Joy Gashaija, ECD WM director was privileged to join the women in Bunga Church, Uganda, as the main speaker for the International Women's Day of Prayer this year. The day was colorful. Women dressed in Royal blue Busuti (Buganda's traditional attire) and many women participated in different activities. Plays, poems, songs and prayer characterized the events of the day. The sermon was a very special one as members were educated and challenged on using their love languages.
A play about Esther in the Bible was acted to show the power of praying women. Songs of praise, sessions of prayer, and a closing sermon were the activities of the afternoon. The day closed on a very happy note as women shared a cake with the whole church as part of the celebration. Women at ECD praise God for the great achievements.
-ECD Women's Ministries
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The South Bengal Section Adult Literacy Project started one year ago when Hepzibah Kore, Southern Asia Division Women's Ministries director visited the Sunderban Islands and found a great need for literacy. The goal of the project is to enlighten the illiterate women so that their eyes will be opened to see the reality in life and to enable them to see the WORD and the WORLD. They in turn can teach their children and grandchildren and help the society as well.
The training was conducted from March 7-11, 2009. Pastor Kore, SUD Sabbath School Personal Ministries director gave an inspiring message and Hepzibah Kore taught various topics such as: "The reasons for illiteracy in India" and "How to organize the Adult Literacy Centers." Dr. Gordon Buhler, Adult Literacy consultant, presented topics on health.
At the closing Hepzibah Kore and Dr. Buhler presented a certificate and an umbrella to each trainee. The training helped all the participants to be aware of their responsibilities; to give their best for the success of the project and to bring glory and honor to God.
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"Place of Joy," was built by the Women's Ministries (WM) Department as a safe place for children to be nurtured, cared for, and loved. WM developed the center in response to the challenge for everyone to help in alleviating the burdens placed on the children by HIV/AIDS.
These are a few of the stories of some of the children that are cared for at "Place of Joy."When you read the stories you will realize what a mammoth task we have ahead of us. Thank you for your support and prayers.
Tefo was 3 years and 3 months when he was enrolled at Place of Joy. Eteng was 3 years and 10 months at enrollment. The two children come from a large family and are in desperate need of clothing, food and the essentials in life.
Eteng's mother, who is actually Tefo's grandmother, is unemployed. She is a poor lady responsible for a family of 9. Not one single member of the family is working.
Eteng's grandmother is a registered destitute and is supplied with a food basket from the social services office. This is the only food to feed the nine in the family.
Tefo's mother is the first born to Eteng's mother. She has also recently given birth.
Omogolo was only 1 year and 11 months old when his mother died. The aunty told us that the boy is a registered orphan with the Social Welfare Office and that he has a psychiatric problem that is being addressed by the doctors.
He is reported to have been left with his dead mother for around 5-6 days as no one came to check on the mother. They are not sure how he survived. He was found to be suckling and scratching at his decaying mother. It is a miracle that he is still alive.
Omogolo was taken for examination that resulted in him being given just a short general treatment. Unfortunately, later the grandmother discovered abnormal behaviors as she observed him.
This led to further examinations and he was enrolled for light psychiatric treatments. He is seen to bully other children. This is his way of protecting himself. He often throws stones or objects at people. It is not known what treatment Omogolo has gone through in the past for him to behave this way.
We believe, at Place of Joy, that Omogolo will continue to grow in a caring environment where he receives 3 meals a day and where he can interact with children in a socially acceptable way. Currently he has shown great improvements as he participates in songs and actions, and can follow through with instruction.
Frace was born on the 11th of November 2003. His mother died when he was only 2 years old. He is being looked after by his mother's elder sister, who is a young mother herself.
They do not have a decent place to stay at the moment.
France has an older sister who is 9 years old.
France is registered with the Social Welfare Council. The only food they have to live on comes from the food basket from the Council. This is to feed France, his sister and their Aunty and family.
France will be graduating from Place of Joy in November this year. There is no money to continue his education at this time.
Boitumelo is the girl in the pink sitting next to her grandmother.
The girl was 3 years old when the mother died. The mother was only 29 years old when she passed away.
Boitumelo has a brother who is now 9 years old. Boitumelo started at Place of Joy in the second term of this year. She is a registered orphan.
The grandmother told us that she is unemployed, not married and takes care of 13 children. She has been allocated a piece of land but cannot develop it because of the burden of raising the 13 children. Not one of the family members is currently working.
Boitumelo's grandmother often has to go to the cattle post as she has a few cows and goats. This means that for approx 4-5 days a month Boitumelo misses classes. Just recently she was trying to sell a cow but can't due to an outbreak of foot and mouth disease.
There is a real concern from the staff at Place of Joy for Boitumelo's welfare as their living quarters are right beside a bar. Her moods and behaviors suggest that there may be some form of abuse. Boituemelo's cousin was sexually abused and it is feared that the same may have happened to Boitumelo.
According to her grandmother, Boitumelo blesses the family with verses and prayers that she has learned at Place of Joy. She is a witness to her family.
In African tradition, families gather to mourn for a death for one week. This is how Pinket's story was discovered.
Pinket's mother was very young when she gave birth and Pinket's grandmother was often away working the swamps. Due to a lack of care, Pinket had a rash and skin irritations over her body. Her physical appearance showed signs of neglect. Her behavior was abnormal. During the week of mourning, a distant relative saw Pinket's condition and was moved to asked permission to take care of her.
The relative asked Pinket's family about the situation and discovered that Pinket had been living without parental care. The relative wanted to give Pinket back to her family but was afraid that more harm would come to her. It was reported that the neighbor boys had raped Pinket.
The doctor recommended Pinket be taken for counseling. At this time, the relative is doing the best she can by nurturing Pinket and giving her an education starting at Place of Joy.
When Pinket's grandmother returned from the swamps and was informed of the situation, no action was taken against the boys involved.
Unfortunately Pinket is still allowed to return to her mother which puts her in contact with her rapists..
Place of Joy intends on stopping the abusive cycle here and is in the process of having the boys involved charged and at the very least removed from Pinket's life.
Kealeboga and Realeboga are twins. Their mother died just 2 days before they were a month old. She was just 29 years of age.
The grandmother told us that they were actually triplets, 1 girl and 2 boys. The girl was stillborn. The grandmother started bottle-feeding the boys immediately following the death of their mother.
It was a struggle. After 4 months, the boys were registered with the Social Welfare Office who then supplied them with milk. When the boys were 18 months old the office stopped the supply of milk and started supplying a food basket.
Kelaeboga is reported to have a history of a dry cough since birth.
The twins have been enrolled with Place of Joy since May 2008. They will continue to attend until they become of age to enter primary school. There are no funds for them to continue into primary school after they graduate.
Punina is 5 years old and was born at a cattle post called Tshutshubega.
Punina survived on traditional food like cow's milk. Her relatives said it was through God's grace that Punina survived as they sold field crops and sour cow's milk to pay for food and clothing.
Her relatives are pleased that she can attend Place of Joy as she is growing very well. They have noticed that she is a quiet girl with a pleasant manner.
Sometimes she plays and sings and reads with her cousin, Keolopile.
Katso was born prematurely. His mother died the same day.
He was left with his grandmother and 10 other members. He was registered with the Social Welfare Council and the family survived from the food basket that is meant for Katso.
Katso's story is not unique and unfortunately is has almost become the norm.
Katso was enrolled at Place of Joy in June 2008. At 2 ½ he was the youngest child to be registered at Place of Joy.
The improvements to Katso's development have been outstanding and he now interacts with the other children and loves learning.
Olebogeng was enrolled with Place of Joy in May 2008.
The teachers remember it to be a cold morning when Olebogeng was found inside the school gates. One of the teachers brought her inside to find the child poorly clothed and saturated.
Olebogeng was given a cup of tea to warm up and she was shaking so hard that the cup fell from her hand. She was in desperate need of care.
This touched the teachers and gave them the initiative to visit Olebogeng at home. They discovered that she comes from a destitute family of 13. Olebogeng's mother is unemployed and the grandmother is a part-time cleaner.
Olebogeng was observed to be reserved and never smiled even when she was given extra attention. She was truly afraid and was very uncomfortable.
Today she is a happy child, who is fed at least 3 times a day at Place of Joy from Monday to Friday. This gives her family a small sense of relief.
Roy is a registered orphan. His mother died one month after giving birth. Roy now stays with his aunt.
Roy was enrolled with Place of Joy on the 6th of May 2008. When he first started he was anti-social and he used to carry his school bag into class even during break time.
When it was time to eat, Roy would refuse. He would carry his food in his bag without eating. He used to cry all the time.
With the love and care given to him at Place of Joy, he now eats like a healthy growing boy, and loves playing and learning with the other children.
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Our sisters are very committed to helping these children survive. Your help is vital. Together we can change lives-one child at a time. If you would like to make a contribution, please contact GC Women's Ministries at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Helping the Church members, especially woman, the Women's Ministries Department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, West Indonesia Union Mission and East Indonesia Union Conference held a women's convention at Indonesian Adventist University (Unai) campus.
The theme was "Showers of Hope." The goal was to give hope and encouragement to all women and to train and equip them to lead more souls to the Saviour.
Guest speakers included Heather-Dawn Small, General Conference Woman Ministries Director; Pastor Alberto C. Gulfan, Jr., Southern Asia-Pacific Division President; Helen B. Gulfan, Southern Asia-Pacific Division Women's Ministries Director; Dr. Blecenda Miranda-Varona, Health Nutrition and Lifestyle Consultancy; Pastor Johnny Lubis, M.B.A., West Indonesia Union Mission President; Poppy Lubis, West Indonesia Union Mission Women's Ministries Director; Pastor Noldy Sakul, East Indonesia Union Conference President; Ninfa Bindosano, East Indonesia Union Conference Women's Ministries Director, and a guest speaker Dr. Ellen Missah and her husband Pastor Dr. Missah, General Conference Associate Director for Youth Department.
At the end of Sabbath worship, five souls were baptized. Their hearts were touched by the word of God delivered by Heather-Dawn Small as the theme song "Each One, Touch a Heart!"
Mrs. Helen Gulfan and Poppy Lubis
Mrs. Heather-Dawn Small and her translator (EIUC)
Praise the Lord with angklung bamboo music
Mrs. Helen Gulfan and Heather-Dawn Small playing the angklung bamboo music
Leaders from GC, SSD, and Unions
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enditnow is a global campaign to raise awareness and advocate for the end of violence against women and girls around the world.
This campaign, which extends to more than 200 countries and territories, is a partnership between the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) and the Department of Women's Ministries of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Here are pictures of the campaign around the world:
For more information, resources, and to sign the pledge visit http://www.enditnow.org/
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More than 110 women from the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies (AIIAS) Adventist Church came together on May 10 for the "Gift of Womanhood" banquet. Organized by Women's Ministries under the leadership of Dr. Evelyn Almocera and her team, the banquet was attended by women from all over the world living at AIIAS, and in the community.
Helen Gulfan, SSD WM director, presented a devotional on the types of mothers and how to honor mothers. After the presentation the women enjoyed various activities, prizes, and food. Each woman was honored with a corsage prepared by the Women's Ministries department.
-Source: NSD WM
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