Luanda, 11 June 2003
Dear URI family,
The CC Comfort Luanda wishes to thank the entire URI family for the support and prayers.
The CC Comfort has been developing its activities as planned as we are approaching the end of our trimester plan we have already established our plan for the next six months.
The end of the war opens a new chapter in Angola with the Angolans holding hands moving toward the fulfillment and achievement of the development goals.
The new situation of peace, the country has a very big advantage of rising. What is needed is a very good and open society and good management to clearly define priorities to enable good progress towards the achievement of development goals over the next few years.
The progress of Angola requires the total inclusion of all Angolans, irrespective of their ethnic or political affiliation and without any kind of discrimination.
In this respect, it is critically important for the CC Comfort to participate in the build up of new mentality, vision among the Angolan society and spread the word of unity, tolerance, help the society to understand how a perfect chord is made.
Tackling the challenges of promoting unity its started among the CC Comfort members by organizing Fire Sides on monthly basis, the objective is to get to know each other, understand and build a togetherness spirit among the members.
Despite the difficulties encountered during the first trimester we can say that most of our objectives has been achieved we have full involvement and commitment of the members in our activities.
The visit to the Leprosy Center on 27th April and 25th May 2003 has turned to be a very good therapy to the members and has given us another gear in our activities.
The poverty resulting from the very limited access of the basic needs and the dependence of this suffering people has made the CC Comfort decides to associate with this group and offer comfort and any items we can afford.
We are very glad to share the happiness of this people of the Center as they receive the items they have requested during our first visit. Among the items were, radios, jerry cans, blankets, second hand clothes, shoes, mosquito nets, handbags, trunks, suit cases, cooking pots, plates, cups cutlery beside other items the children were offered soft drinks and cakes.
25th May 2003 turned to be a very happy day for us because we did accomplish what the Leprosy had requested and all requests were fully satisfied. The items offered were estimated in $1800.00 all contributed by the members.
Our next challenge is to offer one day meal for 153 persons that will include meat, fish, rice, cooking oil, sugar, beans and vegetables. It is a very challenging project and ambitious but with the Grace of God we trust that we will achieve it.
We are also seeking the opportunity to look deeply into the youth people at the Leprosy Center on how better we can deal with them, their parents are the one suffering from this disease and we have to help them to avoid the combination of depression and frustration in future by seeing their parents or relative in this health condition. Their prospects are so poor and their aspirations undermined. The contrasts feed the sense of frustration. If an opportunity arises we would send some members for counseling and education with Christian background.
As outlined in our main objective plan, the CC Comfort will focus also on sick people and we are looking into people with HIV/AIDS. Despite the enormity of the challenge we have minimal budgetary resources but the CC Comfort will also participate in the fight to roll back the spread of this devastating disease by counseling and disseminating information on HIV/AIDS and education programs to promote safe practices that prevent infection.
Special attention should be given to HIV/AIDS as it threatens to undermine prospects of economic and social development particularly in Africa. We are ready to raise our voices to help reduce the low levels of awareness. A huge amount remains to be done in terms of knowledge and counseling.
We would also give special attention on women undergoing domestic violence. In Angolan society wife beating is accepted as a legitimate means of imposing discipline. It is difficult for women to pursue legal action against the perpetrators of violence both because of the weakness of the legal system and the strong cultural, family and psychological pressures on women not to take such action.
Since the formation of CC Comfort the picture is getting much brighter and this makes everyone feels like striking to spread the message about URI.
The learning process has enlighten us and we are helping other people to understand the need of getting together and reaching out to help each other.
Anita is one of the biggest examples of the Leprosy Center, she has no hands she lost her feet's but she is the one doing her cooking by directing her grandson how to cook and take care of her small room with a very limited space.
It is also important to stress that Anita is one the leprosy sick that has contributed most to the CC members to decide to associate with the Leprosy. Although she is at a terminal stage she has a strong faith and looking ahead on what the future might bring to her deteriorating health.
Our main requirement is to build a solid understanding on what URI activities and involvement around the globe are, leadership training exchange of experience with the earlier formed CCs, office space. All our meetings are being held at member's houses as the number is growing we definitely need an office to operate.
All needs faced by CC Comfort are accommodated by the members, transportation, meeting place, all our projects requires funding whenever a need arises the members contribute by bringing what is needed.
As we returned from the Leprosy Center on 25th May 2003 we had the great opportunity of meeting Mr. Godwin Hlatshwayo, the URI Africa Coordinator, we had shared with him some of our few experiences and our challenges for the coming period, our dreams to see the URI blooming here in Angola and helping others. Mr. Hlatshwayo promised to bring it to the Africa trustees for possible funding this year budget.
Thank you all once again for your prayers and moral support.
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