Subject: Strong African Women

Each visit to Uganda is unique and enriching. The theme for this one appeared to be Strong African Women.

Strong African Women

Dear Friend,

My time in Uganda began and ended with experiences highlighting the vital role of the Strong African Woman.

On my first full day in Lukaya, a dear friend, agemate, and fellow member of the Tree of Life Ministries board of directors died suddenly at her home.

Alice Kytayimbwa (top left) had raised many children, grandchildren, grandnieces, and nephews. She also had been a primary school teacher and a town council member.

Her wealth was in the lives she touched. Poor as she was, she walked with the confidence of a woman with a purpose – serving others. More than a thousand people attended Alice's funeral – a testimony to her life of service.

I recognized some of the grief-stricken children at the funeral. One granddaughter I talked with is now studying to become a public health professional. She graduated from Mustard Seed in 2019. Two others are still Mustard Seed students.

On our last night in Uganda, while having dinner, a young woman knelt by my seat and asked, "Are you Jjajja Elaine?" What a surprise to see one of our former Mustard Seed students at a Marriott Hotel in Kampala! She told me her name, and I remembered her story. Her father was unknown, and her mother left her with a distant relative who enrolled her in Mustard Seed.

The relative has cared for many orphans and abandoned children. Without this caring, strong African woman, Mustard Seed Academy, and your support, Linda would have had no future. Today, she is a university student and told me she is the best in her class. She proudly tells her professors that she studied at Mustard Seed in Lukaya.

Latest from Lukaya

Mustard Seed celebrated International Women's Day with songs, speeches, dancing, cake cutting, tree planting, debates, and sports competitions. Diane Falk and I were invited to join other Mustard Seed women in cutting the cake (above), dancing, and tree planting.

Mustard Seed's first Senior-6 class (British system). No longer children, these students set a high bar for the rest of the Secondary School – in dress, behavior, and leadership, as well as socially, spiritually, and academically.

Norah (above, left) began her work as Senior Woman at Mustard Seed in 2020 - when the pandemic closed down the schools in Uganda. She visited many homes and helped students remain attached to the school and its care during those two years – a Strong African Woman indeed.

Ddungu Peter, an experienced headteacher, came to Mustard Seed Secondary School in January. He quickly formed good relationships with staff and students. The two administrators are pictured at a staff appreciation party we held at a new hotel in Lukaya.

Brenda was a top-performing member of Mustard Seed's Pioneer Class, and with only an elderly grandmother as family, she needed full-time care at school. She recently completed her undergraduate studies in social work and has been hired as the school social worker at Mustard Seed! Brenda is another Strong African Woman! She is so grateful to Real Partners Uganda, Mustard Seed, and her sponsor, Diane Falk.


Milk from our small dairy project is enjoyed in the school porridge and tea. Soon, fish (grown in tanks - see photo below) will also be ready for student consumption and for sale. Mustard Seed grad, Kateera Rogers, is explaining the fish farming setup to Diane Falk in the second pic below. The enterprises provide great opportunities for hands-on learning, which is essential in the new Ugandan curriculum.

What's Up?

Three large classrooms/workshops/labs are under construction. The structure was designed in line with the new Ugandan secondary school curriculum. One will be for arts & design, one for foods & nutrition, and one will be a lab for physics, mechanics, and computers. Each of these areas, plus integrated agriculture, will be included on the government exams starting next year.

Generous grants from the Rosalie J. Coe Weir Foundation made this exciting development possible.

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

Food tastes better in such nice surroundings!

High Mountain Presbyterian Church, Franklin Lakes, NJ, made the construction of the lovely dining pavilion possible. Thank you!

Your support made it possible for Mustard Seed students to return to school with all of the needed programs and staff in place. What's more, the campus looks green and welcoming; health care is given a high priority, and good nutritious food is served to all. On top of that, there are clubs, sports, music, dance, drama, and fun! Kids get to be kids! Thank you!

Professional chess trainers came to Mustard Seed for a weekend workshop. Chess club members eagerly participated in anticipation of the next big tournament. Big thanks to Dana and Kathryn Hiscock.

Students appreciate the improved library. More books and media are being added every week. Great thanks to Tutta Heiliger for memorializing her late husband, Hanns Gunther Heiliger, with support for the library!

Just for fun– did you know?

Last month our question was about how a very young man could be the father to a teenager. In fact, brothers of a father are not usually called uncles but fathers. Thus, it's possible to have a 'father' who is younger than the 'son.'

Here's a new one:  Ugandans love acronyms. Do you know what OBs and OGs are? And how about 'the DH'? Reply to this email, and submit your answer or a comment. 

Please ask questions or give us suggestions. We love to hear from you!

How are you doing?

Do you have questions about RPU or Mustard Seed?

Do you have ideas to share that might change more lives?

With all my best,


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