Starting off the Year with a BANG!

Perhaps there is no more endorsement of the need to do good than the current state of economic affairs in Uganda. The vibrancy of the 9th Uganda Parliament also adds to the justification to “do good”. After all, they put themselves out there to finally tackle the “war on corruption” in Uganda’s public sector. Far too long, politicians have colluded with private entities to rob the state of all its resources from big tracks of land, schools, medicines, to chalk and even seemingly unimportant things like bicycles! What do people who get free new 4WDs need bicycles for? Don’t ask me; you tell me?

In many of these incidents, the President of Uganda has been implicated either as an active authority or by directives issued from his office. Remember the order to pay Burundi an exorbitant amount of money, for aiding National Resistance Army (NRA) –NOT UGANDA- war ventures to capture power against the then ruling government of Uganda in 1986. Questions were asked, “Why should the Ugandan tax payer have to foot the bill of a private guerilla group?” not democratically constituted as a representative of the people of Uganda? But it is just mere questions, and for the most part, that is where it all ends in Uganda! Not enough? Even when the Burundi government forgave the NRA the interest accrued on the debt, Mr. Museveni is said to have reinstated the debt, arguably because, “Burundi is a poor country that should not be allowed to “debt-forgive” Uganda!” Surprised there? Well, this is the same president that gifts UGX300 to Rwanda education when Universal Primary Education in Uganda is stinking. Or perhaps he is reminding us that we should give, no matter how big our immediate problems, right?

Even more telling is the recently rumored impending talks between archenemies, Mr. Museveni and Mr. Besigye. The President and his arch-rival Besigye, are willing to give of their time to restore peace and trust in Uganda; yeah right! Perhaps the human has a larger heart than we give them credit for, uhm! So why not make this year a giving year.

In my immediate family, we started off this year with a BANG! In giving spirits. We collected all clothing and household items that we no longer use at home, and reached out to friends to join our “Giving to the People of Busabala” end of year donation drive. On Tuesday January 3, 2012, we delivered our donation to Busabala. It was a fabulous moment for us. The day, Tuesday, January 3, also happened to be my one-year anniversary of surviving getting killed by a matatu driver as I was jogging in the morning at 6:25a around Rubaga. What a beautiful way to celebrate my life! Of course, my son was with me, as we delivered our gifts to the people of Busabala!!

While the event organizing was wanting (the LC Chair had not informed everybody, plus there was a death and burial in the village that day), we were able to put on a show and left many people excited. With the help of the area Local Council, we delivered and distributed  shoes, clothes for women and children, beddings, table clothes and a few goodies for men. Men also collected clothes and shoes for their daughters and wives. I admit we did not have plenty for men, but they stayed around and shared in the fun. Interestingly though, boys partook in some of the clothing we had assumed was for women. That is the village for you; anything goes!  Another interesting incident is when a woman who had previously kept away from claiming her share of the clothing donation, supposedly because”she does not wear dead people’s clothes, turned around and began hustling with the others for a share! My brother, who runs a “soccer for education” academy for abandoned children and children off the streets brought his soccer team for a game with the Busabala team, which we (the visiting team) won 2:1. It was a funEx and added flavor. My brother also promised to follow up with future donations to the Busabala soccer team, including training, balls and jerseys.

It was such a wonderful opportunity joining my mother to give back, and give the people of Busabala. My mother has been doing this for over five years while I was not in Uganda, as a token of appreciation to the people who look out for her property while she is not on site. She is a giving person, and teaches us to continue giving.

So, let us spread the spirit and heart of giving. Let us give to those who are less fortunate. Let us give because it is a better way to spend that extra penny we would have spent on a beer, another iPad, airtime, at Javas at a pork joint or some unnecessary car accessory.

Because we are Wholesome Communitarians


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