Life comes to a sudden halt when your mother dies. Before coming to terms with her absence, your father falls sick and also dies shortly, and guess what you are now an orphan!15year old Betty Nakacwa from Uganda found herself in this predicament.
Thanks to the spirit of African philanthropy, Nakacwa found some relatives who paid her fees after her parents died. Unfortunately, whenever there was a financial shortage, Nakachwa had to stay home until the situation got better, her dreams seemed too hard to attain and life was hopeless. Then a family friend, again thanks to African philanthropy, Olive Nalongo, took her in, a month later, she enrolled in a vocational school.“At Oliam institute, Nalongo trained me and nine other children how to make ties, skirts and shirts” says Nakachwa. Today the kind Lady who gave Nakachwa hope and a home showers her with praises. “She is among the pioneer students of the institute; others have been employed in Kampala “says Nalongo. From having three sewing machines the institution now has 10 and admitted 30 pupils.Some pupils are employed on part time basis to make clothes.”They use the money they earn to buy scholastic materials and pay lunch fees”, adds Nalongo.
I am sure that this form of philanthropy is not new to people living in Africa, however what started as a small attempt to help a family friend’s child in need by Nalongo has expanded to help others and helping to transform the lives of young women while giving them hope. This is a perfect blend of African Philanthropy that is of a horizontal nature and the more vertical philanthropy that is often institutionalized or structured. In promoting philanthropy, we must never loose sight of the need to build on our rich culture of giving which already exists in most African Cultures. This type of giving happens all the time but it is not captured, much less acknowledged and appreciated. We need to appreciate, acknowledge and celebrate these forms of giving.