CEC Outreach News: March 3, 2022

Sabina School Expresses Gratitude for Educational Support during Uganda’s Coronavirus Difficulties The headteacher at Sabina Boarding Primary School in Uganda has written to Christ Church, voicing the gratitude of teachers who have been able to continue their careers in extremely difficult times. In Uganda, students returned to classrooms in January after months of suspended schooling due to the pandemic.

The school is operated by the nonprofit, Friends of Sabina (FOS), which is supported through the Outreach Commission by parishioners’ contributions and by individuals. Some parishioners sponsor students whose families are unable to pay tuition while other parishioners support teachers. Some at Christ Church do both. Because of the support, teachers did not have to abandon their profession to survive. The Sabina staff was retained and – even more significantly – children weren’t at risk for falling behind while schools were shuttered nationwide. Sabina teachers prepared education packets that they and staff members delivered to students' homes to keep them engaged in learning.

In Uganda and around the world, other children have fared much worse. A recent United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) report called the shutdowns “a nearly insurmountable scale of loss.” Younger and more marginalized children faced the greatest loss, the report says. By contrast, headteacher Jude Ssentale had a positive tone in his letter of Feb. 24th: “Currently, our neighborhoods are entrusting us with more children into the school,” he wrote, “with now a more robust human resource in place that is assured of a salary at the end of the month.” Sabina is located in the Kyotera District, an agricultural area. “It should be noted that Sabina Boarding School is a unique institution where those who would not be in a position to afford education are supported to acquire quality education and mentorship,” he wrote. “The bigger community where the school is located is extremely challenged and therefore, without this support from sponsors like you, these highly vulnerable children would not be at school.” In January, returning students showed great eagerness to learn, a FOS newsletter says. For more than a decade, the Outreach Commission at Christ Church has backed efforts at the school and, as you may recall, hosted FOS leaders during a Zoom coffee hour. Through Outreach, Christ Church supports the Sabina library, which serves as a community center, and pays the annual salary of the librarian, Richard Tumusiime. (See photos from a video shown at the Aug. 2 virtual coffee hour). Vestry-approved funds, derived from your contributions, also pay for news and periodical subscriptions and Sabina’s internet fees.

FOS expects to put that internet service to even better use during 2022, as plans take shape for a new computer lab. FOS is raising funds for the lab and other improvements now that the nonprofit has met its goal of raising $80,000 for WASH, a water and sanitation campaign. It was featured in a FOS video on YouTube shown during a Dec. 8 virtual update. FOS leaders will be on-site during spring and summer. Ann Marie Davis plans a stay from March 10 through May 2, and Maria White, from July 18 to Aug. 10. If you have questions, contact info@friendsofsabina.org while they are at Sabina.

Join Small Delusions in Helping Provide Support for Ukrainian Refugees On Sunday, March 20th at 2:00 p.m. join us in New Brick as the wonderful band, Small Delusions, performs a concert to help raise funds for Ukrainian refugee families. The United Nations reports that nearly one million people have already fled the catastrophic situation in their homeland, and that number will likely rise exponentially. For a few hours on the 20th, we will have an opportunity to hear classic sounds while raising funds for a very worthwhile cause. Small Delusions - Jan DeBoissiere, JB Hanson, and Shannon Pruitt - used to be part of a larger group called Delusions of Grandeur. As they say, "Our delusions are still there; they are just smaller." They have performed together for over six years, and we're thrilled to have them back at Christ Church. We'll have more info in the coming weeks, but if you wish to donate in the meantime you can use the Refugee Ministry online form. Just select "Ukrainian Refugee Ministry" from the MEMO dropdown menu, and Christ Church will direct those gifts toward relief for the people of Ukraine.

Columbia Community Care Calls for Volunteers to Prepare Its Next Pantry The all-volunteer organization Columbia Community Care (CCC) has obtained a site to establish a new pantry and has set dates for a weekend clean-up. “We officially have the keys to the Columbia Flier Building for a temporary home for now, and we will begin our process to re-start our home delivery service!” announced CCC founder Erika Strauss Chavarria in a recent post on the CCC Group on Facebook. “The first step of this process is to clean and decorate our new space, and we need YOUR HELP! We will have a “CCC Volunteer Clean-up and Beautify the Flier Building Weekend Extravaganza” on Saturday, March 19th, and Sunday, March 20th,” she wrote. The building, located at 10750 Little Patuxent Parkway, had been the iconic home of the Columbia Flier and other community newspapers of Patuxent Publishing Co., which was acquired by the Baltimore Sun Media Group. After the building was vacated in 2011, the Howard County government bought it in 2014. CCC asks the community to pitch in on the conversion to a pantry. “Anyone looking for service hours, this is a GREAT opportunity to get those hours in! Hope to see you all there!” said Chavarria. CCC has an online sign-up form for volunteers who are willing to perform duties during various shifts from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 19th or from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 20th. CCC also asks supporters to lend or donate items needed to clean and paint. Please go to a separate online sign-up form, which will give further instructions as the dates approach. At Christ Church, members of R.A.G.E and the Outreach Commission ask parishioners to continue supporting CCC by collecting diapers, baby wipes, sanitary and personal care items and adult diapers. Put these items in the yellow bin, marked “CCC,” inside the Parish Hall.

Baltimore Seafarers News As a reminder, the Women of Christ Church gather donations for Seafarers throughout the year. At this time, they are looking for magazines, cards, notebooks, gloves, hats, and scarves. If you’d like to donate any of these items, the "Seafarers" box is under the table in the Tower Room of New Brick.

Donate Snacks, Crackers, and Cookies to FISH in Bin on our Breezeway Organizers for FISH of Howard County are continuing to ask for cookies, crackers, and snacks to fulfill its shopping lists. The yellow bin is between Old Brick and the Parish Hall. Thanks for your contributions to our neighbors in need.

In general, if you have suggestions about ways to help the community, if you want to get involved, or if you need assistance, please email Christ Church Outreach at outreach@christchurchcolumbia.org. Your help is greatly welcomed and appreciated. Thank you.