Tragedy in Uganda

It is with great sadness that I read that Justine Greening, International Development Secretary in the UK Government, has suspended all aid payments to the Ugandan Government after fraud was uncovered, with fears that funds are being siphoned off into private bank accounts of Ugandan officials.Uganda is a country that I visited twice last year, through a very dear friend who has been supporting a charity over the last few years.  The photo above shows children at an orphanage in Mityana (north west of Kampala), who are reliant on charitable giving in order to function.  There is so much poverty in Uganda, so many orphaned children because a generation was wiped out by AIDS.  It’s the impoverished that need the international aid, and once again the worst of its culture has stopped those children from being reached.  It really galls me.  The Mityana Charity has been victim of deception over its history.  Indeed, one of its members told me that you should expect to be let down, upset, disappointed – and also uplifted and buoyed beyond anything comparable.  When faced with deception, the trustees dust themselves off and get on with the business of helping the vulnerable and poor, by building more process to ensure that the money is spent where it is.  They move on, sometimes having to halt a project that has come off the rails.  The decisions are tough ones to take, because ultimately there is no point in sending money unless you can be certain that it is reaching those in need, and not lining a comfortable life for someone in power.  Justine Greening is to be commended for making a bold stance.  We simply cannot put up with deception and corruption.

There are many lessons that I’ve taken from my experience in Uganda, a country that I fell in love with, and had my heart broken by too.  I shall never give up hope that good prevails, that truth prevails, and that it may not be possible to save a country from itself, but I can make a significant difference to individuals.  That is why, through Mityana Charity, I am sponsoring my African son.  My gift is his education, to help build his future, and it gives me so much pleasure.  He is my starfish on the beach (I feel another blog coming)…

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