About Our People - Who Are They?
Yes, Greg's my name; I'm 67 and live in Sydney, Australia. I'm married to Margaret, have two daughters (Kathryn & Penny) and have three grandkids (Riley 9, Isla 6 & Aston 6). I became a Christian at the age of 42 and love the Lord more and more each day!
So, how did I become involved in Kalyet Initiative? I first visited Uganda in 2006 when I came to assist another ministry (Wakisa Ministries) with a small group from my church. In 2010, I spent 9 months there and by the time I left, Uganda was my second home. In total, I've been to Uganda 7 times.
God has connected me with beautiful friends, many of them girls who have persevered through very tough circumstances and grown into amazing women. I have come to realise that in Uganda's patriarchal culture, girls & young women are incredibly undervalued; and I have seen some of them do amazing things when given opportunities.
I want to see girls in Bukwo reach and even exceed their current potential. But, not only in the measures that the world uses (money, position, career, status etc) but also by creating a kingdom community where they can flourish and become future kingdom leaders. Who knows how God will go on to use them to transform others!!
Will you join us on this adventure?
I am indeed fortunate to be a co-founder and Chair of Kalyet Initiative.
I grew up in a community where girls were discriminated against, neglected and valued only for their bride price. I knew the love of my mother, but not my father. He loved educating his children and was proud about that. I was therefore a huge disappointment to him when I became pregnant at age 12. He chased me away from home and literally disowned me. My mum had to hide me in Kampala and subsequently found out about Wakisa Ministries (a crisis pregnancy centre) through a friend.
Mrs Vivian Kityo, the Director of Wakisa Ministries, and her staff & volunteers, loved and cared for me and gave me shelter until I gave birth to my daughter, Vanessa. It was also at Wakisa on the 3rd September 2009, that I gave my life to Christ - God had shown me His fatherly love when I needed it most! Now, I was fully aware that I was indeed born for His good purposes and not a mistake, as my father had always described me.
They also organised sponsors for me so I could return to school, something that I never thought would happen. That sponsorship continued until I completed my Bachelor’s Degree in Micro-finance in 2015.
In 2015, I started mentoring and nurturing a group of seven girls in Bukwo, by teaching them the word of God and some basic life skills. Then in late 2017, I told Greg about the girls & he provided some funds for a Christmas party. Instead of spending the money on that, the girls hired some land and planted a crop of cabbages. With great and amazing results from this farming, the vision of an organisation such as Kalyet was born!
I was delighted to be a co-founder and Director of Kalyet Initiative when it was formed in May 2021. It was initially the dream of my wife, Winny, but now we share the same dream!
I grew up in very humble surroundings; my mum & dad were both farmers and I had two brothers & three sisters. My uncle enabled me to graduate from university, but unfortunately, my siblings weren't able to gain this level of education.
I have since worked for the Government of Uganda for over 5 years in the national statistics office as a statistician. I hold both a bachelor & a master degree in economics and statistics, plus postgraduate training in project planning and management.
I received Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior on 22nd of August, 2012. God then gave me a passion to shape the destinies of the younger generation by helping them to find their purpose in life. He has led me to be involved in school ministry, evangelism (door to door) and organised missions within Uganda, as well as many opportunities to learn from & experience leadership positions.
Amazingly, I come from far western Uganda (Banyakore-Bakiga) and Winny comes from far eastern Uganda (near the border of Kenya & Uganda) and we met at Kyambogo University. It was through such ministries and preaching the gospel together, that our relationship deepened and we married in 2019; we are now the proud parents of three children, Vanessa, Peter & Paul.
We are a fledgling organisation! However, we believe that God has brought us together to show the girls in Bukwo, what living in a kingdom community looks & feels like. We are excited to see what the future holds and we have already see the mighty hand of God working in our midst!
I come from a very humble background & I have five siblings. My dad was in jail for over 15 years, so it was definitely my mum who did all the work to raise us; making sure there was food on the table, a roof over our heads and school fees. It was very hard for her, but she never gave up.
Unfortunately, I got pregnant at 16 and dropped out of school. But like Winny, Wakisa Ministries (a crisis pregnancy centre) took me in and through Aunt Vivian and her staff, I realised that pregnancy didn't have to be a limitation to what I could be. In 2011, I gave birth to a beautiful boy (Solomon).
Three years later, through very wonderful people (Chelsea & Joanna), I received the opportunity to compete high school. Then, three years after that, Greg supported me through university, where I attained a degree in economics. I am the second last in my family and I was the first one to get a degree - that’s why I call myself blessed.
I accepted Jesus as my Lord and saviour in 2017 because I had witnessed His hand at work and I have continued to see the wonders of the Lord since.
I always wanted to be part of something great, but I just didn’t know how. So when Greg told me about Kalyet, I knew I wanted to be part of it. When I went to Bukwo for the first time in August 2022, I was so touched by what’s happening to the girls in the Bukwo community, and how they are so badly treated, that I felt I needed to do something, however small that was. I am humbled to now be a Board Member of Kalyet Initiative and I’m looking forward to being part of the solution - helping each other grow towards the kingdom that Jesus intended for us.
My name is Deborah Chepkoech, a 29-year-old Christian lawyer, living in Kampala,Uganda. Winny explained what girls in Bukwo go through and described. her dream to help them. I got invested in her idea to empower the girls and that's how I got involved with Kalyet Initiative (U) as the Board Secretary in 2021.
I have met a large number of girls and women born and raised in Bukwo, and their stories showed me that the work Kalyet is doing is necessary for the community and we hope to do more in the future.
My name is Everlyne and I was born and grew up in Bukwo, Uganda. I came to the United States as a young woman, to run track and field at Fairleigh Dickson University.
I have three children - 6,15 &19 years of age and I am currently working as a nurse practitioner. I am also a Brard Member of the Hope Children's Centre in Kitale, Kenya.
When Winny told me about Kalyet Initiative, I was excited to be involved as I am interested in furthering the well-being of disadvantaged girls and helping them to grow closer to Jesus.
My name is Catherine and I am Everlyne's daughter. I was born in New Jersey, USA but spent most of my early childhood living in Kitale, Kenya, before starting primary school. Growing up in the United States has played a significant part in my perception of the world. I have recognised the privileges that exist within the United States, while also acknowledging the blindness that exists.
I gave my life to the Lord in March of 2021, which has been the most crucial decision of my life. My faith journey has been sanctifying and I am continuing to learn how to live a life reflective of the Gospel.
I am currently a second-year student at Duke University studying Chemistry and Global Health. I plan to pursue a Master's in Global Health while doing research and then pursue a PhD afterward. I am excited to see how I can glorify the Lord through the education He has blessed me with.
I am not only excited to learn from Kalyet Initiative but also excited to see the growth in what is to come and witness the goodness of God.