Ms. Gertrude Kabatalemwa Founder/President NEEPUganda
Gertrude Kabatalemwa labors for the kingdom of God in her native land of Uganda. The burden of her heart is for the good news of Jesus and His coming kingdom to become deeply rooted, firmly grounded, and abundantly fruitful in the lives of the people of Uganda. In the past, she has served her nation as secretary to the president. She most recently functions as Minister for the Development of Women.
As so much of the adult population of her nation has been decimated by an experimental AIDS vaccine, the most urgent need is the increasing numbers of children orphaned by AIDS roaming the streets. Grandmothers have been trying to raise these children with very little or no income to feed them. Gertrude has organized these grandmothers into a cottage industry to help raise a livelihood for them. The grandmothers are also teaching the children to carry on the skill and art of basket weaving. Gertrude’s tireless efforts include finding markets for these beautiful baskets of very high quality for the survival of these fragmented family units.
Gertrude had also taken in twenty-four of these orphans into her own village home, Three years after getting the grandmother basket-weavers established; she then turned her attention to the many orphans. Subsequently, she established an elementary school for now 600 of these and other needy children. This remarkable school in the poorest district in Uganda which is the third to the last poorest nation in Africa, has indeed gained the attention of the government as the students consistently place much higher than students in the government schools.
God’s favor has been upon Gertrude and all that she sets her hand to do. This is happening in a village without a fresh water supply or electric power. With the help of friends and sponsors, Gertrude has been able to slowly acquire land, parcel by parcel, from mostly cannibals, until there is now there is a 100 acre plot available for the school complex and the farm. The first wing of the new school building has been erected seemingly out of nowhere. Besides drilling for fresh water and recently surveying the land to receive electric power for the first time, the government has also donated thousands of pine trees to be planted in this higher elevation!
In the past several years, the primary school has now expanded to a secondary school as well. Gertrude also hopes to open a technical school eventually for other talented students in the near future. Her goal is to prepare and equip these young people with the skills necessary to be able to lead their nation with integrity and a moral Christian worldview.
Besides initiating and establishing her own micro-finance program for the basket-weavers and paper-bead makers afflicted with AIDS, she ministers to an unreached people-group of cattle-keepers near the Congo border as well, who had never heard the name of Jesus before. Gertrude also undergirds and encourages pastors in many very remote villages who have had little training and precious few resources available to them.