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We had our last meeting of the summer on 15.7.19. and we were very fortunate to have several visitors. Our President Kathleen Wilson and Hannah AJA who is staying at St. Johns College with her father Bishop Francis Loyo of South Sudan.

Hannah is a very intelligent and articulate young lady aged 26, and speaks seven languages, and is a Mothers’ Union member, as was her mother who was also Diocesan President.

Hannah has been speaking to several schools in villages around Durham telling the young people of her project, which is providing re-useable Sanitary Towels for girls and women in South Sudan and Uganda. She has been doing this for six years successfully but with hardships, as she is providing funding herself through her salary as a Laboratory Technician in a hospital in Uganda. Hannah told us how she first saw an 8 year old girl sitting on a patch of soil with no pants on and unable to go to school because she was having her period, this made her very angry so she went to talk to her mother to see what was happening and what she could do, she had not started menstruating.

She went back to Uganda and was laying bricks to get money for University Fees where she got a degree in Public Health and while she was at university her parents helped provide a sewing machine and finance for material. She made20-25 Sanitary Towels a day and so far, 1500 girls have been helped, Hannah trains local women who then are able to train young girls to make Sanitary Towels for themselves. Hannah told me of the shock from young girls in County Durham, I suppose they are used to go to the shops or parents provide for them.

Bishop Francis Loyo and Hannah’s mum Mrs. Linda Loyo provided financial help for Hannah with this project while she was at university and sadly last year Hannah’s mum passed away, so that was how Hannah came to Durham as an escort for her father.

Kathleen Wilson presented a cheque to Hannah on behalf of the Diocese and after our meeting closed a cake and fellowship was shared with many members keen to talk to Hannah and a collection was taken with our ladies generously giving £220

Hello to All,
June Houghton, Provisional President , was Commissioned at York Minster on Tuesday 7th May 11am. Please remember June in your Prayers. Thankyou.
Take Care . Look after each other.
Kathleen. Diocesan President.

Hello to All,
Hope you had a happy Christmas with your families.
Good News: Lynne Tembey has been awarded The Cross of St. Augustine, from the Archbishop of Canterbury. In the New Years Honours, an OBE. for services to Mothers' Union and Families. I have sent congratulations and blessings to Lynne from Durham Diocese.
Take Care and a Happy and Healthy New Year to All.
God Bless.
Kathleen. Diocesan President.

Some of you may have heard about a relatively new project. Actually, it is an extension of our Prison work. Last year I received a telephone call from a NEPACS worker asking if we could provide items for mothers and new born babies. Trustees agreed to the purchase of the things asked for.

24 Nappies                                      3 dummies                                   3 feeding bottles

3 vests                                              3 sleepsuits                                  3 hats

20  Sanitary pads                            20 breast pads                             Baby wipes

3 pairs mittens                                Blanket/ snuggle robe

I use blankets and hats made by our members.

While babies are born in hospital they are unable to stay with their mothers in Low Newton.

I can’t pretend there is a lighter side to this but my following anecdote may raise a wry smile.

While shopping in Tesco for bottles (  I shop around for the best value items), I took the last pack of three from the shelf. I asked if there were any more available in the stockroom. Well ….. the assistant went to seek the manager, who in turn went to seek the key holder of the -------------- wait for it “the medicine stockroom” because baby bottles and dummies are classed as medicines! Oh! Yes, the key holder was on a break so could I wait? Obviously I did and proceeded to buy several items for myself which I didn’t really need. 

 All was not lost, as I wandered aimlessly around the store (probably looking like a non trustworthy loiterer), another manager came to speak to me. A conversation ensued, picture it I have a trolley full of the above items, the manager politely asked me if I was having multiple births , “No” I answer,  oh, is it for a baby shower is the next question “No “ I say again. There was the inevitable pause when I felt I was about to be hauled away to answer questions, I cautiously explained what I was doing – immediately she offered me £20.00 to use on further purchases. Mind you I had to return another day in order to pick it up. Smiles all round.

As I’ve said before, the people we help will never know us but we know that by our collective generosity we hold mother and baby in the palm of our hands for a few days; we allow NEPACS to give our packs to mums who have no means to get the things they need. In short we share God’s generosity to us to those in need.

                 Hope this gives you a warm glow and “thank you” for making it possible.

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