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TSM16-46 Universal Love Ministry defending the rights of minorities in Uganda

Their story Matters with Sara Troy and her guests Sharon Kakunda and Turinawe Samson, on air from November 15th   


Universal Love Ministries – Mission

To empower our community towards an inclusive and diverse society; free from gender-based violence, defending the rights of women and supporting towards peaceful and harmonious living.

ULM supports active non-violence and engages with advocates of gender to teach an interpretation of the Holy Scriptures that demonstrates respect for all human beings.

They are pioneers in their approach to teaching our children understanding of the rights they have as a divine human being. We are all equal, it is the time we treated each other with love and kindness and embracement of our differences.

Sharon is a professional teacher who specialized in teaching English and Christian Religious Education. Sharon works as the Executive Secretary at Universal Love Ministries in Kampala Uganda. As a teacher who has taught in different schools and different parts of Uganda interacting with children, women and youth from different families and cultures, she observed that a child especially a girl child faces a lot of challenges in Uganda. About three years back, after listening to teachings and humanitarian services that Universal Love Ministries is offering, she felt that Universal Love Ministries offers practical solutions to improve the life style of vulnerable groups; children, women and LGBTIQ. Sharon joined ULM to help improve life of children, women and LGBTIQ in Uganda.


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I was born to a family of nine children; three of which are my mother’s and six are my step mother’s. I have lived in an environment full of violations of women’s and children’s rights. Being the first born to my mother, my dad’s second wife, my birth was characterized by misunderstandings and chaos in the family. My name “Turinawe” means “we are with him” meaning we are with God. At the age of five my sixth elder sister had dropped out of school due to lack of school fees, my eldest sister was pregnant at seventeen years. This was due to school dropout and parental negligence, her son was born prematurely at seven months but luckily enough he survived. He never attended school and currently his whereabouts are not clear since his mother could not tell him who his father is. At the age of six years I started school. This was made possible at this early age because my mother loved and treasured education. For her she is not educated though her father had resources to take her to school. She narrated that her mother died the day she was born due to bleeding after which her father married another wife. Her father was a drunkard who beat her and the step mother every night. He provided no support to the family. His money was for drinking alcohol. At seven years old she was assigned to look after goats although she preferred going to school. She talks of her peers who threw stones at her as she was digging along the road when they were going to school in the mornings. “I surely loved going to school like them” she says. At the age of thirteen she left home and started working for money. She says her first dress was bought for her by a man who employed her. At that time she says that she was almost naked. At an early age she married my father who was already married, aged and sickly, as it was the only way for her survival. The polygamous marriage status I was born into denied me the right to be dedicated in born again faith church to which my father had converted about thirty years before. Friends of my father who were leaders in the Anglican Church took me and baptized me there, and called me Turinawe Robert. After which the born again church realized they were losing a staunch follower and called me back and named me Turinawe Samson. I feel my spiritual rights were violated at such an early age. A year after my graduation from a bible school I served in a Pentecostal church from which I was expelled and banned from attending church services or performing any other religious duties in some Christian churches in western Uganda. This resulted in me moving to Kampala city where I started my humanitarian mission. My expulsion came as a result of me preaching against discrimination of people alleged to be homosexuals, co-habiting or having sex before or outside of marriage. I opposed the proposal by some of the church leaders that during church service that included women, the women would have to sit down on mats; as they didn’t deserve to sit on chairs like men and prohibiting women from preaching and leading church projects; that women doing these things was against the scripture. On my expulsion I was named “A dangerous pastor”. In 2003 I lost my child hood girlfriend Adella who was forced into marriage by her father. I grew up with this girl and we attended the same primary school. When she was in primary five at age of fifteen years her father chose a husband for her and forced her into marriage because he wanted bride price. This man had lost a wife. Three months later she was pregnant. Unfortunately when she went for antenatal health services she was found HIV positive. On returning home and informing the husband he divorced her. Adella tried going back home but her father chased her back to the husband’s place. She stayed with her aunt. At the time of delivery she could not manage the hospital fees so the aunt tried attending to her using her hands to manually pull the baby out. During the delivery she was injured and got fistula. All this stigmatized her and no one cared about her. Around four months before her death I met her at a local dispensary where she had gone to seek treatment. We talked for almost two hours. She said “Samson, I am going to die. Not because of my mistakes but because of something I was force into by my father” as we departed. It is this personal experience and experience from people around me right from childhood that led me to dedicate myself to contributing towards ending the suffering and mistreatment of people based on their sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or beliefs and founding Universal Love Ministries.


As an honorary board member of the ministry please do contact me for any information or donations to this wonderful education course, you can support financially, materially  and with advocacy.                                Sara Troy

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