunisation=2267 and Laboratory=26415).

Medical Ward Construction: The ward construction work went on very well. 50% of the ground floor is ready to be used. It should have been operational already this year but due to some technicalities it is not yet possible. It will be operational by January 2019.  

Church and Pastoral: The committee for church construction has been established. A 5000kgs alter-stone has been brought to Obiya Palaro. However, there is still one priest in St. Mauritz Obiya serving estimated 6000 African families.  This year we shall have 373 infant baptisms including 65 babies to be baptised at the vigil Mass for Christmas 2018, 229 first holy communions, 120 confirmations and 30 marriages. Every Sunday and on days of obligation 400 to 600 people do attend Mass in St. Mauritz Multi Purpose Hall. 50 to 70 adults plus 80 to 130 nursery pupils every morning from Monday to Saturday during school time do attend mass in our small chapel. There are also masses in the chapels under the trees every Sunday and on days of obligation. As a priest I am happy doing what I prepared myself for so long to do it. 

General Administration: There are 60 people directly employed in our projects in Obiya Palaro. 17 of these people are paid by Uganda Government because they are teachers recruited by the Government and sent to our schools. The 43 staff are paid by Obiya Palaro from the income generated directly by the project (it is self-supporting). This year we are blessed by Paul Okot Akena who joined us and I am so grateful to you for giving support to keep him in our projects. His coming has allowed me this year to do more a priest work.  

We are also so grateful to our young friends who volunteered in our projects this year. Your efforts can be seen by everyone who visits our projects. We also thank and appreciate very much your families for allowing you to come to Obiya Palaro. May God bless you all.

There are other things which we also achieved this year and are not mentioned here. There were also some challenges. Some of the things did not work out as we had planned. Those that we can do in the new year to come we will try our best to do. 

We congratulate you all for the efforts put together to make this year a success. This gives all of us hope and we pray that 2019 brings more blessings to us as well as friends and God should give us good health and joy in our hearts as we give our time to work for humanity. 

Wishing you a Prosperous New Year 2019. 

Yours sincerely 

Fr. Cyprian Odongo

Parish Priest St. Mauritz Obiya Palaro Gulu