When in Uganda in October please do not forget the children in need
Thank you to over a dozen readers who have contacted me since my first post in January this year. Many more have read it and forwarded it to others. Many of you have subscribed since then. To all of you my sincere thanks, Asante, shukariya and meharbani. I promise to be more active in the next few months. I also have a proposal.
No one responds more to charitable giving like the British people. Those of us who follow the massive British public appeals at Christmas and other times, such as the Sport Relief Appeal, Comic Relief and Children in Need appeals on BBC television also know that each appeal breaks records. Is it because the BBC has discovered a formula for adding fun to charitable giving? It is more than that. It is about engaging people who then feel not only to take part but also to attract others like minded individuals to participate actively in fund-raising. Proceeds go to local and overseas charities and good causes. Let us try to take concerted action to benefit Uganda’s growing number of children in need.
The Asian expulsion from Uganda took place nearly 40 years ago. Many former Ugandan Asians are planning to go there for a reunion and to meet old friends. Others will be going there for rediscovering the country that they left behind and to marvel in its growth and hopefully, its prosperity. A few may also have an interest in exploring opportunities for returning… Uganda’s economic growth at around 5% per year compares extremely well with the prolonged aftermath of the economic recession and slow growth if not the static economies in Europe.
‘Uganda is booming’ declared a visiting Asian from Uganda at a recent get together in London. He and his friends are enjoying barbecues every day of the week while the money machine continues to spill out new contracts and attractive opportunities, he insisted. However it was his concluding remarks that spun a few heads. He finished his highly motivational speech with ‘Do you know that you guys are wasting your time in the UK?’ Thankfully the reaction to his taunt was highly variable and no one was willing to share his invitation to go back to Uganda to gain the riches that he was promising…… What has changed?
Many former Ugandan Asians in the gathering left in 1972 and are now too old to consider going back to participate and even rejoice in Uganda’s economic boom. How does one define Uganda’s prosperity anyway? Everything is relative; who is prosperous and who is poor? Others felt that they did not wish to give up their personal and professional gains in the UK and elsewhere to start a new life in Uganda. Several people felt that they could offer more support to Uganda from their relatively comfortable and prosperous life from the UK.
However, the options for supporting worthwhile causes in Uganda have not been promoted by official agencies or NGOs who could tap British Asian goodwill at an important time such as the 40th anniversary of the Asian expulsion.
In the early sixties, as a ten year old I used to take bottles of milk and cakes for my mum to Sanyo Babies Home on Namirembe Hill. The charity was located very close to the famous cathedral. Is the Sanyo Babies Home still operating on the hill? Could we consider talking to a major national UK based charity which looks after abandoned children and orphans to support a major UK-wide appeal? That would be my preference. Over fifty years later, I still remember the clean rooms and well managed Sanyo Babies institution and my vote would be for donating money to needy children or any worthwhile Ugandan causes.
This is for Ugandan children who may be in similar need today. They are still a part of us:
Tumhare Hain Tumse Daya Mangte[i]
I will donate my entire airfare to Uganda and back in the forthcoming months provided a worthwhile programme of action is set up by people going to the Reunion. And yes, would it be a good idea to adopt a Ugandan charity or to work with a major UK charity to support programmes in Uganda?
Let us discuss the options and opportunities.
[i] Lyrics may be seen courtesy of Hindilyrics.net at :