His flock is numerous and widespread. The distance complicates his work at the best of times.
But this was not the best of times.
Lockdown forced families to separate and churches to close. Communication suffered and silence grew. Everyone became distant and sad.
Then COVID started affecting his flock.
But he was not powerless. He knew he could use his ministry to make the disease tangible and prevent deaths.
“I was looking forward to a moment when we could intervene and see how we could create awareness about the disease.”
A preacher and teacher in the Nebbi district of Uganda, he is passionate about education and encouragement. This man of faith – in God as well as man – counsels and inspires both young and old alike.
He took on the task of beating the drum. Here was his chance to preach a new message, one of hygiene and water.
“I could guide my flock and network with the parties involved in prevention. I felt that I was able to reach out to them.”
Some 17,000 worshippers spread over 51 communities had to be convinced that this disease kills.
The church radio station was an obvious choice to get the message to far-flung groups. He invited experts to answer questions, dispelling fear and misinformation.
His outreach worked. And one of many lessons everyone learned was an important reminder: that maintaining water sources prevents disease and deaths.
is a religious leader in the Church of Uganda in West Nile where he serves a large community of worshippers. His dedication to educate and teach his parishioners has lasting results. And his determination to touch even the farthest reaches of his flock has made all the difference.
Of the 933 water points in Nebbi district, 196 are non-active or abandoned. The main reason is lack of maintenance.
Support organisations helped to build washing facilities and deal with wastewater, locally known as tippy taps. Based on dialogues with the various communities, 2,315 tippy taps were built in 51 villages across Charles’s region.
Radio Maria, the broadcaster Charles used to disseminate information to the community, currently has 77 radio stations across five continents with 500 million listeners worldwide. In Nebbi district, where Charles lives, there are more than 86,550 listeners.