Current News From RYDA

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Doug. Williams ... doug@blackdouglas.com.au ... 0401 177 775
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Where is RYDA?

  • 8 miles from Kampala off Kampala-Mityana Road, near Buloba High School & Teachers' College
  • Latitude: 0 19 27.68" North
    Longitude: 32 27 57.70" East
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All About RYDA
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A Look Back Through Lockdown

In our June edition we reported that on the 6th Uganda was placed in lockdown for a minimum of 42 days. Rubaga Youth Development Association had to send all students to relatives or families of good heart, but could not place 80 youths. They entered lockdown taking total responsibility for those young people - their food, health, education, security and all other consequences of being confined to the compound.

The lockdown went much longer than 6 weeks. It was extended for another two months. RYDA was not allowed to reopen until November 1st.

Thank you for your amazing continuing support for RYDA through this time, even though almost all of you have been in lockdown yourselves through this period. It included your gifts of $US1192 (June 18), $US1807 (July 21) and $US1104 (August 31) which are detailed in Previous News (2021) above.

However since then communication with RYDA has, for various reasons, been quite difficult. In that period I chose to email snippets gathered from brief phone conversations, rather than update the site with not much. However as the reopening phase begins, it is important to record the detail of these past two months, some of which has only just come to light.

25th August
The following message was written on this date, however it didn't arrive until November 3rd and when it did I received 8 copies within minutes.

Dear Douglas,
I write to acknowledge the receipt of US dollars 1807 which you sent to RYDA for which we are very grateful.

Special thanks goes to all donors and sympathizers for the opportunity given to us to continue our work without which we will not be relevant in society.

Our work is challenging especially in this COVID 19 era. Schools and churches are still in total lockdown and we are not sure when the lockdown will be up lifted. At the center we have 80 needy students, 6 instructors and 4 support staff. The funds we received we used to pay for allowances for staff, water, medical supplies at the center and training materials to properly maintain the trainees. It's great that our donors and supports have made this happen and possible.

I have just received information that RYDA students performed better in their UBTEB and D.I.T exams. We are indebted to all those who supported the effective training to our trainees.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Thank you, Geoffrey Steven Kyeyune

28th September
I sent the following message to those who subscribe to RYDA eNews.

Dear Friends & Supporters of Rubaga Youth Development Association,

I attempted to telephone Director Geoffrey Kyeyune twice last week. On Wednesday evening I reached him in his hospital bed, where he had been for a week. His blood sugar level had risen to 8 (the highest acceptable reading is 7) and he was being stabilised. He was too weak to talk, but asked me to try the next day. On Thursday when I reached him he was in the process of being discharged, so we could not talk for long. However, I gleaned the following information and thought this a better way to keep you informed on this occasion, rather than changing the web site.

  • The 80 youths, boys and girls, who have been on site during lockdown are still being cared for and educated by a devoted and isolated staff from the cook to the principal.
  • No COVID cases have occurred.
  • It is expected there will be some return to education across the country from November 1st.
  • Significant new requirements - including building additional toilets/washrooms in the vocational training area - will have to be met before re-opening.
  • The transfer of AUD$1577 sent on August 31st was received.
  • Geoffrey has set aside $700 - $1000 of that as a start to financing any necessary changes.
  • A week after the last transfer was sent, an anonymous donor among us placed AUD$1000 into our account for RYDA. (Thank you!)
  • If you wish to add to that amount before it is sent off to RYDA St. Margaret's account details for activity within Australia are: BSB 633 000 Account No. 157319310. Please mark your transfer 'RYDA'.
  • If you are outside Australia and wish to contribute, please contact me using the email below.

Blessings and grateful thanks to you all for your continuing prayers and support.

24th October
This message was distributed to members of St. Margaret's and St. John's through their church notices.
Nothing Stops The Can Man
Ron Seccull could have taken a break from collecting bottles and cans for RYDA when the Victorian border was closed to NSW for 5 weeks, but he didn't. He said he couldn't bear to think of them going into rubbish bins if he didn't keep up his rounds in Yarrawonga. So he continued visiting his donors and bought a pack of big garbage bags. They take 40 bottles each. As each one was filled he stacked it on the blind side of his unit, eventually creating what was probably the world's largest black bag barrier.

When restrictions lifted he took multiple trips to the recycle centre in Mulwala and was rewarded with $360!

That was 3 or 4 weeks back and Ron had kept on gathering.

This week he transferred $700 to our account for RYDA, which brings the total he and his Yarrawonga donors have contributed since he began in December last year to $3775!
Ron's amount was added to $1000 given by the anonymous donor at the beginning of September and just over $400 from other faithful and committed supporters since then, to begin organising a transfer of just over $AU2100, which we expect will be in the RYDA account early next week.

Thank you to everyone for your continuing prayer and practical support for Rubaga Youth Development Association.

Ron, please make sure your wonderful people in Yarrawonga know that
their support amazes us and is making a measurable difference in Africa.

31st October
This message was also distributed to members of St. Margaret's and St. John's.

I spoke with Geoffrey Thursday evening. He was at home resting in preparation for a journey of several hours to Tororo, a main centre in the Eastern Region. Here he will be admitted to hospital for a week of operations on both eyes to correct cataracts that have developed as a result of his on-going diabetes. He has chosen to have the operation in the region because it is about one third of the cost of having it in Kampala.

I was able to tell him that we transferred $US1583.26 to RYDA on Wednesday. Their Treasurer and Principal will organise access to that in his absence. It is much needed to fulfil requirements associated with return to school which include more drinking water taps and power points around the compound, extending the girls' bathroom area and a suite of other items that relate both to the daily 'school' situation and the additional 24 hour dormitory and living arrangements. Despite all this extra administrative demand, the students who had to be sent away at the start of lockdown have been invited to return on Sunday (today).

Geoffrey asked that I express to everyone his grateful thanks for our 'extensive support' through lockdown. It has helped supply food and so many other necessities, and helped to build some reserve for this re-opening. He believes they would not have reached this stage without our help.

As we learn more about Geoffrey's operations and the re-opening of Rubaga Youth Development Association we will keep you informed.

Christmas Gift Certificates

Perhaps a little early this year, but, given the media attention on potential postal delays, we thought it best to remind you of this annual fundraiser now. Choose the version you need.

We have given for you...
  • Do you struggle to find the right gift?
  • Is it getting difficult to tell people what to give you for Christmas or birthday?
  • Do you have all you need?
  • Are you wanting to down size anyway?
  • Are you a bit uncomfortable with the 'surprise' gifts you know cost too much?
  • Do you receive gifts you won't use?
  • ...
With Gift Certificates everyone wins.
  • Click the image you need, then print,
  • Or save the file and take it to your local print shop.
I have given for you...

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)
St. Margaret's Uniting Church
Bendigo Bank
BSB 633 000 Account No. 157319310
Swift Code: BENDAU3B (Donors outside Australia only)
Please: