It’s The People That You Meet In Your Neighbourhood
Since returning from my placement with VMM in Uganda in 2017, I have over the past two years had the opportunity to assist VMM with some Parish Appeals. Initially when asked, I must confess, I was somewhat reluctant; being a member of Church of England and having to attend and speak at Catholic Masses. My concerns, however, were very quickly dispelled with the welcomes I received in every Parish I visited. The ecumenical spirit of VMM, and its mission of ‘Working Together in a Divided World’ supports my belief that there are a great variety of ways to support overseas mission and development, and we can all play our own part; be it fundraising and prayer support here at home, or volunteering overseas.
In undertaking Parish Appeals, I have not only had the opportunity to visit different parishes, towns, villages and cities that I have not been to before, I have been enriched with a wide variety of worship styles and met some very interesting people along the way. Over these past years, I have been able to share my experience with many supporters and volunteers with different organisations and with many prospective volunteers. On one occasion I met up with a former student peer of our founder, Edwina Gateley. On another, I met with someone who had worked in the same town I had worked in in Uganda, and on several occasions met up with people who had come from various parts of my homeland in Northern Ireland. It’s amazing the people you meet in such situations.
Parish Appeals is a great way, not only to financially support the work of VMM, it is a great method of publishing our work and recruiting prospective supporters and volunteers. I would therefore, encourage all who feel able to help in this way, to make contact with the VMM office and offer their services in whatever way you can.
Volunteering is Contagious: Would You Like to Volunteer on Parish Appeals?
VM Cecil Johnston initially volunteered for six months in 2014 at Apoolo Na Angora (women’s development organisation) in Bukedea, East Uganda, as Operational & Management Advisor. He then spent two years, as a Development Officer working for St. Joseph’s Technical Institute, part of Uganda Martyrs University, Fort Portal Campus, before volunteering on VMM Parish Appeals upon his return home. Presently back in Uganda, he is finishing a short term project at KIDA (Kitojo Integrated Development Association), a Community Based Development Organisation, in a very rural area some 22 km south of Fort Portal.
Volunteering is contagious and Cecil and VMM would encourage you to volunteer on Parish Appeals. If you are interested, please email us at: g. You can also learn more about volunteering with us overseas and, of course, you can always help by donating to support VMM’s mission to serve the most vulnerable communities, by “working together in a divided world”.