‘’Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.’’ [Albert Einstein].
Few years ago; some like-minded friends and I resolved to establish Alongside Africa Uganda – an offshoot of Alongside Africa – a UK based charity. The initiative was partly motivated by our passion to consolidate and sustain some initiatives loosely supported by colleagues under the banner of Alongside Africa UK. Moreover some of us had been disillusioned by some local (Ugandan) and overseas partners who were keen to divert from the goals of the founders of Alongside Africa (AA) reflected in the guiding philosophy: Availing Opportunities not Aid.’ We were (and still are) committed to take on new challenges in positively impacting on the lives and livelihoods of less privileged community members. From the onset we committed our best efforts in pooling our diverse knowledge and skills towards the aforementioned noble cause; it was never meant to be plain sailing!
Though I am actively involved in all the 4 running AAU projects; the recently launched Amasiko (‘bright hope’) street children project has captured my heart, body and soul! However the dividing line between the Amasiko project and the Give-a-child-a-chance educational support project is very thin. I have been both challenged and inspired to contribute to impacting on the lives of the street children from the environs of Kabale town. Initially we established a drop-in centre where street children – each with a multiplicity of needs and a sad (sometimes fictitious) story to tell – flock in search of a homely environment with all the basic amenities – a haven of enhanced opportunities in nutrition, rest, play, medical care, basic numeracy & literacy, emotional support, and restoring their self-esteem, and will to live and advance in life. We shall neither shy away nor rest until we have significantly contributed towards supporting the clients (street children) realise the opportunities to earn better livelihoods and run away from lives plagued by: abject poverty, abuse (physical and psychosocial), hostile socio-economic environment, despair, neglect, and fear. Though the needs are diverse, the challenges immense, the AAU Amasiko (‘bright hope’) team is on fire to go all the way. We cherish more community support and contribution from all people of good will.
I live in a humble and picturesque rural community; about 20 minutes’ drive from the centre of Kabale town. More often than not I live with my dear wife Allen, Nicodemus (aged 10 years; the youngest of our 6 children); and few livestock (pigs, rabbits, and 1 goat). The rest of our children are often away in boarding schools. Our first born Pearl (aged 20) is at University pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree course in tourism management. On the professional side my core competencies emanate from business skills, and community based development. Social work, training & motivational talks, documentation, planning, administration, resource mobilisation and logistical support make my typical working life; these benchmarks guide and define my work outputs. Outside work, I enjoy watching soccer, music, reading, traveling, humour and making friends in a cross-cultural environment.
Finally, I am proud of and trust in the entire Alongside Africa team. My passionate appeal to the AAU team and stakeholders is: we must be sure that we are genuinely motivated by a spirit of service in whatever we do. Let’s graciously and selflessly serve and thank God for the opportunity to enhance opportunities not aid; to all we are privileged to interact with. I am not used to failing and hope you too share the same ideals. Together we must give our best and make it happen! Why not? Sky is the limit. Let’s keep the Alongside Africa banner high.