Planning -International


In 1936 ten young women came together in Gulu, Uganda to form the Little Sisters of Mary Immaculate of Gulu, a religious community dedicated to serving the spiritual, educational, and physical needs of the vulnerable population of Uganda. Today, the 300+ sisters who comprise the congregation live in communities throughout the country, evangelizing through their pastoral work, educational services, health services, and social work.

Uganda is a country struggling with extreme poverty. Adding to the problem of limited resources, the region has suffered the debilitating effects of a terrorizing 20-year war led by Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army, during which time children were abducted from their homes and forced to carry out atrocities, often against their own villages. Although the conflict ended with the rebel group’s retreat in 2008, the brutal war left in its wake a population deeply scarred, intensifying the need for the sisters’ caring leadership.

Despite the harsh realities of life in Uganda, The Little Sisters of Mary Immaculate of Gulu strive to take a thoughtful and prayerful approach to addressing the needs of the people they serve. They understand the value of establishing a strong social infrastructure rooted in education and they realize that can only happen with the involvement of the greater community. The fruits of their labor – educational, healthcare, religious, and community services that now exist throughout the country – would not have been possible without the support of donors.

In 2015 the sisters began working with Zielinski Companies to develop a plan to take their fundraising efforts to the next level by developing strategies that would allow them to more effectively connect with supporters. With more than 7,000 miles separating them, the sisters and ZCo began discussions, initially sharing information and conducting “meetings” by email and telephone. When new computers were installed several months into the project, team members on both sides of the world began participating in interactive planning sessions over Skype. Great strides were made to identify strategies for increasing donor involvement, strengthen the Congregation’s finances, and leverage existing assets. Not only have technology upgrades been made, but renovations are now underway to make the community’s multipurpose meeting hall more useable, and work on a stalled project to construct a hostel for girls has been resumed.

Through their tireless work, The Little Sisters of Mary Immaculate of Gulu are awakening a spirit in a part of the world that is desperately in need of hope. In their own words, “It’s a struggle, but we fight the good fight.” With a vision now in place for more effectively sharing their mission with the greater world community, the sisters hope that more will join in the good fight.