Health: Namutumba Clinic
There is no health clinic in Namutumba, which means that for all medical issues--from allergic reactions or bacterial infections to permanent disabilities or pregnancy and birth--residents are often forced to go without care. Ezra Uganda hopes to build a village health facility and to supply it with funding for supplies and nursing staff.
Jewish Life: Synagogue Grounds
With Ezra Uganda's help, the Namutumba Synagogue provides Shabbat and holiday meals to the community. The synagogue also hosts Torah studies, Passover seders, and serves as a central gathering place. On these occasions, there is often too little comfortable space to go around; the sun is very hot without shade, and the grounds do not fit everyone. The community seeks to buy the land next to the synagogue, clear it of debris and dead plants, and plant trees for shade and a community garden to grow shared crops. Chairs and mobile tents are also needed to give worshippers a place to gather and eat after synagogue prayers.
Infrastructure: Village Wi-Fi
Most residents of Namutumba have no way to access the internet. There is no wi-fi, and few in the community are able to afford phones, making information and news difficult to access. Ezra Uganda Assistance hopes to partner with organizations working to provide internet access to rural villages around the world and extend the project to the Abayudaya of Namutumba.
Infrastructure: Modern Plumbing & Clean Water
The village of Namutumba has no running water and lacks modern plumbing. This can contribute greatly to the proliferation of disease. The community needs a new borehole to be drilled near the synagogue to allow for more central access to clean water, and for the eventual construction of underground plumbing pipes in the vicinity.
Ezra Uganda Assistance successfully vaccinated the entire village of Namutumba against COVID-19 and administered booster shots. But there are other diseases--such as typhus, yellow fever, and typhoid--that still plague the community. We hope to be able to vaccinate the whole village against these diseases as well.
Jewish Life: Supplies for Jewish Observance
The Namutumba synagogue has few prayer-books and chumashim (bible text and translation) and even fewer tallitot (prayer shawls) and tefillin (phylacteries). The community is always in need of these and other supplies for Jewish ritual observance, such as chanukiot (eight-branch candelabras for Channukah), mezuzot (sacred door markers), and Hebrew learning books. Ezra Uganda plans to collect and transport these items to Uganda.
Jewish Life: Jewish Cemetery
Jewish law requires that Jews bury their dead in Jewish cemeteries, away from residential areas. The Jewish community of Namutumba has no cemetery, so members are responsible for finding and purchasing the plots of land necessary for burying their deceased. Plots are expensive and difficult to come by, so the bereaved must often take what they can get and perform burials themselves, which forces them to flout Jewish custom. Ezra Uganda hopes to fund and build a fenced Jewish cemetery where the Abayudaya of Namutumba can bury those who pass on in a safe, kosher manner.
Infrastructure: Solar Power for Family Homes
Ezra Uganda Assistance has provided solar panels for the community school, the synagogue, and many family homes in Namutumba. As the community grows, more makeshift homes are built--all without electricity. Ezra Uganda hopes to provide solar panels to the rest of the Jewish homes in the village, allowing them access to electricity.
Education: Schooling for All
Ezra Uganda Assistance has helped to build the Tikkun Olam School in Namutumba, funded much of the training of the village rabbi, and begun funding the medical education of a local young lady who will one day be the village nurse. But there is still more to do: all of the village children need supplies and learning materials, and there are quite a few adults still struggling with illiteracy. We hope to raise enough funds to provide all of Namutumba's Jewish children a Jewish and a secular education; to eliminate illiteracy in the community; to allow the rabbi--and a local cantor--to obtain official ordination; and to sponsor the rest of the nursing student's studies.
Jewish Life: Synagogue A/V
As the Jewish community of Namutumba grows, so do the needs of its synagogue. Ezra Uganda hopes to provide audio-visual equipment to the synagogue in order to allow the growing number of worshippers to hear and follow along in services.
Jewish Life: Jewish Youth Camp
When school is out, Namutumba children have little to bring them together and allow them to socialize safely. The community seeks to found a Jewish summer camp on the synagogue grounds that will draw Jewish youth from all over the country. Ezra Uganda hopes to help build facilities and fund the necessary supplies and staff.
Infrastructure: Oxen & Plows
Ezra Uganda Assistance has provided 10 pairs of oxen and plows to the community, allowing members to farm more effectively. These oxen and plows are shared between more than a hundred families, and more are needed to help the village sustain itself.