Sunday, September 8, 2013

Charity of the Month: The St. Kizito Foundation

Who was St. Kizito (from

In May of 1886, King Mwanga discovered that some of his pages were Catholic.  He killed one page and prohibited anyone from leaving his headquarters.  Charles Lwanga, religious instructor to the pages, secretly baptized four young men, including Kizito, a cheerful 13-year-old he often protected from the king’s immoral conduct. 
When the baptisms were discovered, Mwanga assembled all the pages and ordered the Christians to separate from the others.  They were asked if they wished to remain Christian and each replied, “Until death.”  Mwanga then ordered the execution of every Catholic and Protestant living in the royal household.  The martyrs were taken to Namugongo where they were imprisoned for seven days and then burned alive on June 3, 1886.
St. Kizito is the youngest of the Martyrs of Uganda who died in the Mwangan persecutions.  Kizito’s martyrdom came just weeks after his baptism.  Twenty-two of the Martyrs of Uganda were canonized October 18, 1964.

The St. Kizito Foundation helps Earth's most vulnerable children.  The country of Uganda is ravaged by war and the children, more than anyone else suffer.  Many are forced into armies and become child soldiers who are forced to do monstrous things.  
"The mission of the St. Kizito Foundation is to respect and promote the value of human life by nurturing and shaping the future of East African youth with difficult backgrounds.  St. Kizito believes and upholds the values of honesty, respect, acceptance, transparency, and cooperation.  We accomplish our mission through activities such as providing funding for education at all levels, including tuition, room, and board; by providing means for counseling and psychological healing; by providing for basic life needs such as food, shelter, and medicine; and by growing in solidarity with those we serve through prayer, communication, building strong relationships, and promoting cultural understanding."

I know the founder of the St. Kizito fund personally.  Fr. Don Dunson was one of my teachers in college.  He is a man of genuine charity and compassion who has made several trips to Uganda and loves the people there.  The St. Kizito fund takes seriously the mission to get as much of the donated money to the children, trying to keep expenses under 10%.
Fr. Dunson once said something that never left me: "The biggest division in the human family is not black and white, male and female, gay and straight... The biggest division is between those who will eat today and those who will not."

And as always I will never ask of you anything I am not willing to do myself.

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