Uganda: Agape Needs Our Help!

Agape Total Childcare Center, the orphanage and school SIFAT mission teams built in Uganda, has been hit hard in recent weeks by COVID-19. Although Uganda had been spared during much of last year, it has now been declared a Level 4 country by the U.S. State Department and CDC because the disease is spreading rapidly. The Ugandan government has declared a lockdown, and most students in boarding schools have been unable to return home to their families. At Agape, three of our original children (now young adults) are currently in the hospital, and several more have tested positive with COVID. In the close dormitory conditions in which they live, it is very hard to isolate and quarantine those with symptoms. Although WHO safety protocol is being adhered to as much as possible, the virus continues to spread. Funds are desperately needed for food, medicines, hospital care and to replenish sanitizers and masks.

Prior to this outbreak, Agape implemented COVID-19 protocols to keep everyone healthy. Here early in the pandemic, the students in the secondary school have the temperature taken by the school nurse (an Agape graduate) before entering the classrooms.


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July 2020: Graduates in Action Around the Globe

Editor’s Note: Each month, we mail an article with our contribution statements to the previous month’s donors. Click here to download a PDF version.

Written by Marie Lanier, Promotions and Marketing Coordinator

SIFAT has been training community leaders in development for 41 years. As community needs change, our graduates’ ministries often shift their focus. A global pandemic? That is definitely a call for adaptation to meet immediate needs. Around the world, governments are enacting strict lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, which has led to economic hardships and job loss, inflation and food shortage. We reached out to a few of our graduates  for updates, so we can better understand the challenges they face, but also to see the ways they are thriving, despite unexpected circumstances.

Awon (center) leads a Bible study with a group of college students quarantining together in India.


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Learn & Serve: Birmingham Youth Support SIFAT Training Graduate in Nigeria!

Pastor Ogbatabo is a pseudonym for one of our SIFAT graduates and trainers in Nigeria. Because of his work in a violent area, we want to protect his identity for his safety. Pastor Ogbatabo submitted a proposal to SIFAT, which was approved as a SIFAT international project. 

SIFAT’s Learn & Serve department pledged to help Pastor Ogbatabo fund his project through educating North American youth on the issue of smoke inhalation around the world and allowing them the chance to partner with SIFAT through financial contributions.  Several L&S staff members and leaders from various participating groups have contributed.  One inspiring story of a group committing to fund Pastor Ogbatabo’s project comes from Canterbury United Methodist Church of Birmingham, Alabama.

When students from Canterbury UMC met Pastor Ogbatabo while at SIFAT during Summer 2013, they decided they wanted to sponsor his project in Nigeria. After telling their friends and parents about Pastor Ogbatabo and his work, they decided to take up an offering once a month at their Sunday night youth program.

Canterbury UMC students keep a tally of the amount raised each month on their prayer (chalkboard) wall in a drawing of the rocket stove.


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International Project Update: Pastor Ogbatabo’s Cookstove Training in Nigeria

Pastor Ogbatabo is a pseudonym for one of our SIFAT graduates and trainers in Nigeria. Because of his work in a violent area, we want to protect his identity for his safety. Pastor Ogbatabo submitted a proposal to SIFAT, which was approved as a SIFAT international project. 

Pastor Ogbatabo and participants from the fuel efficient cookstove training that took place in Nigeria during September 2013.

Pastor Ogbatabo, one of SIFAT’s International Practicum graduates, is currently holding trainings in Nigeria to educate community leaders on the importance of fuel efficient cookstoves and water purification.  Pastor Ogbatabo will be holding six trainings during the next year to train about 360 people in making fuel-efficient cookstoves. These stoves not only help the environment by using less firewood, but also improve air quality in the kitchen and help girls go to school—the girls are usually given the task of gathering firewood, often spending most of the day walking to collect wood and keep the fire going.
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Alumni Update: Dea Lieu of the Ivory Coast passes away

This is one of our favorite pictures of Dea Lieu (left) from his time at SIFAT.

We are very sad to bring you news of the death of one of our beloved partners in ministry, SIFAT graduate Dea Lieu. He died in the hospital on the morning of November 20 of an infection in his lungs. We do not have details at this time, but we do ask for your prayers for his wife Charlotte, and their children, Desire’-Michel, Louis, Fabien, Vistorian and Armande and for his co-workers in mission in their war ravaged country, Cote D’Ivoire, or the Ivory Coast in English.


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