The Catholic Workers’ Movement (CWM) in Uganda was introduced in 1995 through the initiative of the Late Bishop Adrian Ddungu (RIP), the Late Werner Reiter (RIP) and his wife Agnes Reiter. Today, it brings together twelve (12) affiliated Movements found in the twelve Dioceses of Uganda. That is Masaka, Kampala, Kiyinda-Mityana, Jinja, Gulu, Hoima, Fort portal, Kasese, Kasana-Luweero, Arua, Kabale and Tororo, with a membership of about 5,638 members. Catholic Workers’ Movement is a movement of formation through action.
The organization promotes the interests of workers, whether formal or informal. The overall objective is “to create solidarity and encourage the members to take an active part in the commitment to social change.” That is, a comprehensive education, one aimed at commitment, concerning all aspects of life. To reach this goal, the movement applies the «-see-judge-act method», also called the «Review of life».
Therefore, since the most effective route out of poverty is the promotion of decent work and support for adequate social protection, CWM mission has been to promote human work as the most essential key to the whole social question.
The Youth desk
The youth in Catholic Workers Movement (CWM) form the youth desk or seedbed. The Youth desk is dedicated to promoting and improving the health, education, human welfare, and opportunities for Youths, Families and Communities.
What Opportunities are available
Investing in today’s youth is necessary in growing the body of Christ. Teaching young people in the church to grow in their relationship with the Lord prepares them to serve Christ in all they do.
This we do by using the example in the Bible of Jesus the worker, through actions. We also encourage all the members to be active in Church and to practice their spirituality daily. We hold annual retreats or days of recollections, which help us to reflect and get solutions from the Bible and from the encyclicals.
Meeting New People and friends
Youths who join CWM get the opportunity of meeting others from the different parishes countrywide and globally. It’s a chance of getting together and sharing. CWM conducts a number of exchange programs at all levels of the church. Recently, the youth at Mbuya, Uganda, hosted the Young Catholic Adults from Kisumu, Kenya.
Learn New Skills
CWM youth desk tries as much as possible to help its members better equip themselves for adult life. We teach our youth as many new skills and nuggets of knowledge as possible. These are usually skills that can be put to good use in various areas of life. For instance, through our Catering Unit in Mbuya, youth are taught how to cook and also prepare certain recipes. Many of our youth at Mbuya also get the chance to acquire skills in tailoring, drama etc. Besides, they are equipped with organization skills, the ability to run meetings, and experience working with a variety of people.
Be Part of a Team
Joining CWM gives one the chance to be part of a team and provides youth with a sense of community and belonging. CWM youth desk runs different team games and events which provides members a chance to hone their teamwork skills.
It’s a great chance to mingle and learn from each other their own set of skills and knowledge that can be put to good use to help the team succeed. This eventually helps boost their self-confidence.
Discover New Places
CWM youth desk regularly organizes trips for their members. This is a great opportunity for our teens to explore new places. Through the exchange programs too, our youth visit different parishes and Archdioceses and travel to other countries where the movement is present.
In June this year, the CWM youth desk of Mbuya will make a return visit to the Young Catholic Adults in Kisumu. Travelling gives the youth exposure and opens up their minds as they appreciate different cultures and beliefs.
Leadership training opportunities
CWM offers opportunities for leadership training to the young. CWM incorporates activities that allow teens to shine and lead from their strengths while nurturing their weaker areas. This kind of challenge and support allows teens to feel more equipped for life. Youth learn how to resolve conflicts, and most importantly, that a leader works twice as hard as the people they lead. These youth eventually carry these lessons with them into every aspect of their lives. The experience of being trusted to lead at a young age gives them the tools they need to enter adulthood with confidence.
Personal Finance and investment
The youth who join CWM also have the opportunity of gaining life skills in personal finance and investment. Through the Savings Loans Association, youth are encouraged to save in groups for a period of time after which they can invest their savings at the end of the cycle. A number of trainings are also conducted through different forums at meetings and trainings at the Archdiocese. CWM also partners with Centenary Bank, to conduct trainings on savings and investment.
CWM members, especially, those who go through our training programs also stand a chance of being retained or employed in some of our projects. Many of our youth are employed in the catering unit, Canteens in the schools, tailoring, farming or any other project a given group runs. This enables them earn some little money to survive and take care of some of their needs. We have had youths being able to sponsor themselves back to school from the earnings.
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