Dorcas Widows in Uganda
 
 
 The Outreach Committee is partnering with the Dorcas Widows Ministry, selling their necklaces, made of hand made paper beads (See the Photo Album for more pictures). 
 
The Widows Story....  Dorcas Widows Ministry is a support group for widows who have lost their husbands due to the war in Northern Uganda, HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB, or other diseases.  In some African traditions, when a husband dies, the husband's family takes the property and all other belongings away from the widow and her children leaving them destitute.  Many of these widows have fallen victim to this kind of land grabbing by their in-laws.  They struggle each day just to feed their children.  Many of their children have ulcers as a result of not eating every day. The main challenges expressed by all the women are housing, school fees, and feeding their children. It truly is an every day struggle just for survival.
 
Who are the widows? ....
 
  • 80 widows who have been evicted from their homes and have no where to go.
  • 100% are taking care of children - some are HIV positiv.
  • 80% are taking care of total orphans or relative’s children.
  • 75% are caring for 5 or more children.
  • 20% are caring for 10 or more children.
  • 40% of the women are currently on ARV drugs and are in various stages of AIDS
  • 38% of the women have malaria, TB or other serious medical conditions.

Their Ministry to Each other.... The Dorcas Widows Ministry meets weekly to worship God in song, to pray for each other’s needs and to give the equivalence of pennies to their treasury. This mony is used to pay school fees for the children, buy food for those who are not eating every day, and to help with the creation of new shelters for them to live in. Despite their hardships, the women in this support group all work and have created small businesses. Some make beaded jewelry, some grow vegetables and some do housework for others. Unfortunately, it is just not enough to support their basic needs.

Please consider supporting these widows and help to uplift them from a state of poverty to self-sufficiency.

The Jewelry They Make.... To make the beaded necklaces and bracelets, the women buy recycled paper, cut the paper into long triangular strips, roll the strips into beads, cover them with rubber cement, string the beads together and attach plastic clasps. When the jewelry is ready, they lacquer each peace in their hands and let the necklaces and bracelets dry. The women sell their goods in the markets around Kampala, but the widows report that there is very little demand unless foreigners come to visit.

What Does My Donation Buy?....
  • Trasport for medical needs - $1
  • Medicine - $10/month
  • Rent $25/month
  • Widows Education/Training - $50/month
  • 3 Meals per Day - $100/month
  • Primary School - $200/year
  • Secondary School - $400/year
  • 3 Room House - $8,000-10,000
You can make donations to the Dorcas Widows Fund by
  • buying the beaded necklaces available in the office (they are beautiful as gifts)
  • finding ways to market the beads beyond St John’s
  • writing a cheque to Gower St United Church for the Dorcas Widows Fund (put this in the memo line). We will ensure that the money gets to them.

Carol Daly Vogt is our contact with the Dorcas Widows Ministry.  She lives in Minnesota, and recently returned from her first journey to Uganda.  Click Here for her 5-day diary of her journey.  Click Here for an article in the Minneapolis Times about the Ministry.

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