Jinja, Uganda: Peter Musoke, Life-Long Caretaker of the Home for the Destitute Dies. R.I.P.
The first to take an active interest in the destitute homeless living in the streets of Jinja, Uganda in the middle of last century was St Lise MSOLA.
After some time Brother Herman Wubbels MHM took over from her.
When all Asians were expelled from Uganda at the behest of dictator Idi Amin brother Herman secured a now abandoned Hindu temple in Jinja town as a temporary home for the destitute.
At the same time he actively sought funding for the construction of a more permanent shelter for Jinja’s most abandoned.
In due time a proper home for the destitute – capacity 10 persons – was built in Mpumudde, just outside Jinja, on land donated by the local town council and with generous funding from The Netherlands.
For a while brother Herman remained actively involved in the running of the home, taking particular care of begging/collecting food and other items from factories and generous benefactors in Jinja.
Admiring inhabitants of Jinja would comment: “We are so happy with the Home for the Destitute. There now is only one beggar left in the whole of Jinja town, and that is brother Herman”.
After the first caretaker, Peter Mabongo, died it was Peter Musoke came on the scene. He’d been handy man at Jinja College until then.
This takeover over proved providential.
Together with his wife Catherine and children he took up residence on the grounds of the Home for the Destitute. They were to be a hands-on caring couple.
In the absence of adequate government funding they did their utmost to keep the home afloat, raising pigs and chickens for sale, and cultivating an extensive garden.
With the support of the Jinja-Luanda Foundation I was able to secure funding for the building of a house that could be let and thus secure a steady additional income for the home.
Peter’s unassuming, generous care of the often abjectly destitute persons referred to the Home by local authorities made a huge impression on me during the five years I spent in Jinja at the start of this century. His life-long commitment – together with his wife Catherine – to people on the utmost periphery of society was nothing if not exemplary.
To me his death signifies the passing of a hidden saint.
Fons Eppink mhm