Uganda, Africa

UGA04a - Personal support of Thomas Lubari: Partnership Reports

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Report Date: November 15, 2022

Report from BHW Uganda Partnership Facilitator Following Visit on 22nd October

We spent the day with Thomas and Joyce at their home in Njeru at Jinja. Over the course of the day, we discussed all of the aspects of the ministry and outreach that they are involved in. We had a simple lunch with them and at the end of the day we also visited Taban’s grave. He is buried about a kilometre from where they live. It was a very moving day, and I hope that we were able to provide them some support just by our presence. They were certainly grateful that we had gone to the graveside with them.

Taban Emmanuel

difficult timeMuch of the first part of the day was spent giving them space to talk about the issues with the murder of their son Taban Emmanuel on 11 December 2021 and the terrible effects that has had. The Ugandan justice system and police force often only take action if money is provided. This is sometimes just a series of 'costs' in the process, such as police wages and vehicle costs to travel to arrest someone. 

Not only are they faced with the loss of their eldest son, who was actively involved in ministry in Koboko, but even though the statements from some of those involved in the murder contain admissions of guilt, there is a significant issue as to whether justice will ever be done in this case. The main culprit is still at large and there are bribery and tribal issues involved in bringing him to justice. The primary person involved in planning the murder, Christopher, was a beneficiary in the Vocational Training Scheme (UGA04c), was a pastor and had been extensively supported by Thomas and Life Gospel Ministries. When he was accused, he hid in his own village. When the police showed up to arrest him, he was able to escape but in the ensuing fight two of the villagers were shot dead by the police. The bribery and corruption in Uganda also is such that the police commander in the Hoima District, who is a committed Christian, so toughwas arrested during the course of this investigation on trumped up corruption charges. This has something to do with the investigation into the murder, and also highlights the underlying tribal issues.

Thomas and Joyce were very upset that they had trusted Christopher as an important member of the network, and he had turned on them to protect himself due to his misappropriation of LGM resources when he was supposed to have used funds to supply seeds and resources to assist farmers to plant a large area. 


Personal Support of Thomas and Joyce (UGA04a)

tough timesThis is a matter which I have given quite a degree of consideration and I do not want to see our existing level of support for Thomas and Joyce (US$2,400 per annum) suspended at this point in time. They have had a huge amount of stress around the loss of Taban and I think that reducing their financial support would be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Although we were able to visit them in their new house, both John and I were aware that when Joyce came to feed us the meal was uncharacteristically simple, and that she was probably giving us the last food that she had in the house.

Over the lockdown Joyce’s business, which was a stationery business, failed. She was unable to pay the rent from the income from the business, and it got repossessed by the landlord. The lockdown was announced very quickly and at that time there were five or six children staying in their house with them. They were unable to return to their families and ended up staying and needing to be supported for five or six months. They are also having difficulties meeting school fees for their daughter Patience who is presently enrolled at Pleroma Girls School in Mukono but is unable to attend due to a lack of finance. 

potentialThey did ask us about something that has some merit. Included here is a photo of a building which needs about US$3,000 to complete. They asked whether it might be possible to get a loan from Bright Hope World to complete this, on the basis that the building is a self-contained residential premises and has a rental ability of approximately $140 per month. John and I talked about this and it seems like a really good proposal. It could be set up as a loan with our support reducing over time by way of loan repayments thus enabling them to have a secure residual income. Given that we are supporting them at $2,400 a year, this idea has a significant amount of merit. I had also thought about simply making it a grant to them on the basis that our support would wind up over a defined period. If we did that and reduced our support to the difference between current support and likely income, it would be better for BHW and Thomas and Joyce in the long run.  


Foundations for Farming (UGA08)

On 21st October John, BHW's Agricultural Director, and I visited with Jonathan at Father Heart Ministries, which is about 10 kilometres on the other side of Jinja in the Wanyange area. We were greatly impressed by the quality of the work that he is doing, and there are photos of the facility that he is running in a separate Foundations for Farming (FfF) report. He was also actively involved in training other people in FfF. This is the subject of a separate report.

John raised with Thomas the possibility of working with Jonathan or hiring his facility and discovered that Thomas was not aware that Jonathan was there or aware of the extent of the training facility that Jonathan was developing in Jinja. Thomas said that he would be open to working with Jonathan in developing FfF further. Thomas is also part of a WhatsApp group for Foundations for Farming in Uganda administered by the organisation in Zimbabwe. This cooperation is something that I and John will be actively exploring. 

Thomas and Joyce are also actively practicing FfF themselves, and mentoring others too. They are using the land outside their house, even though the area is not very large. They have a larger plot of land, where Taban’s grave is, which is intended for Foundations for Farming. A start has been made to this but it is clear that they have been overwhelmed with grief and have found it very hard to get it under way.

One of the issues that I was tasked with in our earlier discussions was to look at the possibility of Thomas carrying out regular trainings in Foundations for Farming. We had an extensive discussion about this. Thomas thinks that he could do four trainings a year. These would be a mixture of three-day refresher trainings, and/or five-day full trainings for newcomers. The refresher trainings would possibly involve him doing several sub-refreshers depending on where he is visiting. There is plenty of demand for the training. Each training should start approximately two months before the rains, i.e., December and January, and secondly in April. 

Thomas has now sent me a budget for this. I have reviewed it and made some considerable changes to the original. I comment:

1) We indicated that BHW would, subject to approval of the budget, support a schedule of say four trainings a year. Thomas has come back with a budget for seven, but this is not quite as it seems. The first four trainings are back-to-back in the camps in the north. The second three are back-to-back nearer where Thomas and Joyce live. This represents good value for money with each training needing $1,040 and the total budget for the full seven trainings is $7,280. I think this is reasonable and, having met some of the people who have been trained, is good value for investment.

2) He is also allowing for trauma training and resilience as part of the program. We welcome this as part of the FfF trainings as we heard first-hand from other people how they had benefited from this and were using the skills.

3) I have included a per diem of $40 for Thomas as I think this is reasonable. Thomas had included hoes as part of the initial proposal, but I told him we wouldn’t support this as the refugees were already given one as part of their ‘package’ when they came into the camps.

4) Finally, I support this. Having seen and talked to some of the people from the camps and heard their stories, and also the difference both the trauma and FfF trainings have made to many people, I would like to see Thomas given the opportunity to keep doing it for now.


Prayer and Praise Points

1) Thomas and Joyce need to be upheld in prayer.  They are heartbroken about the loss of Taban.

2) For justice to be done here. This involves bringing Christopher, the primary accused, before the courts to face justice. It has been a very painful process for them, and the system is so unjust. We need to pray that the primary culprit is captured and arraigned.

3) For the success of Foundations for Farming training going forward, and that the refugees and others exposed to the training will be assisted to overcome their setbacks and deep trauma and rebuild their lives.

4) For changed mindsets to enable the refugees and other trainees to overcome traditional and poverty-based mindsets. This is a spiritual warfare issue.