Something is happening Busiki. Something is happening in our world!
Something is happening. Something is happening in Busiki!
It’s always good to have your closest friend say something about you. The Youth of Namutumba are the closest friends whom I have here in Uganda. I was delighted to see each and every one of them at Ivukula Sub County Dialogue and Reporting Meeting in spite of a storm warning. This revealed that they are determined to grow and go anyhow, anyway. Something is happening with the Youth, something is happening in Busiki!
I am just happy that I work with Action Aid in this region supporting the Youth since I know somehow that only when it is dark enough can you see the star and I see the star in the Youth as they rise up. Individually the Youth are poor and desperate; collectively they are richer and calculated.
On the rainy morning of 2nd May 2014, I saw the actualization of my mental picture – a picture that I spent weeks “painting” with the Youth to come together and have a dialogue with the local leaders. Late night calls, rough motorbike rides, early morning and late evening meetings characterized the preparations that at all times were led by the Youth to ensure ownership.
For this day, 300 Youth from the three sub counties contributed UGX. 3000 each to make this their event whereby they converged in order to put the issues where they were supposed to be. The issue is in Access to information; the issue is in participating in governance; the issue is in supporting income initiatives. It is alright to talk about the government progress as it’s symbolism but ultimately, there needs to be practical concern for the individual hopeless and lack of group opportunities down here, poor homesteads and Youth who can’t see their future one week ahead.
The Youth don’t have to argue with anybody. They don’t have to curse. They don’t need any bricks and bottles in riots. They just need the Government to know that they know their rights since the Youth have been feeling the pain, now the pain has to be alleviated. On this day they reported on their initiatives towards poverty alleviation that range from animal and crop husbandry to village saving Saccos to the joint tune of 500,000 while also using drama and theatre to communicate the society ills.
One day a man walked to Jesus, he wanted to raise some questions about vital matters in life. He wanted to trick Jesus. He talked about a certain man who fell to thieves on a deserted road. While down, a Priest passed by but never stopped to help the man. Finally, another passerby came by and disembarked from the beast and decided not to be compassionate by proxy, he got down and administered first aid and helped the man in need. Jesus ended up saying this was the good man; this was the great man because he had the capacity to project the “I” into the vowel and to be concerned about his brother.
Now we use our imagination a great deal to try to determine why the Priest never stopped. At times we say they he was busy going to a church meeting - an ecclesiastical gathering and had to get on to Jerusalem so as not to be late for his meeting. At other times, we speculate that there was a religious law that one who was engaged in religious ceremony was not to touch a human body 24hrs before the ceremony. Every now and then, we begin to wonder whether maybe they were not going down to Jerusalem or down to Jericho rather to organize a Jericho road improvement association. That’s a possibility; maybe they felt that it was better to deal with the problem from the cause rather than to get bogged down with the individual effect. My imagination tells me it’s possible that the Priest looked over that man on the ground and wondered if the robbers were still around or the man on the ground was merely faking so as to attack him instead.
In modern day, development organizations and politicians ask themselves questions. However;
“The question is not; if I stop and help the youth, what will happen to me? The question is not; what will happen to my job? The question is not; what will happen to the hours I spend in the office every day and every week as a leader? The question is not; if I stop and help this man in need, what will happen to me?
The question is;
“If I do not stop and help the Youth, what will happen to them? That’s the question”
The Youth are not simply saying “we are determined to take our rightful part in governing Uganda and we don’t have to live like we are forced to live”. They are saying, “It’s time for us to scratch where it itches; and remove the shoe if they don’t fit”.