“Missionaries in Uganda Aid Congolese Refugees,” Ensign, Sept. 2009, 79
Missionaries in the Uganda Kampala Mission gathered in the Kololo meetinghouse in Kampala to help assemble emergency supply kits for Congolese refugees in need.
More than 35,000 refugees, mostly women and children, have sought safety in Uganda after being forced to flee their homes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as a result of rebel activity.
Thus far, the Church has delivered more than 7,000 pounds of food, as well as blankets, cooking pots, and farming tools, to the refugee camps in Nakivale and Kanungu in southwestern Uganda. The contents of a shipping container from the Humanitarian Center in Salt Lake City will also be distributed in the camp in Nakivale.
Upon arrival in Kampala, many refugees lack the basic essentials of life. To help meet these needs, full-time missionaries assembled emergency supply kits for distribution to local branches. The kits contained blankets, cooking pots, rice, sugar, salt, cooking oil, soap, and mosquito nets.
Elder Mehluli Dube, from Zimbabwe, said, “I feel blessed to be able to bring some measure of happiness and comfort to people who have been through so much suffering in their lives.”
Some of the kits will be provided to Musa Ecweru, Uganda’s Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness, for displaced refugees who seek assistance from his office.
“Our good friends, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, go about quietly, without a lot of publicity, helping the needy people of Uganda,” Minister Ecweru said. “The purpose of humanitarian service is to reduce pain and deliver hope.”