Presbyterians Today

FEB-MAR 2018

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32 FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018 | Pr e s by te r i a n s To d ay Beyond disaster relief In addition to PDA, the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering supports the Presbyterian Hunger Program (PHP) and the Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People (SDOP). It is received by most congregations on Palm Sunday or Easter. All three ministries that benefit from the offering work for change that makes a lasting difference. In Africa, one way the Presbyterian Hunger Program strives for long-term change is by helping families who are at risk of losing their farmland. One such family is led by Najjuma, a 56-year-old widow in Uganda. She grows enough food on eight acres to feed the three children and eight orphaned grandchildren in her care. Without the crops that spring from this soil she carefully tends, Najjuma has no means to support these children. However, while Najjuma was pro- viding the nurture her children and grandchildren needed, her in-laws ordered her to leave the land her husband had inherited. Fortunately, Najjuma learned that laws were in place to protect widows like her. One Great Hour of Sharing gifts empowered Najjuma to exercise her lawful right to remain on the property. Thanks to training programs held by Action for Rural Women's Empowerment (ARUWE), a partner of PHP, Najjuma knew the law was on her side. She successfully appealed for help through local land governance structures. Yet, too often, widows aren't aware of their rights, explained Sylvia Nalubega, program officer for ARUWE. "When widows do not know their entitlement to their property or if the husband doesn't leave a will, many times they are evicted and have nowhere to go," Nalubega said. One Great Hour of Sharing gifts helped Najjuma avoid this fate. "Najjuma depends on the land for her livelihood," added Agnes Mirembe, program manager for ARUWE. "It is everything to her. Her income is tied to the land." In addition to benefiting from ARUWE's legal aid clinics, Najjuma also learned more efficient farming techniques from this group. She planted two acres of corn and beans that serve as demonstration plots for her neighbors. She freely shares how she increases crop yields that enable her to take better care of her children and grandchildren. Najjuma could have been without a place to plant even a single seed, a plight that would have spelled disaster for her family. One Great Hour gifts helped keep this from happening. Helping those in recovery In Akron, Ohio, One Great Hour of Sharing gifts help give a new start in life to people who are recovering from addiction or who are re-enter- ing society after spending time in prison. At the Front Porch Cafe, a partner of Self-Development of People, men and women can receive healthy portions of food and friend- ship. They grow and learn alongside others who share their struggles and receive guidance on housing Gifts to the One Great Hour of Sharing offering support the Presbyterian Hunger Program and Self-Development of People, helping families learn more efficient farming techniques that will increase crop yields and feed more people.

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