First Lady donates food to elderly

Monday March 30 2020

Ms Irene Kauma Tewunga, the Principal Assistant

Ms Irene Kauma Tewunga, the Principal Assistant to the First Lady hands over cooking oil, rice and other items to Sisters Rita Kisembo and Maria Mildred Abitegeka at the Mapeera Bakateyamba Home in Nalukolongo on March 28, 2020. PHOTO BY STEPHEN OTAGE  

By Stephen Otage & Derrick Wandera

More than 100 elderly poor people living at Mapeera home in Nalukolongo have received food and other commodities from the Office of the First Lady after this newspaper reported about their plight.
“This is a very timely response. We thank the First Lady and Daily Monitor for this contribution. This morning, the Missionaries of the Poor were calling asking us if we have any food to share with them but we had less than a bag of maize seeds which needed milling. The millers even rejected it because it was too little to run the machine,” Sr Mildred Abitegeka, the secretary and bursar of the home, said while receiving the donation at the weekend.

Last Friday, Daily Monitor a story highlighting the plight of 115 poor elderly persons living at the home.
The administrators said the elderly were at the verge of starving following the outbreak of coronavirus and the subsequent quarantine declared by President Museveni which restricted public transport thereby making it difficult for Good Samaritans to respond to their need.

Sr Abitegeka said the home, which does not have a specific funding agency, shares donations it receives with Rush Missionaries of the Poor, Fr Raymond Children and Babies home, Missionaries of the Poor, Kyasiira home of Hope and St Elizabeth Girls Home for the homeless.
While handing over the assortment of goods, including maize flour (posho), rice, beans, sugar, cooking oil and salt, Ms Irene Kauma Tewunga, the principal assistant to the First Lady and also Minister of Education, said upon reading their story, Ms Museveni asked her team to carry out a needs assessment and provide emergency food as they work out arrangements of taking over the welfare of the home.

Takes action
“Mama Janet read the story about your plight in Daily Monitor and sent us to come here urgently and see how we can start a relationship. She does this all the time, especially for the needy and vulnerable,” Ms Kauma said.
The home was established by the late Cardinal Emmanuel Nsubuga in 1978 to look after the elderly poor but according to Sr Abitegeka, it is now a hub for needy and other vulnerable persons across the country.

Last week, Sr Rita Kisembo the home assistant administrator, said during the Lent season, people have been giving the home donations.
It also hosts events that keep it running but had to be closed from the public to protect the elderly from contracting Covid-19.



More than 5,500 families in 20 parishes in Kampala received food relief and sanitisation materials from Ruparelia Foundation as assistance following the coronavirus pandemic. At about 9:30am yesterday, children and parents in Kamwokya Zone 2 gathered to receive the donations following closure of most shops and businesses in the country.
Ruparelia Foundation mapped out 14 areas to get relief for four days which end tomorrow.
Mr Sanjay Chandarana, the representative of the Ruparelia Foundation, called upon other sympathisers to offer assistance to Ugandans who are in a difficult financial state.

“There is a lot of ways in which people can help. As we encourage people to wash hands, we should not forget that they are hungry and need to eat. Let us see more kind hearted Ugandans coming out for this noble cause,” Mr Sanjay said. Mr Cedrick Babu, the president of Uganda Tennis Association, said each family would take home soap, sugar, beans, maize flour and a sanitiser. “We have identified these families using their local leaders. We know that these are hard times. Families are hungry which is why we are giving them some food,” Mr Babu said. Mr Karoli Ssenogga, the chairperson of Windso Village in Kololo 3, said most businesses have have been closed, rendering residents jobless and hungry. Pastor Robert Kayanja of Miracle Centre Cathedral and AfriAid also supplied soap and sanitisers to residents.