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2018 Annual Report Comboni Missionaries

What an incredible year! In the past year, we welcomed thousands of children to our schools, provided healthcare at our clinics, and ministered to people in our parishes. More than just a household name in 42 countries, the Comboni Missionaries are making a real difference in lives around the world.

Here are highlights from a few of our focus areas:

education

The Comboni Missionaries operate, staff, or support countless schools worldwide.

The Comboni 150th Anniversary Fund is entering a new phase in 2019 with its focus on Empowerment through Education. Did you know that in Guatemala only 35% of young people attend middle school or high school? And in Malawi the average family only makes 50 cents per day, making the $70 tuition for high school impossible to afford. In Uganda only 20% of students make it to high school.

This year, as we continue celebrating our 150th anniversary by supporting a special mission, we invite you to join us in mission by educating children around the world.

Thanks to you, children in some of the world's poorest communities have a chance at a new life for themselves and their families.
healthcare

Our clinics, hospitals, and dispensaries serve in big cities and in remote outposts with no other access to health care.

Reach Out Mbuya started in a tiny room in a church basement in Kampala. In 2001, Comboni Father Joseph Archetti and Dr. Margrethe Junker established a clinic for those with HIV/AIDS. Though ravaging Uganda at the time, the disease brought such a social stigma that most cases went unreported. Reach Out began with just 14 clients.

Today Reach Out serves 20,000 patients and supports more than 1,000 orphans, with an innovative, community-based approach that has earned it accolades and international support. People can be tested and receive counseling here. They can receive their medication.

But there are other unexpected services as well—a mobile unit that takes medical staff, counselors, and medication to those who are unable to visit; a day care center for children of patients (some of the children are patients themselves); and a mother and baby clinic that provides for the needs of pregnant women and their newborn infants—an especially vulnerable population. Before the mother-and baby clinic, an HIV-positive woman expected that any children she might have would also test positive. Now, the majority of clients in the program who deliver have children that are HIV negative.

All the services of ReachOut are provided to clients free of charge.

All this began as one ministry of one Comboni Missionary.

In other parts of the world, the Comboni Missionaries run hospitals and clinics, schools of nursing and midwifery, and dispensaries.

Thanks to you, more people are living longer, healthier lives.
faith formation

Although all these ministries are a crucial part of our work, the Comboni Missionaries' primary focus is the proclamation of the Gospel. Even in circumstances where we cannot offer material assistance, we can offer each person the truth that they are known and cared for by our loving God.

With 144 parishes around the globe, the Comboni Missionaries provide for the spiritual needs of thousands. One parish in Guatemala serves 140 communities and covers an area of 1,200 square miles. Some outposts in South Sudan have Mass just once a month— that's how long it takes a priest to travel to each church in the parish.

Jesus teaches us to care for the "least." Following that call, the Comboni Missionaries always reach out to the poorest and most abandoned in this world.

Thanks to you, those who know little comfort in life still know hope — perhaps the greatest gift of all.

How do we do it? The majority of the funding we receive, about 63%, is from private donors. Some contribute a little each month through our Faith Promise Partner program. Some make substantial contributions for specific mission projects, or when they have had a financial windfall or need an end-of-year tax break. Some leave a legacy in support of our work. Many of our supporters contribute through volunteering, by attending our special events, and—most importantly—by their prayers.

Financial data from year ended December 31, 2017.
Financial data from year ended December 31, 2017.

Where does it all go? Nearly all of it—95.9%—goes directly to our mission work. Most goes overseas in the form of direct mission support and mission grants. Grants fund a variety of projects. Here's a look at just one:

The electric grid in northern Uganda can be unreliable, but babies come when they're ready—whether we are or not. Sacred Heart Sister Agnes tells how her staff used to deliver babies at her maternity clinic when the power was out by using cellphones. Even the inexpensive phones common in Uganda have a flashlight feature. Of course, you can't hold a phone in one hand and deliver a baby with another, so a staff member would hold the phone in his or her mouth—the only light they had available to welcome a new life into the world.

This changed with a grant from the Comboni Missionaries to install a solar-powered lighting system in the clinic. Now, expectant mothers and patients requiring surgery can get the care they need.

Thank you!

Your generous support is a lifeline to the world's poorest and most abandoned. Thank you for your prayers, your donations, and your gifts of time and talent. With your help, we can provide life-saving healthcare, life-changing education, and life-transforming encounters with the Gospel for those who need it most.

Credits:

Created with images by Riccardo Niels Mayer - "African Children at School Doing Homework. African ethnicity students writing their essay in an African school. They're holding blue pens to write down their homework whilst sitting in their desk."

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