The Archdiocese of Mbarara Development Association (AMDA) is an umbrella association uniting all Catholics that hail from Mbarara Archdiocese living in Kampala and Surrounding areas such as Entebbe, Mukono, Wakiso and Jinja. The Archdiocese of Mbarara has 45 Parishes and each one has members in AMDA. The Association currently has over3,000 members and the number is still growing.
AMDA started in the early 1990s as MDDA (Mbarara Diocese Development Association) with just a few members who shared the vision of seeing a united Catholic group sharing a common home background. MDDA (now AMDA) started with the objective of uniting members hailing from the same region to use this as an opportunity to Worship together and also keep in touch with the home parishes.
AMDA stands on 6 Pillars as its Core Values and these are;
- Spiritual Development
- Leadership Development
- Economic Empowerment
- Health and Wellness
Members believe that the above Pillars are a necessity for the total transformation of a Person.
How AMDA has stayed Together
Monthly Holy Mass:The Saying goes; “A Family that prays together, stays together” and this is the key factor that has kept AMDA together and growing. AMDA Members congregate for Holy Mass, once a month (the Last Sunday of every Month, except December). Mass is said in the ‘Home Language’ which is Runyakitara and these brings members even closer as brothers and sisters.
Parish Coordinators:Each of the AMDA Parishes is represented by a Coordinator and this way, it has become a lot easier to have more members come on Board. These Coordinators play a very pivotal role in mobilizing members from their home Parishes and bring them into AMDA. They also act as the major medium to pass on any communications and updates from AMDA to their Parishioners.
AMDA Whatsapp Group: This is another uniting factor that has kept AMDA together. The first AMDA Whatasapp Group was formed on 01/03/2014, thanks to Mr. Emmanuel Mbarebaki, the AMDA Chief of Protocol, for thinking about this. At that time he probably never imagined it would, in 2 years become what it is today!! Currently there are more than 5 AMDA and AMDA-Related WhasappGroups, each containing 100 members. Whatsapp has become an amazing platform that ensures AMDA Members stay in touch almost all the time, sharing news, opinions and thoughts, light moments and even shouldering each other in dark moments.
AMDA Current Major Projects
AMDA is currently focusing on 2 main Projects, namely; The Rubaga Construction Project and the AMDA SACCO.
The Rubaga Construction Project:
AMDA is championing the Construction of a Multipurpose building in Rubaga. It obtained an agreement of undertaking from the Mother Archdiocese of Mbarara to put up a multipurpose Hall on the land owned by the Archdiocese.. In addition to a Multipurpose Hall, there will be offices and a priests’s house. The project is expected to cost close to UGX 6Billion. Once completed, the project will be a source of Income to be used in running AMDA Activities and taking care of the 6 Pillars mentioned above. The Construction Committee for this Project is headed by Eng. Dr. Silver Mugisha, the Managing Director of National Water & Sewerage Corporation. AMDA is blessed to have Dr. Silver, an immensely experienced engineer and dedicated catholic to head this project.
The AMDA SACCO:
This was started with the objective inculcating in the members a spirit of Saving and Investment which are cornerstones to Economic Empowerment. Since its inception in May 2012, The SACCO has grown to have an asset base of more than UGX 800Million. There are amazing testimonies of members who have been helped to grow economically by the AMDA SACCO through extending affordable Credit Facilities to them. The AMDA SACCO is currently headed by Mr. Venny Birutsya, an accomplished Accountant by profession.
AMDA Annual Caravan
What started as a Courtesy Call by a few AMDA Members when they visited Rugazi Parish in 2013, has grown into now a very popular and exciting event – the AMDA Annual Pastoral Visit. On an Annual Basis now, a significant representation of AMDA members visit selected parishes that are in close proximity with each other. Since the commencement of these Annual Visits (Caravan), over 10 Parishes in the Archdiocese of Mbarara have been visited, the last one being Rushanje Parish that was visited in September 2018. During the visits, AMDA chooses a flagship event that it can carry out to benefit the parishioners being visited. For the 2018 Caravan, it was a Medical Camp and this saw an estimated 3,500 people get free treatment in various illnesses, thanks to the AMDA Health and Wellness Council for spearheading this.
Also during the visits, AMDA members share experiences, give inspirational talks to the parishioners being visited and interact with them freely. This is aimed at staying in touch with the Home Parishes and offer them a shoulder to lean on.
A Look into the Future
AMDA is headed for a Bright Future, where Members shall be living satisfying and spiritually nourished lives, with God Almighty at the Centre Stage. The operationalization of the AMDA Pillars that look at the holistic welfare of an individual shall no doubt be a grand milestone in achieving this.