SPACID – Letters from Fr. Jo

Fr. Jo Kizito, Christmas Mass 2009 at Kyangwali Refugee Settlement, Uganda
Fr. Jo saying Christmas Mass, 2009 at Kyangwali Settlement, Uganda

Letters and photographs from Fr. Jo help us to understand the plight of refugees in Uganda.



Fr Jo Kizito wrote a letter to the Parish for Easter but due to postal delays it has not arrived yet; however, as the camp’s electricity supply has just been restored after several weeks, he was able to send an email message which arrived on Maundy Thursday.

“Thank you a million times for keeping me close to your thoughts and prayers- what a gift a virtue only given by the Holy Spirit. The news (an Easter greeting emailed from Kettering) is quite inspiring and nostalgically takes me back to the beautiful memories of St Edwards Parish community where due to the present structure, I may not be able to access. God knows. Thank You”

Up to 9th April Covid-19 had not entered his Kyangwali Refugee Camp, which is now home to 120655 refugees (it housed 38136,in 2015), from such places as Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and the Sudan. As the practice is to provide each arriving family with a plot of land and materials to build a basic shelter, there may not be the dangerous overcrowding which some refugee camps have to cope with. The whole settlement covers 38 square miles. In normal times there are 32 humanitarian organisations working in the camp, all supervised by UNHCR, but at this time of crisis many have evacuated from the Camp, putting more strain on Fr Jo’s “St Patrick’s Spacid Organisation”, which has responsibility for the  “Integral Development of Refugees which incorporates Spiritual Animation”

Fr Jo writes  “As you may imagine, today, without the approved medical cure of the Pandemic Virus, everyone looks for God’s intervention. Here Fr Jo looks like the solution. Everyone is looking at me. It is the most challenging situation that I have ever faced in this type of Postolate.”

As in the whole of Uganda all of the seven Chapels of Fr Jo’s Mission have been closed. He is having to say Mass in a small room with only one other person, the project coordinator able to attend.

Footnote   Recently we experienced a hiccup in forwarding, in a secure way, money to Fr Jo, but, that problem has been resolved now, so, once things return to normal, the parish will be able to transfer donations to him again.



Dear Canon John and my dear Parishioners,
Thanks for your kind message of great concern about me and my work. Yes, things have not been easy for us in the last many months of the year. In March 2014 a big number of our refugees from the D.R.Congo drowned in Lake Albert while on transit for safety to our Settlement, They were 254 people who died and only 95 bodies out of that were retrieved. It was a big shock and challenge to us in Kyangwali Refugee settlement…We suffered this blow for quite a long time. In May I was appointed with a team of NGOs officers to South Sudan, the youngest country to try and find out a reconciliatory system between the fighting forces. The new country South Sudan still burns of civil war. Thousands are killed others take refuge on our side. The results of our mission are minimal leaving everything back to God.. Finally, EBOLA Came in as a new unwanted visitor from the neighboring Congo , we have no medicine at all. I am still safe but not allowed to move much for the safety reasons. Where I am at the moment another, previously unknown disease called MABURG, similar to Ebola..Quite a few people are dying. But I am careful especially when it comes to the Sacraments of the Sick and burial services!!..Rains are too much. Everywhere are floods. Food is quite scarce and of course medical care. I depend on God’s help as usual. But thanks for your kindness and prayers. The money you send me towards the end of last year £ 1,000- helped us a lot in this difficult situation. Meanwhile I am blessed to have a short jump to Kampala for a meeting. So I am able to access to the computer at my sisters, house. They have electricity sometimes. Incidentally, it was only yesterday I received a letter of Oct.14th 2014 from my brother Canon John was so glad and relieved to hear about St.Edward’s community, I am preparing to reply Would you kindly extend our greetings to all the friends at St.Edwards…God willing, I will have another visit next Summer 2015..this year God hasn’t wanted it. Bye bye, Fr.Jo.

Footnote from Parish Office
The refugee camp has no reliable communications with the rest of Uganda, let alone the rest of the world, so it can be months on end without us getting any news to or from Fr Jo. Please do, however keep him and his work in your prayers; and let us hope that he can get here next summer for a well deserved and much needed rest.


Fr. Jo inspecting some of the refugees waiting to be relocated
Fr. Jo welcoming refugees, mainly youth and children, to Kyangwali settlement
Fr. Jo inspecting ration cards
Fr. Jo sharing a light moment with a new refugee family


In 2012-13 St. Edward’s Parish raised funds to help Fr. Jo supply the Kyangwali Secondary School with solar panels and a couple of computers. Until then there had been no computers at the refugee settlement. This provided students in the camp the first opportunity they have had to learn computer skills necessary to succeed in the 21st century. In September 2013, Fr. Jo blessed the solar power system and computers and sent us photographs of the system in operation.

Letter: September 2013


Letter from Fr. Jo Epiphany 2012


Fr. Joe gives a word of comfort to a small group of the Ugandan landslide survivors
Fr. Jo gives a word of comfort to a small group of the Ugandan landslide survivors

Fr. Jo was appointed to a relief and rescue committee in Uganda after disastrous mud landslides in March 2010 had killed hundreds of people and left over 30,000 people homeless. His June 2010 letter describes how St. Edward’s donations have helped at this time.

Letter: 18th June 2010


Fr. Jo goes around to welcome the new refugee arrivals from DRCongo to the reception centre
Fr. Jo welcomes the new refugee arrivals from DRCongo to the reception centre


For enquiries please contact the Parish Office or Fr. Gregory directly by phone 01536 512497 or email:

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