Uganda - Kyarusozi

Population facets: 

 

Partner Organization:  Congregation of the Holy Cross in Kyarusozi, Western Uganda

Location:  Kyarusozi, Western Uganda

Number of Students:  2 students

Dates:  Site determines dates.   Past dates can be anywhere from a mid-May departure, a few days after exams to early June, in order to coincide with start of school year in Uganda.

Participation Requirements:

  • Language & Proficiency Requirement:  None required, but students should learn basic Rutorro and other local dialects.  While English is the language of instruction, most people in the community prefer to speak Rutorro. 
  • Gender Requirement:  None
  • Required Experience:  Experience teaching or tutoring and working with youth.  For work in the clinic and dispensary, students should have interest in medicine and public health.  Experience in basic medical skills (i.e. EMT certified, blood pressures, vital signs, etc.) is helpful but not necessary.  General experience in healthcare settings encouraged.
  • Major Requirement:  None
  • Student Minimum Age:  None
  • Special Requirements:  None
  • Other:  It is strongly recommended that participants have already taken or plan to take an African related course prior to summer.  Students are expected to participate fully in the community and faith life of the Congregation of Holy Cross. 

Special Training Required Prior to Summer Deployment:  (The following sessions and workshops will be organized and provided by the ISSLP during the Spring semester.  Additional training sessions may be added as needed.)

  • Teaching/Working with Children Workshop
  • Teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Training
  • First Aid Certification (if working in the clinic)
  • Laboratory Safety Certification (if working in the clinic)
  • Congregation of Holy Cross Orientation
  • Self Defense Session

Site Description:  

See the Congregation of the Holy Cross website: http://www.holycrosscongregation.org/

The preeminent ministry of the Congregation of Holy Cross is service to the people of God and lives out this desire in three main apostolates:  Education, Parish Work, and Missions.  The Holy Cross vision for ministry through education is holistic with the goal of preparing “useful citizens for society” as well as “citizens for heaven.”  Holy Cross parishes across the United States and around the world are places of service, education and instruction, family spirit and community, and collaboration in the life journeys of individuals and groups toward God.  Holy Cross’ outreach to other countries has been an integral part of their zeal to make God known, loved, and served, and to boldly address the world’s needs for justice and charity.  Holy Cross has communities of ministry in Africa, Bangladesh, Canada, Latin America, Europe, and the U.S. 

The Congregation’s mottos are Ave Crux, Spes Unica, “Hail the Cross, Our Only Hope.”  It is in this spirit of bringing hope that lay men and women are invited to collaborate and participate in the ministry and missions of Holy Cross around the world. 

Kyarusozi is located in an extremely rural area in western Uganda, outside of the city/town of Fort Portal.  Students should expect to walk long distances (7 km) to get from the Parish to school daily.  The simplicity of the rural setting sets it apart from other ISSLP sites.

Scope of Work & Responsibilities:

Notice: Scope of work may have some changes based on the needs of the partner organizations at the time of student arrival.   

The students will have responsibilities with the pastoral work of the Parish and teaching at St. Joseph Hill Secondary School.

Throughout the week and on weekends, students accompany the priests with pastoral work of the Parish which offers unique opportunities to come into contact with several communities and occasionally different tribes (all with different languages).  Students also spend afternoons playing sports with the younger children from the Parish.  The Parish serves many outlying villages throughout the region.  Through Holy Cross Family Ministries, students can also accompany seminarians and catechists on home and school visits.  Accompanying the priests with pastoral work of the Parish and sub-Parishes and the seminarians and catechists through Holy Cross Family Ministries provide immersive opportunities into Ugandan families, the holistic ministries of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, and the role of the Catholic Church.  Students are expected to be available on weekends to be an active part of the community, to assist with pastoral outreach and celebrate Mass on Sundays.

St. Joseph Hill Secondary School has 200 students with classes ranging in size from 35-80.  Students may be expected to teach a variety of subjects (desired subjects include math, physics, science, and economics; English, literature, and geography are also taught) to various age groups, spend a considerable amount of time preparing for their classes each day, participate in school and campus ministry events.  Students also assist and run after-school programs which include basketball practice, other games and sports, Speech Club, and School Debate, and chaperone activities and school dances.  Additionally, students may spend a couple nights a week assisting in the boys and girls dormitories, supervising night-time and morning requirements such as study hall, dinner, breakfast, physical exercise, etc.  Students often walk the 1.5 hours (7 km/15 minute drive) to school each day and enjoy the experience of rural life, meeting and greeting families along the way. 

Students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner in and out of the classroom given their roles in the community as teachers. 

If initiated with the Sisters of Holy Cross upon arrival, and depending on when the St. Mary’s nursing interns are on site, ISSLP students may be able assist at the clinic in Kirinda (1 hour walk or 10 minute drive from the Parish) which is run by the Holy Cross Sisters.  The clinic in Kirinda includes inpatient and outpatient services, where students can shadow and assist nurses and doctors; a maternity ward where students can help with prenatal care; and an HIV clinic where students to help with the pharmacy and distribution of antiretroviral drugs and HIV/Aids education, and health outreach to other villages.  Additionally, there is a newer and larger government run clinic that also includes HIV health. Taking some initiative at the start, it is likely that students may be allowed to volunteer at either of these clinics and to work out a schedule that could include a two day health care component in addition to teaching at the schools and pastoral outreach. 

2016 ISSLP students split their time between St. Joseph Hill Secondary School and the clinic in Kirinda. School responsibilities included teaching subjects determined by the school three days a week, tutoring, and attending and supporting students during athletic practice and debate. At the health clinic, the students accompanied a health team to the surrounding villages and schools to support and assist in vaccinations, worked in the HIV clinic pharmacy and shadowed and assisted physicians when possible.  ISSLP students often accompanied the priests and seminarians on their visits to other churches and villages engaging people and attending mass, morning and evening prayer.

Housing & Lodging Information:

Students live with Holy Cross priests in the Holy Cross Guest House at the Parish in Kyarusozi.  There are also Holy Cross Sisters who live across the street from the parish house.  Students either have their own rooms (if different genders) or share a room (if same gender) and share the bathroom with others.  Rooms are simple but comfortable.  Meals are provided at the Parish in community and at set times.  Purified water and electricity are available and internet is limited. 

Meals are also provided at the school.  It is important to know that students regularly walk long distances places.  From the Parish to the school is a 1.5 hour walk or 15 minute drive and the Parish to the Sister’s clinic is a one hour walk or 10 minute drive.

Students live in community which includes sharing meals, prayer, and Mass together.  While the priests are very hospitality oriented and welcoming, it is important for students to remember that they are guests in the priests’ home and should be respectful and helpful with household chores. 

This site can accommodate a vegetarian diet.

For More Information:

Visit the Congregation of Holy Cross website: http://www.holycrosscongregation.org/

Former ISSLP Participants:

Anthony Derouin’17 (ISSLP 2015), aderouin@nd.edu 
Andrew Eisenreich’17 (ISSLP 2016), aeisenre@nd.edu
Allie Griffith’17 (ISSLP 2016), agriffi7@nd.edu
 

Notice: Certain sites may be canceled and other sites added at any point during the selection and orientation process.