St. Vladimir’s Seminary announces its 2019 #GivingTuesday Partner

St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVOTS) is partnering with a recent graduate this Giving Tuesday to benefit Orthodox Christian faithful in Uganda. The Seminary will tithe 10% of the funds raised on Giving Tuesday, December 3, to its select non-profit partner for 2019: The Northern Uganda Self-Sufficiency Project.

The Seminary teams up with a non-profit each year during its #GivingTuesday campaign. Last year, SVOTS partnered with the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church Kerala Flood Relief Project.

This year’s partner, The Northern Uganda Self-Sufficiency Project, was initiated under His Eminence, Metropolitan Jonah of Kampala and All Uganda, and continues to grow under the leadership of His Grace, Bishop Silvester Kisitu of the Diocese of Gulu and Eastern Uganda. Priest Simon Menya, a native of Uganda who graduated from St. Vladimir’s Seminary in 2018, has been assisting His Grace and is working to help bring the Project’s goals to fruition.

Its plan was formed out of a desire to see a thriving Orthodox Christian community in Northern Uganda no longer dependent on financial assistance from the Orthodox Church of Greece (which slowed dramatically due to the financial crisis in Greece) and elsewhere. In that region of Uganda, which suffered from civil war for over twenty years until 2008, extreme poverty is widespread, and Orthodox priests must work multiple jobs to provide what little they can for their families and parishes. The Project aims to establish an Orthodox Church community in Northern Uganda that will become financially self-sufficient through a variety of initiatives and eventually support other Ugandan communities trying to do the same. Initiatives include acquiring land to support a church, school, agricultural program, and small businesses (40 hectares of land were recently acquired); establishing a health center; and implementing Orthodox youth and adult education programs.