Orbituary | Uganda Mourns The Passing of Maama Irene Gleeson — Founder The Irene Gleeson Foundation of Northern Uganda

Posted July 21, 2013 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Charity ~ 12,850 views


News Flash  —  Sunday Morning July 21st 2013 Ugandan Diaspora News learnt with deep sorrow the passing of Maama Irene Gleeson who has been battling Cancer for quite sometime in Australia. She and Exodus one of her adopted sons were featured in January this year on Daystar Television in the US. See link below   Mama Irene is mother to thousands of children in Northern Uganda and the founder of IGF. Below is the story of life from being lost and then finding herself again in the most unexpected of places…Kitgum, Uganda.

“As a small child I loved Jesus so much. But despite my earnest prayers and many tears, my home life was one of despair, poverty and sickness. My mother died when I was 15 years old, leaving me to be housemother to my 7 siblings. I remember kneeling in a dark empty church late one Saturday afternoon. There was a disturbance at the back of the church as two burly figures carried in a coffin and departed. I rose to read the name of the deceased. It was my mother. As I bit back tears of grief, I said to God: “That’s it. I’ll live my own life now.”

The next year, I was married, and by the time I was 21 years old, I had three beautiful children and a lovely home. My life continued with little thought of God until after 20 years of marriage, when all I knew was shattered by a bitter divorce. I lost my home, my children, everything I had worked for, and then began a desperate search for truth. I sought truth in everything but Jesus, until I was left completely desperate with nowhere to turn. In 1982, I finally made a decision to give Jesus control of my life. It seemed like a great weight was lifted from my shoulders, and as I drove home singing, the car seemed to be filled with the voices of angels.

In 1989, I heard about orphans in Uganda needing help and I felt called to sell my beach-side home and all my possessions and move to the war torn area of Northern Uganda. I left Australia in December 1991 and towed my caravan 500 kilometers from Kampala to the Sudan border. The scripture which spurred me on was Exodus 23:20: “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared for you.”

When I arrived in Kitgum, I was shocked. The district had been ravaged by 37 years of war. It was a community of aged widows and orphan children, trying to scratch food from a harsh land. My first work was to gather the destitute children who sat sick and listless all day, and teach them songs. Soon the evenings were sweet with the sound of small voices ringing across the village. God had put songs back into the hearts of the children.

Since then, with the support of precious donors and Ugandan village staff, we have built several full day care schools for orphans.Every day 8,000 children attend IGF schools for free education, meals and medicine. Although war activity still disrupts life in Kitgum, God has enabled the IGF team to bring His hope to a community formerly in despair. A new generation of skilled youth is rebuilding their future. As I proudly see thousands of my original African children of 1992 now grown up and developing their district, I think about other camps of destitute children and dare to dream God will enable IGF to rescue thousands more in His strength.”

About the Irene Gleeson Foundation

The Irene Gleeson Foundation was founded in 1991 by Irene Gleeson who identified in her travels to Africa the great need to take care of the children of Northen Uganda ravaged by the war that was raging accross East Africa. Irene sold all of her possessions, left the comfort of her beachside home in Australia, and moved to Uganda with a caravan which she dragged to Kitgum, Uganda. Once there, she gathered 50 children under a mango tree to teach, sing, and bring hope in a hopeless time.

Now, 22 years later, Irene and her staff of 450 Ugandans educate, medicate, and feed 8,000+ children in Northern Uganda….and that number continues to grow every day. This great work all stems from the IGF staff’s main purpose in their mission…to glorify our God through teaching Ugandans the love and truth of Jesus Christ.

About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.



    Wonderful interview with Irene on Australian TV a few years ago

    Rev. Joseph Kamugisha

    Very sad indeed!.Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of meeting her at the Daystar TV studios when she did a live interview. May the good Lord rest her soul in eternal peace. Kamugisha

    Ociti Patrick

    I am one of the Children who were taken care of by the beloved mom Irene Gleeson when I lost all my parents. Good that God has now granted her a special rest from a long suffering.She is living with HIM a life without cancer. May God rest Mom’s Soul in eternal peace, Amen.

    Ociti Patrick

    Irene Gleeson is a Queen chosen by God to save us the African without hope for future life.God who has taken her has inturn given us a caring Father who we know will continue to the highest standard.

    susy. nasike

    I am blessed at I rene foundation. Everything is possible with God. Thats the greatest risk a human being can take, its true sacrifice. God bless Irene, I pray her work will continue even after her exit. Pole to the ugandan children for losing their grandmaama.

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