It's the little
things that count.
Living in a first world country, it’s easy to take what we have for granted, but it’s difficult to truly appreciate this until we open our eyes to the wants and needs of the rest of the world.
The Gulu Project strives to bring hope and love to families in Northern Uganda, and offers them a brighter future where they can become self reliant leaders in their own communities.
We strongly believe that you can achieve anything you dream of when you have the right support system standing behind you. By lifting up communities, the individuals inside begin to thrive.
Our ability to love is what sets humanity apart from the rest of nature. It calls us to step up and do what's right for others, and is a constant reminder of God's compassion for us.
We love empowering people to succeed on their own, but sometimes you need a little help getting started. The hand is our way of symbolizing the helpful and giving nature of what we do.
Our story began in January 2012, when Fr. James Okello, from the Archdiocese of Gulu, Uganda visited St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Wilmington, Delaware. His visit softened our hearts and opened our minds to the life in Uganda, Gulu in particular.
Many families invited Fr. James to their homes and learned first hand of the hardship the people in Northern Uganda lived through for over 20 years. A civil war with Joseph Kony and the LRA left the people hopeless. Kony’s atrocities forced families to live in government run camps for internally displaced persons (IDP’s), there was no means to make a living or for being educated. The people lived in unclean over populated living conditions filled with malnutrition, disease and violence. An entire generation of Acholi people born and raised in these camps were lost. After the war, they returned to their villages with no knowledge of how to care for themselves.
Fr. James reached out to our community for assistance in helping his people. His concern was with the new generation and seeing that they are educated to become self reliant. The love he had for his fellow Acholi people was evident. Many from St. Catherine’s and neighboring Resurrection parish contributed toward the building of a nursery school in the village of Olwiyo in the town of Anaka.
Mary Gispert, parishioner of St. Catherine of Siena Parish and now Director of The Gulu Project was truly moved by Fr. James’ experiences and devoted herself to overseeing that awareness was made for this needed cause. She was invited by Fr. James to come visit Uganda and get to know his people. Mary accepted the invitation and visited Gulu three times since they met.
“Getting to know the people you are helping is amazing, it has strengthened my Faith. The people are so hospitable, kind, loving and forgiving. They have nothing, but give you what they have. I am truly blessed to be able to help care for and love these individuals.” - Mary Gispert
Many people were moved to help either monetarily or with their time/prayers for the many fundraising events over the past 7 years. With their love, St. Catherine of Siena School is in it’s sixth year with 77 out of 150 children are participating in our Child Sponsorship program. In 2019, we began our seventh year of caring for our friends in Uganda and will begin building the first classroom block for the primary school. God has brought us together and both the people living in Uganda and the USA have been blessed!
We focus our efforts through individual projects. Some are more long-term, while others may come and go, but each of them are important to the communities and people they serve.