The Role of The Family or the fellowship in Uganda
By Paul Ndiho
The U.S-based group, the Fellowship, otherwise knowns as “The Family,” is getting a lot of attention from international media, especially after a report suggesting the group is behind proposed anti-homosexuality legislation in Uganda. However, members of the group say the Family has nothing to do with the bill and that it should not be adopted. The Family has a nongovernmental sister organization in Uganda called Cornerstone Development. Cornerstone denies claims that the Family is driving anti-gay legislation in Uganda. The Ugandan bill criminalizes homosexuality and calls for the death penalty for serial offenders. The Family says the group is not promoting the legislation and is only interested in helping to develop nations. In recent years, Cornerstone has begun work in Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi, Southern Sudan and Kenya, focusing on developing Africa’s next generation of leaders. Aloysius Bigirwa, graduated from Cornerstone academy in Uganda.
“All I can say about the family, is what I know very well, is that they give good education to less fortunate people in Uganda and other parts of the world.”
Young people from Cornerstone say they are part of a movement seeking to improve society and promote reconciliation.
“What’s very unique is that at Cornerstone they bring people from all backgrounds, talk about religious backgrounds, social, cultural, because we recruit from all over Uganda and the students that come into the schools, they are 25 per year, so that means in Uganda there are 50 students who benefit every year, and they come from all over the country.”
Apart from doing development programs in Africa, The family is also the sponsor of The National Prayer Breakfast an annual gathering in Washington, D.C. The event on February 4th is organized by The Family, and it is attended by the President of the United States and representatives from more than 120 nations. The event has taken place since 1953 and every U.S. president since Dwight D. Eisenhower has participated in the breakfast.