Members of Montini Catholic's Peer Ministry Team, under the direction of advisor, Mrs. Katie Miller, hosted a dress down day on Thursday, January 30th to raise funds and awareness for Note Karacel Uganda. Noté Karacel Uganda, which means “Unite Together”, is a non-profit organization that provides support to the community of Alenga located in northern Uganda. They unite as friends, family and kindred spirits to stand in solidarity with the community of Alenga. They use funding and direct support to provide an opportunity for better lives through education, water security, health care and food security.
The organization was started by women in the Chicagoland area. "One of the founders and board members is Lori Dressel," explained Mrs. Miller. "She helps to run Lasalle Manor & Retreat Center and is a dedicated Lasallian." Montini Catholic has a long-standing relationship with Lasalle Manor (Plano, IL) - they host Montini's Kairos and Junior Retreats throughout the year. Note Karacel board member, Dr. Christie Billups, is also Lasallian, and is a professor at Lewis University.
"The other board members include Trish Ajamie and Pat McDonnell who are wonderful women and educators who have helped this organization grow," said Miller. " I have known these women since I was in high school, they are all family friends of mine, and have worked personally with the organization since then!"
At the end of February, Lori and Bob Dressel, President of La Salle Manor Retreat Center, are travelling to Alenga to visit the village and Fr. Stan (the Catholic priest and liaison between the organization and the people of the community). "They asked Montini Catholic, St. Francis High School and De La Salle High School to host fundraisers so they could bring additional supplies to the village," said Miller. "We thought Catholic Schools Week was the perfect time for this project!"
Montini Catholic Peer Ministry students earned over $1,300 during their dress down day initiative. The money will be used to purchase school supplies, first aid items and soccer team jerseys (for a team of 11) to bring to the children of Alenga.
The people of Alenga herd cattle, fish, and do other trades to provide sustenance for their families. It is very remote with mud and thatched-roofed homes built in small clusters. There are no paved roads and few motorized vehicles or bicycles, so people walk great distances for basic necessities such as water, healthcare and education.
Despite the challenges of life in Alenga, the people there are generous of spirit and give of what they have to those they meet. Mrs. Wall and Montini Catholic's Peer Ministry students were honored to host efforts to help their brothers and sisters in Christ.
Monetary donations to purchase more supplies in Kampala, Uganda to bring to the rural area of Alenga are always welcome. The mission welcomes all who are inspired by their work to hold fundraisers, organize speaking engagements, or simply talk to their family and friends about the work they are doing in Alenga, Uganda. Periodic volunteer opportunities are available in Chicago to help with Noté Karacel organized fundraisers. Those interested are encouraged to visit their website at: notekaracel.org/.