St. Margaret's at Work

St. Margaret's Church

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Annual Report 2006 ... The LINK, April 2007

From St. Margaret's Annual Report, 2006

For more than a decade St. Margaret's has been supporting the work of Rubaga Youth Development Association which is one of the most successful non-Government organisations (NGOs) in Africa. RYDA has its headquarters at Buloba, a semi-rural area outside Kampala, the capital of Uganda. At this centre it houses, feeds and cares for hundreds of male and female youths and develops self-help education programs approved by the government to help the youths develop life skills and employment potential. From the centre it operates in three major rural areas to work against the causes of street youth, including HIV/Aids which kills parents and produces orphans, and advocates for the rights of youths at local, national and international levels.

During 2006 St. Margaret's support included:

  • Donations from a group of dedicated Friends of Diana who are financing one child through school.
  • Maintaining a web site to give RYDA international Internet presence.
  • Continuing to support the Croydon High School Breakfast for Africa program through both volunteer services and funds. This program raised $451.14 through 2006 and fed and provided a place of morning safety for scores of Aussie students.
  • Writing letters to several international agencies asking for long term, large scale financial support for RYDA. This was unsuccessful, but did lead to RYDA being admitted as a member of the Micah Network web community.
  • Sending 301 exercise books and many, many pens for student use.
  • Praying consistently for God's spirit to bring continued inspiration and success to RYDA.
  • Raising over $400 through the RYDA Box on a Sunday morning and through other means.
  • Transferring to RYDA $400 from St. Margaret's Bowls Club and $500 from Luther College Croydon.
  • Raising $722.93 through a new Christmas Gift Certificate scheme. This donation arrived just in time to pay an almost overdue electricity bill and have change for food.
We have been thanked many times during the year by Geoffrey Steven Kyeyune, Executive Director, but what stands out more than the gifts is the consistency of our giving. Perhaps it is us who should thank RYDA for the opportunity to be so close to God's work in Africa.

The LINK is St. Margaret's parish magazine.
This article from April 2007, reviews 11 years of kinship with RYDA.

A Decade Plus One

2006 marked ten years since Rubaga Youth Development Association (RYDA) made its mark as a fully-fledged non-government organisation after registration with NGO Board. Prior to that it had existed since 1992 as a local community based organisation operating in the streets of one suburb of Kampala.

2006 also marked ten years since St. Margaret's began supporting this amazing African self-help organisation. In April 2007 it will be a decade plus one year since Geoffrey and RYDA were first brought to our attention. Our first initiative was a few books, then some tennis balls, then...; the most recent was Christmas Gift Certificates. We are a small player in a big need, but through God's will St. Margaret's outreach and the development and success of this organisation are inexorably linked.

We haven't been responsible for RYDA's success, but it would not have been the same without us. Our input has always been small ... but it has always been.

We are among the handful of consistent supporters who have been with RYDA since the beginning. Imagine what that means to the RYDA staff working daily from hand to mouth. No matter what else happens they know that across the ocean, in a tiny tree-blessed suburb buried in urban sprawl, a gathering of a few in the name of Christ are doing something tangible and timely every week to support the great African need. They can (and do) walk visitors around their centre and say,

You see that pig ... those hens ... that roof ... that water tank and septic system ... that child's education ... this monthly Internet bill marked 'paid'...? St. Margaret's Congregation in Australia gave us that.
So, what will you do this week (and next .. and next ...) to offer the Spirit the chance to multiply our contribution? There is surely something on this list which is pretty easy:
  • Pray for Geoffrey, Geoffrey's family, RYDA staff and children, RYDA as an organisation and its Board of Directors.
  • Discuss RYDA with someone new and show them the RYDA web site which is maintained at:
  • Drop $2 into the RYDA box at the church entrance on your way into Sunday worship.
  • Talk with Alison Streader about the Friends of Diana group.
  • Talk with Faye Norris about assisting the Breakfast for Africa program at Croydon High School.
  • Give Marj Hookey a donation to support the BfA program.
  • Contemplate sending RYDA gift certificates for Christmas 2007. In our first year this creative enterprise raised $722.93 and we know that some of this came from USA and some certificates were given there. Talk to Doug. Williams about this. Your overseas relatives and friends might be delighted to hear about the idea.
  • Use your influence to get RYDA's work publicised in the media - newspapers, radio, television.
  • Use your creative talents to organise an unexpected, unbelievably successful fund-raiser for RYDA which draws its income from people beyond St. Margaret's.
It's true that the old hymn 'Great Is Thy Faithfulness' refers to the faithfulness of God. It is equally true that faithfulness is a cornerstone of greatness. So, my decade plus one companions, keep up the good work. It will give the Spirit a bit more room to move.