Katosi Community School
Name of Partnership: Katosi Community School
Name of Ministry: Community Concern Ministries
Type of partnership: Helping the Poor/Evangelism
Country/Region: Katosi Uganda/Africa
Project Overview: Timothy and Janepher Kakooza have lived in Katosi on the shores of Lake Victoria since the mid 1990’s. They went there to establish a church as part of a church planting vision for the islands of Lake Victoria. Very quickly they discovered the severe poverty in the area largely brought about by the undisciplined lifestyle of the fishermen so they started a school, then a hostel and a clinic to deal with the issues. Katosi Community School started due to the huge needs among the children, especially in the area of education. They soon realized that there were a lot of orphans and poor children in the community who couldn’t come to school and who had no home, so they started a boarding department for these children. The number has grown from a few initially to about 750 in the school and about 258 in the orphan care center.
Uganda is located in the central-eastern part of Africa. Katosi is about 90 minutes from Kampala, the capital, down a dirt road. Uganda has a population of around 34 million, with approximately 75% of its inhabitants living on about $2 per day. Katosi has about 15,000 people and is perched on the edge of Lake Victoria. The principal activity is fishing, though there are some farms in the area growing cash crops, bananas and vanilla.
The vision of the church (Community Concern Ministries) is to show the love of Jesus to the community in a holistic way. With that in mind they have started a school, a boarding facility at the school, and a medical clinic with the help of a church in the USA. However, the ongoing needs of these ministries are high. The school has been established to educate these children and also to share the gospel with the belief that the children will be able to share the Good News in their homes and the community will be transformed.
Fatima lived with her Muslim family until her parents died. She went to live with Timothy and Janepher when she was about 10 years old. Fatima calls Timothy and Janepher mum and dad as she considers that they are now her family. She lived in their home and went to Katosi Community School until she went on to tertiary level and did her teacher’s training. Timothy and Janepher helped pay for her costs to do this. When she finished they asked her to return and work at Katosi Community School.
Fatima agreed, however, she had a desire to work in Mbale village, as she had been helping at the local church there. Janepher wanted Fatima to continue living at their home and this would have been more secure for her, however her burden was to help the children in Mbale. She saw that these children were very poor and they lacked food, encouragement, and education. Many are orphans or have parents who drink much alcohol. She says she loves the children and is very happy to be there.
There is no suitable place for her to live near the school so she stays in a small house 2 hours walk away. She has no bicycle, but some of the other teachers live nearby and they walk together each day. The pastor of Mbale Village Church and his wife live nearby also and she feels safe living there. On Sundays she helps with the Mbale Church and also with the children’s church.
Timothy and Janepher Kakooza grew up as a poor boy on the streets of Kampala. As a child he used to sell fruit to eke out a living. It was a tough life, the sort of life no child should have to live. But with quick wits he survived. By chance, he heard some people singing one day and was fascinated by this. He slowly was drawn into the little church that was making the noise and over a period of time joined them and became a follower of Jesus.
As an older Christian he had a vision to help children that grew up like he had and so he began to look for ways to help children. Initially he came to Katosi as it was a poor community, and in the process of starting a church in this community, discovered that there were many needy children living there.
Timothy has been married to Janepher since 1990 and they have three daughters and one son. He is the pastor of Community Concern Ministries, and Director of Katosi Community Orphanage home/school. One of their daughters is helping with administration in the school and another, who has lived with them since losing her family aged 10, is passionate about her work as a teacher at the nearby school in Mbale Village (see Fatima’s story below).
Timothy and Janepher have a farm where they grow cassava and potatoes and they hope to expand this to grow paw paw and raise pigs. Further away from their village they have also begun to farm cattle to supplement income and nutrition for the school children.
Annual Budget: $24,200
The annual budget here supplements the income of the teachers and contributes to the costs of care for those boarding. The community clinic is funded from other sources and operating costs are sought elsewhere.
Sponsoring Organization: Bright Hope World