On-site at Lightray
The origin of the non-profit association “Lichtstrahl Uganda e.V.”, founded in 2010, and its aid projects is a private initiative of today’s first chairman Heike Rath from Münster, Germany.
Our goals are immediate measures for acute emergencies and to give help for self-help to the people in Northern Uganda. The commitment on location is intended to help directly and indirectly in order to improve the living conditions of the people. We want to improve the conditions so that young mothers and children in particular have prospects for life. Why just young mothers and children?
North Uganda has been affected by severe civil war struggles over 24 years. A war that turned children into soldiers and girls into mothers. A war that traumatized entire families, and made children orphans, and people refugees.
Today, Uganda is one of the poorest countries in the world. Over the last few years, we have been able to realize our ‘light beam’ project near the city of Gulu, thanks to the wonderful support of sponsors. We have now implemented the most important pillars of development aid for nutrition, medical care and education.
Medical Station including Laboratory
Here, we offer medical first-aid, laboratory tests (malaria, HIV, tuberculosis, pregnancy test, urine and stool analyzes, etc.) as well as other basic treatments, wound care, vaccinations (tetanus, hepatitis B etc.). Medical care is generally not free of charge in Uganda. We offer free treatments twice a month on the 15th and 30th. In comparison, a malaria infusion treatment for infants costs us at least 7, – €. We will turn away no one, thanks to your donations! Patients, who can not pay for their treatment, will still be able to be treated.
Child Birth Station
Due to the high maternal and child mortality associated with a high HIV rate, delivery under hygienic conditions is essential.
Since in Uganda childbirth is not free of charge, many women are afraid to go to the hospital. We offer:
- Preventative measures and examinations including necessary laboratory tests
- HIV screening
- Free delivery under hygienic conditions
- 24 hour supervision
- Initialization of the newborn
- Care for mothers and their newborns
Preschool and Day-Care-Center
In the beginning of 2013, thanks to the Christmas donation marathon
of “Westfälische Nachrichten”, we were able to build our „Light-Ray “ Preschool including a Daycare Center.
In the meantime, more than 400 children visit our schools and for many of them getting there is a daily long walk. Regardless of the age of the children, pre-school always starts in the first pre-school class and the entire pre-school lasts three years, before the children then switch over to one of our primary schools.
In Uganda, a class size of up to one hundred children is common with only an instructor. We would like to allow “our” children a good start on their educational path. Therefore, four hundred children are divided into six classes and a day-care area for children under 3three years. Each class has two 2 teachers – the daycare-center allows even three teachers per class.
In addition to medical care, schools in Uganda are also subject to charge. Due to these difficult circumstances, many parents are not
able to pay the fees. This is where your donation come into play.
As Nelson Mandela said:
“Education is the sharpest weapon in the world!
As Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the sharpest weapon in the world,” we have opened our „Light-Ray-Primary School“ on February 6, 2017 with the help of our wonderful sponsors.
Until now, our preschool children had to search for other schools after the third grade. These are often further away and not of the particularly ‚loving light beam’ quality. Now we can accompany them over a longer period of time. Not only a team of trained teachers but also a team of social workers take care of the first one hundred „Light-Ray-Kids“.
Some of these children, often orphans, who live under particularly difficult conditions, have been admitted, but thus far only into a free classroom. A combination of a Primary School in connection with a „Children-Crisis-Center“ is in the planning stages.
The implementation of this project is certainly the biggest challenge for us, but the first milestone has been laid, but the financial resources for the ‚Kinderkrisenhaus’ are still missing.
Please help us, because:
…children are the future of our world!
What is village work? it means working in „bush-country“.
Our catchment area is very extensive. Not only school children,
but also patients often have a very long walk ahead of them to get to us. Can you imagine, if it’s night time, the contractions have started and you have to walk two hours to the next medicine station …?
Or, your child has high fever, the midday sun is hot and the walk quite long. These and many similar situations have led us to set up an outpatient, medical service. Our employees also conduct regular vaccination campaigns and reconnaissance (HIV, hepatitis, tuberculosis, etc.).
If you drive to our project site at 8:00 am on Saturday morning, you will meet many mothers in orange ‚Light-Ray’ shirts with their babies on their backs. Why? Because they meet there every Saturday.
The lives of the very young mothers, especially in the village is a real challenge. They live in simple mud huts often without mattresses and blankets, without any electricity, without running water and often without enough food.
A few years ago, we had the idea, as it is often the case in Germany,
to offer the mothers a place to meet and exchange. We did not know, if it would work out, but it did! So, every Saturday, the mothers come to us between 9:00 am and 1:00pm and use their time not only for conversations, but also to create great African ‚Light-ray’ jewelry.
Our social worker Susan, who not only looks after the mothers, who gave birth at ‚Light-ray’, but she also takes care of our ‚Mothers Group’. The same important issues come up in conversation, such as the need for vaccinations, domestic violence, sexually transmitted infections, hygiene.
The mothers also suggest other important topics for discussion. Some of these mothers became very connected to us over time and help us to cope with the very high workload in our various project areas. We give them the opportunity to earn money for their livelihood in exchange.
Vor einigen Jahren hatten wir die Idee, so wie auch bei uns in Deutschland oft üblich ist, den Müttern einen Ort zur Begegnung und zum Austausch anzubieten. Wir wussten nicht, ob es funktioniert, aber es hat funktioniert!
Jeden Samstag kommen die Mütter zwischen 09:00 und 13:00 Uhr zu uns und nutzen die Zeit nicht nur für Gespräche untereinander, sondern basteln tollen afrikanischen Lichtstrahl-Schmuck.
Unsere Sozialarbeiterin Susan, betreut nicht nur die Mütter die bei uns entbinden, sonder auch unsere Samstagsmüttergruppe. Immer wieder gibt es “top aktuelle Themen”, wie die Notwendigkeit von Impfungen, häusliche Gewalt, sexuell übertragbare Infektionen, Hygiene … Die Vielfalt kennt keine Grenzen und wird nicht einfach nur von uns vorgegeben, es dürfen auch Themen vorgeschlagen und gewünscht werden.
Einige dieser Mütter sind uns über die Zeit sehr verbunden und helfen uns das teilweise sehr hohe Arbeitsaufkommen in unseren verschiedenen Projektbereichen zu bewältigen. Wir geben ihnen somit die Möglichkeit etwas zu ihrem Lebensunterhalt dazu zu verdienen.
Individual assistance means targeted, fast and uncomplicated help in emergency situations!
What would you do:
… if the grass roof burned down and the rain comes?
… if your child is HIV-positive, has to take heavy medication, but
you have nothing to eat?
… if you have saved all the harvest money for school fees,
but it is still not enough, and your child has to repeat the
entire school year.
Thanks to your donations we can help out.
Light-ray – Sponsor Kids
… are children not the future of this world?
There are hardly more touching fates than those of the children.
To grow up with the neighbors at the age of three because the parents died of HIV or with the grandmother, because the parents left their children for “other, better” partners, because not every new partner wants to provide for the children from other relationships.
Even if it is not easy, due to the very difficult living conditions,
we and our social workers try to be a small light-ray for those children left behind.
… because children are the future of this world.
We have had this wish for a long time:
our first real income project … a cafe!
No, not just any cafe: we are a Münster-Club, so it has become a light- ray bar in Gulu. Thanks to the commitment of Sandra Götting and Mario Joka (owners of ‚Röstbar’Münster) and many of their friends and cooperation partners, we were able to open our joint Light-Ray-Röstbar Coffee Shop in early 2015. In the meantime, our staff conjures not only tasty latte macchiato, but also delicious pastries and an excellent pizza for you.
Who goes to a cafe in a poor country like Uganda? For example, young people from all over the world, who complete a voluntary social year, employees of other relief organizations, but also the locals, who can afford it and the great thing is, even our guests are drawn to our Light-Ray NGO. 100% of the surplus flows into our other projects – especially into our medical- and childbirth centers.
Art & Design | Crafts
Our two art & design students, Emmanuel and Ray, have accompanied us for years in the design of our buildings. These two will produce and sell their art work in the new “Art & Design” hut. The same applies to our Saturday mothers group, which designs and produces African jewelry. These young mothers, as well as Emmanuel and Ray are very happy about this opportunity.