The Archdiocese of Mbarara Development Association (AMDA), an umbrella association that unites all Catholics faithful hailing from Mbararara Archdiocese (Ankole region) and reside in Kampala, Entebbe and surrounding areas over the weekend completed yet another successful medical camp at which 4530 people were treated for different ailments.
The medical camp which took place at Sacred Heart Secondary School, Mushanga in Sheema District was one of the activities conducted by AMDA during the associations seventh Caravan, a visit that has become an annual activity on the group’s calendar.
Several specialized services such as cancer screening, dental and optical services, gynecology, cataract surgeries, HIV and TB testing, among others were all provided.
The AMDA Chaplain Fr. Darius Magunda, speaking at the opening of the medical camp emphasized the need for a holistic Christian life which embodies all of the six AMDA pillars — including unity, spiritual development, and health and wellness among others.
“The main objective of the annual caravan visits is to promote and practice the Christian value of love and serving humanity through the association’s six pillars namely; Unity, Spiritual Development, Education Development, Leadership Development, Economic Empowerment and Health and Wellness,” says Fr Magunda.
Plans are currently underway to include another pillar to address environmental issues.
As part of the caravan activities, AMDA’s economic council signed a Memorandum of Understanding with The Hive Africa Ltd and Greening Uganda aiming at promoting Hass Avocado and bee keeping within Mbarara Archdiocese, all aimed at empowering and improving livelihoods of communities in the archdiocese.
The AMDA economic Empowerment council chairperson Senior Associate Basil Kandyomunda said the project will ensure that all parishes in the Archdiocese of Mbarara start-up avocado growing and beekeeping and that AMDA and the Hive Africa Limited and Greening Uganda will work with these communities/growers,provide them with technical support but also link them to markets for their produce.
During the 3 day tour, AMDA members were able to interface with over 5000 people to sensitize and equip them with social, economic and political related aspects. They included probono legal aid through its Legal clinic in partnership with the Judicial service commission, poverty eradication sessions that focused most on growing Hass avocado, keeping bees(apiary), sanitary pads, making energy-saving and environmental friendly cooking material through banana peels and wood, drug addiction/alcohol consumption counseling ,career guidance to candidates.
A number of donations including scholastic materials such as chalk, textbooks and pens were donated to 40 schools in the two parishes of Mushanga and Kakindo.
The three-day visit to Mushanga and Kakindo Parishes climaxed with high mass celebrated by the Archbishop of Mbarara Paul Kamuza Bakyenga at Mushanga Parish on Sunday, September 9.
The Mass was well attended by a cross-section of people from across the district of Sheema and neighbouring districts.
In his homily, the Archbishop expressed the great importance of such voluntary services offered by people like AMDA members.
He applauded the great importance of voluntary medical camps which is in line with Jesus’ preaching in Mathew 25.
He equated AMDA’s touching voluntary service to the home communities to Jesus’ ministry and eventual saving of the world.
Mass was also attended by a cross-section of political leaders that included the area Members of Parliament; Elioda Tumwesigye, Atuhaire Jacket, woman Member of Parliament, Mwijukye Francis and Oliver Koyekyenga from Buhweju.
Others were former members of parliament Emma Boona and Grace Byaruhanga, Plan Mugyenyi, the former Sheema Municipality contestant and the RDC Sheema Mr. Frank Kyerere, While John Byabagambi represented the guest of honour the President of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
In his message the President also commended AMDA’s great initiative of the medical camps to supplement government efforts in the health sector.
AMDA’s next annual Caravan will be hosted by Butare and Bihanga parishes in Buhweju district.
The area Parish Priest and members of parliament received the Caravan torch to launch the preparatory activities for the 2020 AMDA Caravan.