Help with Kindness

CPAR Uganda Ltd holds a vision that smallholder farming households in rural Uganda lead healthy and dignified lives, during which their basic needs are met and their rights are respected.

Poverty, in all of its forms, of the mind and of the material nature, makes those whom it afflicts to loose dignity. Material poverty, is often easier to see, for example, when a household is struggling to meet the basic needs of its members. Such as, when it is failing to provide for its members those things that a human being needs, in order to stay alive:

  • Clean, unpolluted air
  • Clean, unpolluted water
  • Sufficient, balanced and nutritious food
  • Rest and sleep
  • Physical and emotional security
  • Culturally and climatically appropriate shelter
  • Culturally and climatically appropriate clothing

Certainly, during this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, millions, world over, within a very short period of time have been pushed into poverty. COVID-19 is an insidious virus that in order to stop its spread, it necessitated the closure of the very activity through which households provide for the basic needs of their members.

Like in other parts of the world, in Uganda, we have been under partial lock down for nearly two months. And with devastating effects to thousands of households, especially so, in the Kampala metropolitan area. It necessitated President Museveni’s administration to establish a national COVID Relief Fund, through which, among others, food donations are being made to distressed households.

The manner, however, in which food aid donations are being requested for the Uganda COVID relief fund from those Ugandans and ‘friends’ of Uganda who have; as well as the manner in which the food aid is being distributed to those Ugandans who don’t have, leaves a lot to be desired. Particularly so, it has revealed a deep obnoxious poverty of the mind that resides in the minds of a significant number of Ugandans who are among ‘the haves’.

The way in which individual and corporate givers have politicized their giving to the COVID relief fund and their insistence to give loudly, is extremely insensitive to the feelings of those Ugandans whom COVID-19 has temporarily pushed into absolute poverty. similarly, as well, this holds true also for politicians that refuse to give through the national fund and prefer to do so directly to their constituents.

The inability of the affected Ugandans to meet one or more of their basic needs, is insensitively being used for politicking and self-serving publicity in the media by those giving primarily with their egos. And to those givers, these words of wisdom ring true and are valid:

“Imagine struggling with being homeless and someone comes with a camera in your face to give you a meal and you have to take it … Imagine that feeling. Please stop doing that. If you go help someone, do it with kindness and not with your ego.”

Jim Carrey (source: Occupy Democrats)

By Ms. Norah Owaraga, CPAR Uganda Ltd Managing Director

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