I could carry on from Part 1 of this post, by sharing more stories of child sacrifice, FGM (Female Genital Mutilation), murder, corruption inc. police brutality, abduction, sex exploitation, slavery; all of which are forms of violence that are particularly detrimental for those who lack wealth, education and stature within their community - but I won’t. Instead we need to get informed and understand the root causes of violence, so that we can be proactive and effective in supporting the most vulnerable people around the world.Read More
“When we think of global poverty we readily think of hunger, disease, homelessness, illiteracy, dirty water and a lack of education, but very few of us immediately think of the global poor’s chronic vulnerability to violence - the massive epidemic of sexual violence, forced labor, illegal detention, land theft, assault, police abuse, and oppression that lies hidden underneath the more visible deprivations of the poor.”Read More
Unsurprisingly, I often find myself in conversations with people, chatting about the work I am a part of in Uganda. I find myself simplifying what we do as a charity to fit into a couple of sentences, even when I have 20 minutes in front of an audience, the best I can do is give a brief overview that gives you a hint of the complexity. Poverty is complex, but important to talk about.Read More
I recently visited all the parents in Uganda that have received loans from us. It was amazing to see how the individuals had used their loan, whether it be starting a new business, or expanding their existing business.
Jocelyn was already selling fruit and veg outside her home and decided that she would increase her income by using the loan she was given to cook and sell somosas and cassava at breakfast and lunchtime.Read More
We all have things we like to spend money on, which isn't a bad thing. I more than anyone, enjoy buying ice cream, new books and flights to exciting new places, for new experiences, learning something different and even sometimes, just for the pure pleasure of that ice cream hitting my taste buds.
We are here to enjoy what life has for us.
There are times though, when I would think about others who live in poverty, should I really be spending the money I have on a new bike, pair of shoes or even a chocolate bar?
I remember clearly being in this dilemma, even before going to Uganda for the first time, and wondering what should I do? I 'lived off the land' for 9 months, although those who genuinely do this would call me a fraud. I did quite well though, mostly only eating things that were grown from the ground; potatoes, fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts and I could only eat meat when I knew which local farm it came from. The only sweet thing I ate was honey. I had honey on everything.
I also tried other things like giving up plastic and only buying necessities (and I mean necessities) all of which helped remind me of the situations of people living in poverty all around the world but I still felt something was missing. I missed the occasional cake, sharing home brewed cider with friends or even going to see a band play. I was missing out on some parts of what makes life good.
I wanted a way of enjoying the life I have, whilst at the same time remembering and even benefiting those who live in poverty. So instead of giving up good things, for a month in 2010 I matched the money I spent on alcohol and donated it to charity.