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Good Samaritan Sisters provide hope, help and friendly services to Uganda's elderly and poor

African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC)

ASEC staff meet with Good Samaritan Sisters at the Mapeera Bakateyamba Home for the Elderly & Sick and St. Francis Clinic during a site visit (June, 2019).

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At Mapeera Bakateyamba Home in Uganda, Good Samaritan Sisters serve the elderly, poor, destitute, disabled and neglected people of God without discrimination.

Mapeera Bakateyamba Home for the Elderly & Sick

Mapeera Bakateyamba Home in Kampala, Uganda is run by the Good Samaritan Sisters (GSS) of Nalukolongo. The home’s mission is to be the leading provider for hope, help and friendly services to the elderly, poor, destitute, disabled and neglected people of God without discrimination, following the example of the Good Samaritan. The home has 65 residents and 13 staff. 

Mapeera residents are from Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. While the home was intended to sustain 100 patients, due to financial constraints the home has not been expanded to meet this capacity. Currently, the home has 65 residents and 13 staff. 

Three alumnae of ASEC's Sisters Leadership Development Initiative (SLDI) program currently serve at the home. SLDI provides sisters with technology, administration and finance training through one month workshops over three years. Through SLDI, sisters gain the practical skills and confidence to build strong networks and take up leadership roles in their congregations and communities.

The ASEC alumnae that serve at Mapeera home are no exception.

Our staff were able to meet with Sr. Lawerence Nakiwu Nakyeyune Regina, GSS (Sr. Regina) and Sr. Elizabeth Namagama, GSS (Sr. Betty) during a site visit in June, 2019. Sr. Regina is the Administrator of Mapeera Home and studied project management in ASEC's SLDI program. Sr. Betty runs the St. Francis Clinic, which serves the residents of the home as well as the local community. 

Many of the Good Shepherd Sisters live in Mapeera home with patients in order to provide them with the round-the-clock care they need during the day and night. In fact, aspirant Good Shepherd Sisters learn basic first aid training and are required to work in the home for their first year. An aspirant is someone who is living for a while with a community to see if she feels attracted to religious life and comfortable with a community and for the community to gauge her as well. Some places call it a “pre-postulancy.”

Sisters also return to serve in the home just prior to professing their final, or perpetual, vows. The Good Shepherd Sisters believe this is a way for a sister to learn humility and the true value of service. Serving in this way enhances their understanding of their lives and charism as women religious.

Residents of Mapeera Home are usually referred by family members or concerned members of the community. When the sisters receive a referral, they travel to the individual's home to inspect their living conditions. If the person meets criteria for admission, they come to live at the home. 

But, the sisters don't intend for all residents to stay in the home forever. If a patient can be rehabilitated, the sisters will provide the needed services and then the patient can go back home. The sisters keep the patient's family members engaged in their recovery in order to make the patient's process of returning home run smoothly.

In addition to the other service they provide, the sisters are trying to implement physical therapy services at the home. However, hiring a professional physical therapist is very costly. They have turned a nearby garage into a physical therapy suite, but currently can only afford to pay a professional physical therapist to come to the home on Friday afternoons. The physical therapist also holds training sessions for the sisters so they can learn some physical therapy skills to help their patients throughout the week. 

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A Good Samaritan Sister walks with an elderly resident of Mapeera Home.

A Good Samaritan Sister walks with an elderly resident of Mapeera Home.

St. Francis Clinic

Sr. Betty is the Director of the St. Francis Clinic, which is located in the same compound and provides treatment to those living in the home and to those in the community. She also serves as a clinical officer, nurse, midwife and part-time laboratory technician. Sr. Betty attributes a great part of her success running St. Francis Clinic to the skills she learned in ASEC’s SLDI program.

The clinic saves the home from having to spend money on outside medical care. In addition, the patients at the home can be treated by medical personnel right on the property.

Residents of Mapeera home greet ASEC staff during their visit (June, 2019).

Residents of Mapeera home greet ASEC staff during their visit (June, 2019).

Generating income to pay for the home's expenses

The sisters have a small nearby farm that helps the home to be self-sustainable. Their farm includes banana crops, pigs, etc. that the sisters use to generate income and support the needs of the home and its residents.

The sisters also have a donor-base to support the home. One donor is from Italy and there are also many local organizations that donate to the home. The names of several donors are displayed on plaques on the doors of patients rooms and offices. 

However, these donations are not enough. The home is still lacking in adequate space to serve more people. They are also in need of appropriate beds, transportation for the residents (including the necessity of an ambulance), physical therapy equipment and a dairy cow to provide milk.

Home administrators have plans in place to meet these needs. And with several sisters on the compound educated through ASEC's programs, we're confident they'll be able to come up with innovative and effective solutions to serve those in need.

ASEC staff receive a tour of the Good Samaritan Sisters compound, including the elderly home and the clinic, during their site visit (June, 2019).

ASEC staff receive a tour of the Good Samaritan Sisters compound, including the elderly home and the clinic, during their site visit (June, 2019).

Providing an education to sisters who serve the elderly

Sisters across Africa are serving the elderly, poor, destitute, disabled and neglected people of God without discrimination. By donating to the education of a sister, you are giving them the tools to succeed in their ministry work. Make a donation to ASEC today.

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This article is addressing the following UN Sustainable Development Goal(s):

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages Reduce inequality within and among countries

Sr. Lawerence (Regina) Nakiwu Nakyeyune
Profiled in article
SLDI Alumna (2009) - Uganda  

Sr. Elizabeth (Betty) Namagama, GSS
Profiled in article - Uganda  

Amy Fedele

Amy Fedele
Author
Media & Communications Manager  

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