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Faduma wanders with her basket through the morning crowds of the Somali quarter in Kampala. Every day, she gets up before sunrise to prepare anjero, the traditional flatbread that Somalis eat for breakfast. By selling bread, she tries to provide for her three children. For five years she has been living in “Little Mogadishu,” a slum in Kampala. Most Somalis who fled the civil war in Somalia and came to Uganda, are here. Faduma is a single mother. She has hardly any education, and does not speak any English, which is the official language in Uganda, and thus cannot find work.
An estimated 12 percent of Kampala’s 1.7 million inhabitants are Muslims. Some belong to native Muslim ethnic groups or have come from the Arab world and established themselves as successful businesspeople. In quite a different part of the city live about 20,000 Somali refugees, who have mostly settled in “Little Mogadishu”. Without schooling or vocational training, they have few opportunities to improve their lives and are often feared or shunned by their host country.
A team of Ugandan Christians has begun to address the plight of Muslims in the Somali part of the city. They want to help young Somalis in particular, offering English lessons, computer courses, or football training. At the same time, they are trying to build a bridge between Ugandan Christians and Somalis, who are almost entirely Muslim. They encourage and train Christians to get involved with the people in the Somali neighbourhoods, praying for them and sharing the love of Jesus.
How to Pray
- Pray that many Ugandan Christians will be a witness of God’s love to the Somali Muslims in their city. (Colossians 4:2-6)
- Pray that many Somalis who are mired in the hopelessness of refugee life, encounter loving support and practical help from Christians. (Psalm 40:9-10)
- Pray that Somalis might have life- changing encounters with Jesus that they can share with their networks back in Somalia. (2 Corinthians 9:11- 14)