The last two years
With the post Fr. John Scalabrini transition at play, the last two years of Emmaus Foundation (EF) were understandably a bit shaky, with a lot of fear and uncertainty; and so the start of my tenure saw the need to first calm the boat; and having said that, I am happy to note that, the ship is finally stable and that we are now able to focus in the same direction to propel the Founder’s Vision.
I am very happy to express that quantifiable change has been and will continue to be realized. First of all, it is important for everybody to understand that I am nowhere near what Rev. Fr. John Scalabrini (RIP) was able to achieve and the gap that he left cannot be filled overnight. Despite the many challenges, we have made strides, however little they may be. We have managed to stay afloat and the change that has occurred is attributed to resilience, patience and focus on a mindset change, to enable us embrace transition, bearing in mind the fact that change and adaptation to new realities is difficult for many people. At this point, we are hopeful that with the stabilization period nearing an end, we should be able to kick-off and act. When I came in, my anticipation was that it would take me two to three years to create this kind of stability, but coming to the end of the second year, I am confident that we are on the right track.
The 2018 FJS Anniversary
In this year’s Anniversary, we have introduced two very important aspects. One is largely memorial in the sense that we need to remember Fr. John by way of a Pilgrimage, starting from his resting place at St. James Catholic Parish Bbiina to Uganda Martyrs Catholic Shrine Namugongo. We therefore call upon and welcome stake holders, Christians, friends and others to join us in the pilgrimage walk to Namugongo, which shall be crowned with a memorial Mass starting at 11:30 am. On the other hand, there are two major projects that were started by Fr. John but were not completed. These would have been the zenith of the Philanthropist’s Vision towards Education and these are the vocational school and accommodation/orphanage for the Girl child. The vocational school project is massive and we are working with our partners to rejuvenate it. This year’s anniversary comes along with a special appeal to mobilize resources that will enable us build the Scalabrini Girls hostel/Orphanage, to safeguard especially our needy school going girls and avail to them the opportunity to be on the same footing with the boys who already have a place to stay at St. Leonard and Stephen Boys Hostel/Orphanage – Luzira. So the Commemoration of the 2018 Anniversary gives us a good opportunity to mobilize the required resources to that effect; a project that is worth approximately 2 billion Uganda shillings (€ 456,238).
The near future
I anticipate growth for Emmaus Foundation. My desire is to see EF grow to a level where it is sufficiently self-sustaining, from within its available projects and activities and be able to operate efficiently and reserve some of the revenues raised, to enable us to Carry-On with the Vision of the founder and with that I would have set the train in motion.