On the 9th of April 2019, German Ambassador Albrecht Conze presented the Federal Cross of Merit (“Bundesverdienstkreuz”) to Mrs. Elisabeth Mwaka, a German citizen who has done outstanding social and philanthropic work in the region of Mount Elgon. The Federal Cross of merit is the national medal awarded by the President of Germany to citizens of Germany and other countries for outstanding services rendered to the nation or in the field of social, charitable or philanthropic work. Ambassador Conze praised Elisabeth Mwaka’s work, underlining her hands on approach, efficiency and moral authority, stemming from a deeply humble personality driven by Christian values and the strong determination to helping those in need.
Elisabeth Mwaka, better known in the district of Manafwa as Mama Elisabeth, has received the award for her selfless services to the communities in the eastern part of Uganda. She first came to Uganda in 1990, working for the Salem Brotherhood in Mbale. Since then together with her husband, Pastor Erasmus Mwaka, she took up various projects to assist the communities south east of Mount Elgon. As a trained nurse she initially focused on health care. With support from German foundations she established the Chrisco Hospital in Mbale in 1993. Since 1997 she mainly worked with the communities around Butiru where she established a number of schools and a hospital. She specifically concentrates on supporting orphans, widows and vulnerable families. The Butiru Christian College is attended by 2500 children, and 17 more schools have been founded by Mama Elisabeth in the surrounding areas. Throughout the years her efforts have been supported by various German foundations.
Butiru Christian College and Elisabeth Mwaka lost no time in implementing a rescue project following the devastating landslides on the slopes of Mount Elgon in 2018. They assisted a number of children who had lost their parents in the disaster. The German Embassy provided the necessary funds, and Butiru Christian College used it to build houses for a number of particularly vulnerable families who had lost their houses and all their properties through the landslide.