Friday morning (5/27) - This morning we went to the MUBS annex campus to listen to a talk on gender isses and the law by David Batema, a fo...
After a 6 hour drive North of Kampala, our 5 safari vans arrived at Murchison Falls National Park. Named for the famed 43 meter high water f...
At the micro-finance presentation yesterday, after speaking with other classmates, we discussed a number of points that we believe bring up ...
Preparing to travel to countries that are drastically different from our home country may trigger both emotions of excitement and anxiety. E...
This morning we visited Luzira Maximum Security Men's Prison here in Luzira, Kampala, Uganda. At first glance, the prison seems very pro...
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Sorry for the late post, as arriving home has been very busy, as I'm sure it has been for most of you. Leaving Uganda was something I feel we could all describe as bittersweet. As most of us had began to feel a little homesick and anxious to return home the last few days, we all knew we were ending one the the best experiences we have ever had and leaving some of the most interesting and kind people we have ever met. I can honestly say that going on this trip has changed some of my world views and has bettered me as a person.
This being most of our first trip to Africa it was hard knowing exactly what to expect, no matter how much one prepared. I think that no one expected to have the experience we had; whether we were learning about human rights, parliament policies, or agriculture methods, there was always something that surprised us. Still, I think what shocked us the most was the friendships and lasting relationships we have made with the MUBS students and other Ugandans we have met over our trip.
Leaving for the airport was such a surreal experience; as no one could actually believe this trip was over we all knew that we would miss all of our new friends. As everyone was leaving you could not help but to hear everyone making promises to keep in touch with each other. Though not many tears were shed, it was easy to see that everyone was going to miss their new friends as the MUBS bus pulled away.
For me, it was from these students who I learned the most from. The conversations and explanations of everyday life is really what helped me understand the culture the best. I feel that it was this aspect of the trip that makes it what it is: an immersion of cultures to create an exceptional learning experience.
Finally in relation to sustainable development, it was very interesting to see the wide variety of opinions that had been made over the course of the trip in a discussion the last night. One of the questions posed was along the lines of: "If you could choose one thing to change to better the opportunity for Uganda in sustainable development, what would it be?" Many answers from both Drake and MUBS students included corruption and primary education. Still there were many opinions and variations to the answers provided and it was interesting to see how each and every one of us had developed such strong opinions in this area. It was inspirational to see how involved everyone was in the conversation and how much this issue had become part of us.
What are some of your guys final impressions of the country and friends we have left?
Now that it has almost been a week since we've been home, have you kept in touch with your new friends?
After hearing many different opinions in our final discussion, what do you think is the one thing that can be changed that will improve Uganda's sustainable development?
Thanks everyone for an amazing trip and for the friendships we have made!!! I am so happy to have shared one of the best experiences of my life with every one of you!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
French Missionaries came to Uganda to convert the locals and among those converted were several pages to the Buganda King. The pages were very loyal to their new faith and always took time for their prayers as well as not working on Sunday. The King became upset when they consistently defied his orders by putting their religion before his needs. He consulted a fortune teller who told the King that part of the palace burned down because of the Christians’ new faith. The King then consulted with his chiefs and decided to put the Christians to death. The Christian pages were separated from the non-Christians and persecuted. Three Anglicans were killed near the shores of Lake Victoria. Other Christians had their limbs cut off and scattered around the city to scare other Christians from the faith. The first catholic martyr was Joseph Balekuddembe who was beheaded and burned on November 15 1885 near Owino Market (Brittany talked about in her May 21 post). There is also a small shrine at that location. On June 3 1886 the rest of the martyrs were killed at the site of the church which was already a place of death – the execution site for the foulest criminals. The martyrs refused to renounce their faith so they were forced to gather firewood for their own burning. The martyrs were wrapped in the firewood and burned alive. At least one of the martyrs was unconscious prior to burning. He was the nephew of an executioner and refused to be saved. His uncle knocked him on the head to save him the pain of burning. The church itself is a cone shaped building styled after traditional African buildings. It is supported by 22 pillars, representing the 22 Catholic martyrs. Each of the wooden doors has people and scenes carved in to it such as the burnings and several bishops. The 1,000 seat church is open for prayer every day and is highly utilized. It features many pieces of religious art work including a sculpture of a martyr performing a baptism and a painting of the martyrs up in heaven with Jesus on the cross with the Ark below them.
The lawns are complete with very large lawns and an outdoor gazebo area where a mass is held every year on Martyrs Day, a national holiday commemorating the sacrifice of the martyrs. The area has several pavilions for different groups including a choir area and the stands reserved for the president and other political dignitaries. Martyrs Day is especially meaningful to Catholic and Christian Ugandans and people pilgrimage from the US and UK and some walk all the way from Kenya.
Here are some questions for reflection: Does this monument bring people together in rememberence or tear them apart due to different religions because of the significance placed on Christianity? What are the implications of a national holiday for Christian martyrs? What are the implications of having a yearly mass at the Shrine? Does the separation of church and government have a future in Uganda? What relation does this have to sustainable development? What else if anything struck you about the church, the grounds of the tour in general?
Friday, June 11, 2010
One surprising thing about both of these sites was the lack of tourist development. The tourism within this area could be expanded greatly. It would be profitable to have more resorts, restaurants, and shops around to increase both the amount of tourism and the length of a tourist’s stay. Expanding on activities available such as boat tours, kayaking or rafting through the falls, swimming or diving in the Nile, as well as 4-wheeling near the Nile would all increase tourism within both these sites and Jinja. However, more advertising and marketing would be necessary to ensure that people are aware of the attractions available to them. On the other hand, many people believe that activities designed to increase tourism in an area may destroy the beauty that these landmarks exhibit.
The plans to build two dams near the beginning of the Nile may ruin tourism within Jinja however. The building of the dams would destroy the Bujagali Falls, replacing them with a reservoir. Building the dams will also take several years which will help in providing work to Ugandans within the Jinja area. The dams, while increasing the amount of hydro electric power to Uganda, will destroy nearby habitat and harm local animals. The dams will also have a large impact on nations upstream. The dam will lessen the amount of water flow present within the Nile. This will decrease precious water supply upstream for both the inhabitants and any irrigation that the Nile is used for. Many people believe that this will upset countries upstream, possibly even beginning a war over the water the Nile River provides.
Questions to think about:
Would you increase tourism to the Bujagali Falls area? What impact would this decision have on Jinja’s economy?
Do you think that building the dams will help Uganda’s growth or hinder it?
What do you think are the major impacts of building the dams? Would it be a wise decision for Uganda to build them?
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
The public relations guy said "that the health care system is broken down and does not work properly and says that the overcrowding is mainly due to the minor ailments that get admitted to Mulago". If the national hospital has the best of the best, do you think that it’s fair to turn away individuals for their “minor ailments”?
What role does health care access play in the sustainable development of an economy?
Do you guys think that quality health care is a necessity for development to occur?
Given the sights we saw at Mulago, if you had the chance, what range of services would you use funds towards to emphasize? Access to drugs? More technology? Training for doctors? Preventative health care? Which would be the best for the sustainable development for the country?
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
We went to Mulago hospital which is the national referral hospital that is funded by government and donations . We had a talk with one of the doctors who explained that mulago offers health services to ugandans and has branches in different districts: emergence services, complicated diseases, HIV care services, preventive services,clinical care and curative care, couselling and many more .
There have been irregularities in supply of drugs and people who come to the hospital have to get their drugs from a pharmacy. The key hospital departments are Accidental Emergency, Anesthesia, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Surgery, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Child Health, Laboratory, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Radiology, Radiotherapy, and Nuclear Medicine. The doctor said there has been widespread HIV, though most Ugandans don't know their status. There has been irregularities in supply of drugs, which could lead to more deaths. And Uganda is dependent on other countries for the drugs, which is a big problem. The pharmacy students from Drake said the pharmacy section of Mulago did not have drugs and patients have to be taken care of by their relatives, which they found strange and they think medicine should be supplied at the hospital and nurses should take care of the patients.
I think there should be improvements in the general services offered.
Monday, June 7, 2010
We ended up getting to Red Chilli at Murchison Falls (MFNP) around 6 o'clock and the keys were handed out to the bandas, tents, and the two little cottages. This Red Chilli was definitely more of a camping experience for some people, but they had a great area to hang out up by the reception. We were warned about hippos wandering into camp, but I don't think any of us saw any. There was a family of warthogs wandering around, though. My favorite part of Murchison Falls was getting to see the giraffes - my favorite - and get even closer to the elephants! It was amazing and the waterfalls were breathing taking. I've never seen a real waterfall before - it was so gorgeous. I was kind of disappointed that we didn't get to see lions, but all in all it was a great experience.
I was particularly interested in the couple of UCOTA (Uganda Community Tourism Association) shops we saw on the way to MFNP, but we didn't get to stop at them. As I was thinking about it though, I'm probably the only person who knew they were shops and that's only because UCOTA came up in my research on tourism. I don't see how UCOTA is really making a difference in communities surrounding national parks if tourists don't even know to stop at the shops. UCOTA claims to be assisting people in the communities by giving them a source of income from the sale of handmade crafts, however I don't think their vision really takes into account what the people in the community want. I also don't think that their really doing much because I don't see their shops getting much traffic, especially if our whole big group didn't stop there and I think Red Chilli at Kampala sends a lot of business to MFNP.
Based on what I saw, MFNP seems to appeal more to backpackers than any higher level tourists because it's more of a "roughing it" experience. MFNP is also in more of a remote location and because of the 2+ hours of driving on really bumpy roads, I'd classify it as tough to get to. Tourists with a lot of money aren't going to want to take a 6-hour ride there from Kampala, especially with rough roads. The speed and quality of transportation and roads are major inhibitors in terms of the tourism industry, in my opinion. Going along with our experience at lunch, the amount of and length of delays is a major challenge the tourism industry is going to have to overcome in order to widen Uganda's appeal as a tourist destination.
From working at a luxury travel company in the customer service department, I learned about the littlest things that wealthy tourists would not put up with. Based on this trip, I don't think Uganda is even close to being considered a luxury tourist desitination. The major draw that Uganda has in the luxury tourism industry is that they are on of the three countries in the world where people can see the last remaining mountain gorillas. I think that the exclusivity and expense of tracking gorillas definitely appeals to luxury tourists, but the infrastructure will deter those tourists from venturing elsewhere in Uganda.
Right now Uganda is appealing to backpackers because it's not really touristy yet, it's cheap, and it has an authentic feeling. However, if Uganda wants to increase their revenue from the tourism industry, which is where I see a lot of potential, then some major changes need to take place. Another market that isn't being tapped into in Uganda is family travelers - right now I don't see anything that is geared towards families traveling together. I see a lot of room for Uganda's tourism industry to grow and develop, but right now is a key moment where the country needs to make decisions and decide where funds are going to be focused. I think it would be a mistake for Uganda to become too touristy because right now what it has over some other destinations in Africa is that it is more of an authentic experience and it isn't overcrowded like major tourist destinations.
What do you think Uganda should focus on in terms of developing tourism?
What do you think Uganda needs to do in order for tourism to be sustainable?
How do you think tourism impacts the local community? Is it positive or negative? How can that impact sustainability?
Thanks for reading and I look forward to reading your comments!
- Kristin Kowalski
Sunday, June 6, 2010
One of the repeating messages that Mr. Bitature brought forward was that power is knowledge and the importance of firsthand experience. A great quote he utilized went something like, “We can never learn solely from books and internet, it’s when we share and learn from one another, that we truly find something fantastic.” I have had the opportunity to attend several dozen professional speakers and seminars dealing with entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial success and they all seem to deal with basic principles like setting goals, managing overhead, paying attention to cash flows and being truly passionate about your idea. Mr. Bitature touched on all of the above, but something made him very different. Mr. Bitature expressed a passion for mankind. He believes that success is best shared. For example, it was really moving to hear of the efforts he makes to his employees. He expressed how he pays some of the best wages in Uganda and hires some of the most talented people from all around the world to work for and run his companies. It is evident the man has financial security and even expressed the idea that if an employee needed a new home, and it was in his means, he would build them a home. He expressed that only so much is learned in school and that real life stories and relationships with people are what matter most.
When it comes to entrepreneurship as a figure of sustainable development he expressed the challenges and opportunities that Uganda faces. It is easy to notice that with an unemployment rate of 60% job opportunities are scare. Speaking with some of the MUBS students there seemed to be an almost universal importance in being a job creator. Just driving down the roads it seems like everyone is just hanging out, and Mr. Bitature outlined this as a problem. The Ugandan culture is extremely laid back, he expressed the need to manage and respect time and until this happens, times will remain tough. Corruption also takes its tole on entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs in Uganda need to be people of honor and integrity and learn from them now according to Birature. Finances are also an issue as lenders in Uganda charge extraordinarily high interest rates.
On the other hand for a young entrepreneur in Uganda, time is on ones side. Everything in one way or another comes down to business and the more we understand, the better off we are. Labor is very cheap in Uganda, but according to Bitature, giving someone a decent wage allows people to feel useful and build self-esteem. Entrepreneurship in Uganda is taking advantage of bountiful opportunity, harnessing creativity and the talents of others and achieving a common goal. Mr. Bitature finished his presentation with a very encouraging figure. He made the point that if Uganda could get just three percent of its population to become entrepreneurs that would mean that there is the potential of 1,120,000 entrepreneurs in the country. If each one of these entrepreneurs employed just 10 people, that would create 11,200,000 jobs. To me this spoke volumes on the importance of entrepreneurship in Uganda.
I ask everyone to consider the rewards of becoming an entrepreneur in Uganda. Identifying and tapping into an area that you are passionate about and the country needs will not only bring financial success, but better a nation. When it comes to sustainable development entrepreneurs are key. There is a very small private sector and very large public sector in Uganda. Entrepreneurship plays a key role in bridging that gap. Doing so creates jobs, decreases unemployment, and thus starts a domino effect. Just imagine what could happen if you started a company in Uganda that paid a wage that could afford a worker to build a house. Many of us I am sure have heard that when you build a house you both directly and indirectly employ 30 others. From plumbers and electricians to masons and carpenters, all those people need there materials from somewhere. Unfortunately right now many of those materials are imported (perhaps an area to look at getting into). Excessive demand in a building supply market if brought to Uganda only brings more jobs and more of a private sector. I am sure many are getting the picture and it’s that private sector/public sector gap that we must work towards bridging. While in my opinion it is the entrepreneur who will reap the most reward, consider the many people’s lives that you will also be enriching. Entrepreneurship is extremely powerful and Mr. Patrick Bitature was a great reminder of that. Like he said, “Capital should never be a problem; it should be a burning desire within that will drive you to your dreams.”
Perhaps this post has not come too late when we consider all of the small businesses and firms we have been able to experience throughout our journey. I ask for everyone to submit some feedback as to their thoughts on entrepreneurship and small business in Uganda. In particular, I ask whether or not you as an individual ever consider starting a business in Uganda? If so, what motivates you to do so? If not, what are your hindrances? In addition, in what capacities do you think entrepreneurship plays a role in sustainable development, and what reached out to you most about Mr. Bitatures presentation? I look very forward to receiving some great feedback, and as we reach the final days of journey ask that you keep your eyes and ears open to entrepreneurial opportunities in Uganda.
We are back in Kampala for only one night then head to Jinja for a few days to wrap up the trip. There will likely be a rash of activity on the blog as we have some time to discuss and reflect on the events of the last three weeks, and students finish up comments and posts on the blog. As everyone is starting to think about home I have heard many people talking about things they miss from home. The stars last night made me think about things at home that we miss / overlook while there (when was the last time you stopped to look at the stars in the US and were amazed by what you saw?). I wonder what other things we are missing when we go about our normal lives back home and what things about Uganda we will miss after returning to our daily lives in the US. Anything come to mind after experiencing Uganda for almost three weeks? I know for me the answer is the stars at Murchison Falls National Park.
The Foundation for Human Rights Initiative is an independent human rights advocacy organization in Uganda. Their support for each person’s right to life is completely not-for-profit and separate from the government. Their vision is “A strong and democratic human rights culture as a foundation for peace, stability, democracy, social justice, and sustainable development in Uganda.” Sheila Muwanga spoke to our group about the major services offered and issues faced by the organization. She focused a lot of her discussion on the overcrowding that is currently happening in Ugandan prisons. 53% of these prisoners are waiting to be tried. Holding these prisoners in remand is considered unlawful, but the lack of affordable and available representation makes it difficult for them to defend their rights. FHRI offers free legal services that allow inmates and other citizens to seek justice. FHRI was also involved in a fight against the growing number of inmates being placed on death row. The constitutional court ruled that inmates on death row for longer than three years will receive life imprisonment instead of the death penalty. More emphasis on mitigated factors for each case and each person’s right to life was defended by FHRI’s Right to Life Project.
Some recent changes in Uganda’s recognition of Human Rights have led to more fair treatment of the general population. The revised constitution recognizes a need for rights and equality. The addition of a Bill of Rights now backs up the entitled rights that were often overlooked in the past. Another recent change is the addition of separate political parties in Uganda which allow for different views to be considered. The government still struggles to give equal rights of expression and assembly to all. The media is still censored to an extent, rallies are dispersed quickly, and many feel as if the right to life is still not being respected by government officials.
I was very impressed with Sheila’s talk and her openness about the issues that FHRI faces. I respect the fact that they strive to give a voice to those who often go unheard. It was very interesting to hear about the overcrowding within the jails because that is something I never would have thought about as a Human Rights issue. I went into this experience thinking that we would hear a lot about the rights of women, children, and gays, but these topics were only addressed minimally. I think that improvement in human rights efforts is a huge step in the right direction for sustainable development in Uganda. Now that the improved Constitution includes a Bill of Rights, enforcement needs to become the focus of their efforts. We have seen a lot of evidence that this country is very corrupt. I think that this corruption is affecting people’s openness and willingness to get involved with these issues. Many important advances have been made in recent years, but there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure the rights of all citizens in Uganda.
What did you think of Sheila’s talk? Is there anything that surprised you? What would you have liked to hear more about?
Do you think that recent advances in Human Rights are affecting Uganda’s sustainable development? How so?
What do you think the next step in Human Rights in Uganda is?
Today we visited the USE, or the Ugandan Securities Exchange and Crested Brokerage Firm and what an experience it was. We first went to the exchange, which was much different than what we encounter in the United States. On what we would call the “floor”, about 5 brokers were responding to calls about buying and selling shares of 12 publicly traded companies. Although this sounds very small, the USE is fairly new as it is in its twelfth year of operation. What shocked me was that they were using a white board to register all of their transactions, which is completely different from the electronic world the NYSE, Nasdaq, and others use. This manual way of striking deals causes the USE to be way behind the times in terms of trading. Bombay currently trades 6000 times a day, a number of transactions that would take 4.5 years for the USE to complete. The USE is open to the public, which is not the case for the NYSE. Another major difference is the fact that the USE only trades Monday, Tuesday, Thursday from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM, as the United State’s exchanges trade for five days a week from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. This shows a large difference in the interest in the markets and how big of an impact each market has on its’ economy.
Once we were done touring the exchange floor, we sat down and learned a little about how the stock market works in Uganda. I was pleased to hear that the USE is in the process of going electronic, which will help it compete in the global market. It will also allow investors to trade from their homes, just like Americans do with E-Trade, Scottrade, and other online brokerage firms. It will also drive costs down and speed up the pace of the USE to compete with markets like Bombay. I believe this is a huge development for investing in Uganda, as more people will have access to the markets.
We then left the exchange and went to Crested Brokerage Firm, whose Chief Executive Officer is Robert Baldwin, a Wisconsin native who moved to Uganda. He discussed the potential of the Uganda markets and how his motive was to pursue smaller investors that are natives of Uganda. He said that there are only about 30,000-50,000 investors in the market currently and of those about 600 are Crested investors. Not bad for a company that started its’ efforts in 2005.
I think that the USE and its’ brokerage firms that are involved are a huge part of the future of sustainability of Uganda. As the country becomes more stable and the unemployment rate goes down, more people will have excess income to invest in the markets. As the economy grows, more international investors will see the opportunities that exist and will invest in the markets as well.
What were your opinions of the USE?
Do you think that the USE will be a driving force in the sustainability of Uganda in the next few years?
The parliament building also hosts a lot of historic items and pictures of Uganda. One of the most amazing things I saw was the display of the two different futures for Uganda. The first was a wasteland that showed what Uganda would be if they do not start changing their ways. The other was a prosperous land with growing crops healthy people. This is the future that the parliament is working toward and what would be the best for the environment and Uganda as a whole.
Along with the representative and progressive symbols in the building there is also a lot of historic items. We were able to see the pictures of the past speakers of the house and parliament bodies. The most interesting thing to me was the Ugandan flag that the United States brought to the moon and back for Uganda. Along with the plaque that stated the space flight and date that the flag was on the moon was a piece of lunar rock that was brought back and given to the Ugandan Parliament by President Nixon.
Over all, our visit to the Parliament system was very interesting and I feel like I learned a lot from our tour and the information presented to us about the parliament.
Extracted from www.buganda.com
The arrival of the Christian missionaries, Anglican and Catholic, set the stage for new developments, and marked a turning point in the religious life of the people of Buganda; as well as the political structure of the kingdom and the region at large. The history of Buganda from this point on took a different turn. A social revolution that was to transform all aspects of people's lives had set in, and the events that followed, unpredictable as they were, added to the discomfort the new changes had brought about. The untimely death of Mutesa I in 1884 just a few years after the arrival of the missionaries, left the kingdom in the hands of Mwanga II, a youth whose ruling style fell far short of the charisma and political astuteness his late father had demonstrated in dealing with the foreigners.
Mutesa had the astuteness and maturity of dealing with conflicting forces that struggled to influence his court. The Arabs (the Moslems), the Catholics (the French or Bafaransa as they were locally called) or the Protestants (the English or Bangereza) operated, of course not without constraint, with some minimal success during his reign. He let his subjects of all ranks to join any creed of their choice. The Arabs also having seen the Christian missionaries' efforts to convert the local people also diligently started to teach Islam. There was a competitive struggle among the preachers of the new creeds each attempting to assert more influence and recognition among the most influential officials in the inner circle of the king's court. The king himself never committed to any single creed. The Moslems denounced him for his refusal to be circumcised, and he could not be baptized in the Christian denominations because he did not want to give up polygamy. He died still a traditionalist.
The Christian religion was received with much excitement by the converts but it came with its own requirements. It denounced all the native religious behavior and practices as heathen and satanic. Therefore joining it meant a commitment to break away from the old life style, make and adopt new alliances, and adjust to new moral and religious standards, adherence and allegiance. The new flock of believers ( abasomi, or readers, as they were called) therefore, were seemingly regarded as 'rebels' who had transferred their loyalty to new religious systems thus abandoning the old tribal traditions.
Although Mwanga had shown some love for the missionaries as a young prince, his attitude changed when he became king. The once lively and enthusiastic prince in support of the missionaries turned into an intolerant and vicious persecutor of Christians and all foreigners. He felt, with good cause, that the powers and authority his predecessors had enjoyed were dwindling, and had disintegrated under the influence of the missionaries and their converts. The converts had diverted their loyalty to some other authority and their allegiance at all costs could no longer be counted on. For Mwanga, the ultimate humiliation was the insolence he received from the pages when they ( the least subservient of servants) resisted his homosexual advances. According to old tradition the king was the center of power and authority, and he could dispense with any life as he felt, hence the old saying Namunswa alya kunswaze (the queen ant feeds on her subjects). Although homosexuality is abhorred among the Baganda, it was unheard of for mere pages to reject the wishes of a king. (It is alleged that Mwanga learnt or acquired homosexual behavior from the Arabs). Given those conflicting values Mwanga was determined to rid his kingdom of the new teaching and its followers.
It was hardly a year after Mwanga's assumption of the throne that he ordered the execution of Yusufu (Joseph) Rugarama, Makko (Mark) Kakumba, and Nuwa (Noah) Serwanga the first three Christian martyrs, who were killed at Busega Natete on January 31, 1885. In October of 1885 the Anglican Bishop James Hannington recently dispatched to head the Eastern Equatorial Africa, headquartered in Buganda, was murdered in Busoga on his way to Buganda. Mwanga had ordered his death. Hannington's crime was to attempt to come to Buganda through Busoga, a shorter route than that employed by earlier visitors who took the route from south of lake Victoria. Buganda's kings regarded Busoga as a backdoor to Buganda and thought that any one coming through the backdoor must have evil intentions towards the kingdom.
Joseph Mukasa Balikuddembe, a senior advisor to the king and a Catholic convert, condemned Mwanga for ordering Hannington's death without giving him (Hannington) a chance to defend himself as was customary. Mwanga was annoyed that Mukasa would question his actions, and he had him arrested and killed. On Nov. 15 1885; Mukasa became the first Catholic martyr, when he was beheaded at Nakivubo. Between December of 1885 and May of 1886 many more converts were wantonly murdered. Mwanga precipitated a showdown in May by ordering the converts to choose between their new faith, and complete obedience to his orders. Those unwilling to renounce their new faith would be subject to death. Courageously, the neophytes chose their faith. The execution of twenty six Christians at Namugongo on June 3, 1886; was the climax of the campaign against the converts. The last person killed in this crusade, was Jean-Marie Muzeeyi, who was beheaded at Mengo on Jan 27, 1887. The complete list of the known martyrs is given below. The list of forty five known Catholic and Protestant martyrs includes only those who could be formally accounted for, many more murders went unreported and without a record.
|Martyr's Name||Birthplace||Clan||Religion||M A R T Y R E D|
|1||Kakumba, Makko||Buganda||Ffumbe||Anglican||Jan 31, 1885||Busega||Dismembered and Burned|
|2||Rugarama, Yusuf||Ankole||Anglican||Jan 31, 1885||Busega||Dismembered and Burned|
|3||Sserwanga, Nuwa||Buganda||Ngeye||Anglican||Jan 31, 1885||Busega||Dismembered and Burned|
|4||Balikuddembe, Yosefu Mukasa||Buganda||Kayozi||Catholic||Nov 15, 1885||Nakivubo||Beheaded and Burned|
|5||Mukasa, Musa||Buganda||Ffumbe||Anglican||May 25, 1886||Munyonyo||Speared|
|6||Kaggwa, Anderea||Bunyoro||Catholic||May 26, 1886||Munyonyo||Beheaded|
|7||Ngondwe, Ponsiano||Buganda||Nnyonyi Nnyange||Catholic||May 26, 1886||Ttakajjunge||Beheaded and Dismembered|
|8||Ssebuggwawo, Denis||Buganda||Musu||Catholic||May 26, 1886||Munyonyo||Beheaded|
|9||Bazzekuketta, Antanansio||Buganda||Nkima||Catholic||May 27, 1886||Nakivubo||Dismembered|
|10||Gonza, Gonzaga||Busoga||Mpologoma||Catholic||May 27, 1886||Lubowa||Beheaded|
|11||Mbwa, Eriya||Buganda||Ndiga||Anglican||May 27, 1886||Mengo||Castrated|
|12||Muddu-aguma||Anglican||May 27, 1886||Mengo||Castrated|
|13||Mulumba, Matiya||Busoga||Lugave||Catholic||May 27, 1886||Old Kampala||Dismembered|
|15||Kayizzi, Kibuuka||Buganda||Mmamba||Anglican||May 31, 1886||Mityana||Castrated|
|16||Mawaggali, Nowa||Buganda||Ngabi||Catholic||May 31, 1886||Mityana||Speared, Ravaged by wild dogs|
|17||Mayanja, Kitoogo||Buganda||Ffumbe||Anglican||May 31, 1886||Mityana||Castrated|
|18||Muwanga||Buganda||Nvuma||Anglican||May 31, 1886||Mityana||Castrated|
|19||Lwanga, Karoli||Buganda||Ngabi||Catholic||June 3, 1886||Namugongo||Burned|
|20||Baanabakintu, Lukka||Buganda||Mmamba||Catholic||June 3, 1886||Namugongo||Burned|
|21||Buuzabalyawo, Yakobo||Buganda||Ngeye||Catholic||June 3, 1886||Namugongo||Burned|
|22||Gyaviira||Buganda||Mmamba||Catholic||June 3, 1886||Namugongo||Burned|
|23||Kibuuka, Ambrosio||Buganda||Lugave||Catholic||June 3, 1886||Namugongo||Burned|
|24||Kiriggwajjo, Anatoli||Bunyoro||Catholic||June 3, 1886||Namugongo||Burned|
|25||Kiriwawanvu, Mukasa||Buganda||Ndiga||Catholic||June 3, 1886||Namugongo||Burned|
|26||Kiwanuka, Achileo||Buganda||Lugave||Catholic||June 3, 1886||Namugongo||Burned|
|27||Kizito||Buganda||Mmamba||Catholic||June 3, 1886||Namugongo||Burned|
|28||Ludigo, Mukasa Adolofu||Toro||Catholic||June 3, 1886||Namugongo||Burned|
|29||Mugagga||Buganda||Ngo||Catholic||June 3, 1886||Namugongo||Burned|
|30||Sserunkuuma, Bruno||Buganda||Ndiga||Catholic||June 3, 1886||Namugongo||Burned|
|31||Tuzinde, Mbaga||Buganda||Mmamba||Catholic||June 3, 1886||Namugongo||Burned|
|32||Kadoko, Alexanda||Buganda||Ndiga||Anglican||June 3, 1886||Namugongo||Burned|
|33||Kifamunnyanja||Buganda||Anglican||June 3, 1886||Namugongo||Burned|
|34||Kiwanuka, Giyaza||Buganda||Mpeewo||Anglican||June 3, 1886||Namugongo||Burned|
|35||Kizza, Frederick||Buganda||Ngabi||Anglican||June 3, 1886||Namugongo||Burned|
|36||Kwabafu||Buganda||Mmamba||Anglican||June 3, 1886||Namugongo||Burned|
|37||Lwakisiga, Mukasa||Buganda||Ngabi||Anglican||June 3, 1886||Namugongo||Burned|
|38||Lwanga||Buganda||Anglican||June 3, 1886||Namugongo||Burned|
|39||Mubi-azaalwa||Buganda||Mbwa||Anglican||June 3, 1886||Namugongo||Burned|
|40||Munyagabyangu, Robert||Buganda||Mmamba||Anglican||June 3, 1886||Namugongo||Burned|
|41||Muwanga, Njigija||Buganda||Anglican||June 3, 1886||Namugongo||Burned|
|42||Nakabandwa, Danieri||Buganda||Mmamba||Anglican||June 3, 1886||Namugongo||Burned|
|43||Walukagga, Nuwa||Buganda||Kasimba||Anglican||June 3, 1886||Namugongo||Burned|
|44||Wasswa||Buganda||Mmamba||Anglican||June 3, 1886||Namugongo||Burned|
|45||Muzeeyi, Jean-Marie||Buganda||Mbogo||Catholic||Jan 27, 1887||Mengo||Beheaded|
In his efforts to curb the Christian influence and try to regain the traditional and customary powers and authorities over his subjects, Mwanga was adding more chaos to an already chaotic situation. In the north Kabarega (the king of Bunyoro Kitara a traditional arch enemy of Buganda) was raging, fighting off the pending invasion from the Khedive of Egypt and for sure he never lost his intentions towards Buganda. Further south it was reported that the Germans were annexing territories in the regions of the present Tanzania, and Mwanga was caught in a threatening position. His suspicion of the missionaries was therefore real. Buganda also was experiencing internal strife, the Moslems were plotting to overthrow him and replace him with a Moslem prince. The political upheavals combined with religious instability constrained the country's moral stamina. The kingdom was thrown into turmoil; Moslems fighting Christians, traditionalists plotting against all creeds, untimely alliances concocted to survive against a common foe and later unceremoniously discarded. The kingdom broke into civil strife during which Mwanga was briefly deposed, although he was able to regain his throne later.
Rather than deter the growth of Christianity, the martyrdom of these early believers seems to have sparked its growth instead. As has been observed in many other instances, the blood of the martyrs proved to be the seed of faith. Christianity (in its various flavours) is now the dominant faith in Buganda and Uganda as a whole. The 22 known Catholic martyrs were declared "Blessed" by Pope Benedict XV in 1920. This is one of the key steps in the catholic tradition that eventually leads to canonization. The 22 Catholic martyrs were indeed canonized by Pope Paul VI on October 18, 1964; during the Vatican II conference. Thus these martyrs were now recognised by the universal church as being worthy of being honored as Saints. This was a first for modern Africa and a source of pride throughout the continent.
Basilica Church of the Uganda Martyrs, Namugongo.
Notice the traditional 'kasiisira' style of this modern structure.
To honor these modern saints, Paul VI became the first reigning pope to visit sub-saharan Africa when he visited Uganda in July 1969; a visit which included a pilgrimage to the site of the martyrdom at Namugongo. He also dedicated a site for the building of a shrine church in honor of the martyrs, at the spot where Charles Lwanga was killed. The shrine church itself (shown above), was dedicated in 1975 and it was subsequently named a basilica church, a high honor in Catholicism. Archbishop Robert Runcie of Canterbury, and head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, also came on pilgrimage in January 1984. Pope John Paul II in turn honored the martyrs with his own pilgrimage in February 1993. Every year, June 3rd, when most of the martyrs were killed, is marked as a national holiday in Uganda. It is also marked worldwide on the church calender as a day to honor the Uganda Martyrs. Following is a portrait of the 22 canonized Catholic martyrs.
by Richard Rosenberg: Friday, June 20, 2008
The global average is about 35 percent, but the average in Mexico is above 60 percent and in Sri Lanka is below 20 percent. Small loan sizes are the most commonly cited reason why microcredit rates are higher than normal bank rates: microcredit is a “high-touch” business, and MFIs have to process thousands of tiny transactions. But here’s a graph of MFIs in 33 countries, showing pretty clearly that loan size by itself doesn’t explain the differences between their average interest rates.
We see several other dynamics at work:
- Operating costs can be pushed up by factors other than loan size, such as geographic dispersion of rural borrowers, or an unusually expensive labor market, both of which affect costs in Mexico. Age of the MFI is another factor. Surprisingly, scale doesn’t seem to make much difference: statistical analysis by the MIX shows that economies of scale tend to level off after the MFI gets its first 2,000 or so clients.
- Political pressure can make a difference. Some countries impose a legal cap on interest rates to keep them “affordable,” even though this may restrict the availability of microloans. In other countries (like Ethiopia), the government provides a lot of microfinance at very low rates, and MFIs feel political pressure to do the same.
- Management objectives differ. In countries like Bangladesh, managers felt that high interest rates were inconsistent with their social mission, and consequently set rates at levels that would produce very little profit, at least in the early years. In Latin America, many MFIs thought that attracting commercial capital was the best way to expand their social outreach, and wanted higher profits to attract such capital. We are now seeing players in microfinance—only a few so far—whose objective is profit, pure and simple: of course, such investors want interest income to be as high as possible.
- Competition gives borrowers choices, which puts downward pressure on interest rates, forcing MFIs to become less profitable and/or more efficient. This is clearly happening in some places—e.g., Bolivia, where interest rates have dropped from 60 percent in the early 1990s to about 17 percent now. But competition doesn’t produce this result everywhere: rates have not dropped very much in Bangladesh.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
The Drake and MUBS students came to visit on a ‘clinic day’ when about 200-250 clients come for care from either the counseling or the medical wings of TASO Mulago. In the medical wing, doctors primarily address administration of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and treatment of opportunistic infections like Kaposi’s sarcoma, tuberculosis, staph infections, thrush, and many other infections that a strong immune system can typically fight off. When an individual has HIV, however, the virus targets CD4+ T cells that are the central immune system activators; without them, patients cannot mount a proper immune response. Antiretroviral drugs are scarce in Uganda, as they are all over sub-Saharan Africa, so TASO follows WHO standards only administering ARVs when the CD4+ T cell count has dropped below 200µg/dL (350µg/dL for pregnant women) or the client has already fallen victim to opportunistic infections. All therapies are free for the clients. In the counseling wing, staff members work to encourage positive living, disease-state monitoring, goal-setting, and guidance. They also provide basic counseling for prevention, children, couples, families, loss, crisis, and support. Research for data, evidence, and donor accountability is also based out of the counseling department of TASO.
As we filed into the main building, there were many people waiting for their number to be called to receive services. We were informed that the organization serves 36,000 clients at Mulago. Six to eight percent of these are children aged 17 and younger. Of their client base, about 68% is female, and 32% is male. The presenter explained to the seminar’s students that the disproportionate nature of the service based on gender resulted from stigma; women have less of a choice about ‘coming out’ and are not as highly affected by the AIDS stigma as men.
After a brief informational presentation, students enjoyed a performance by TASO’s drama group, which was initially formed in 1992 and has turned into a center-wide project with professional training. Before singing their opening songs, Light and Hope and Trumpet Call, a spokesperson from the group explained their mission to spread the word about positive living, awareness, and eliminating stigma. He stressed that it’s important to realize that even if you’re HIV positive, you can do something positive. Smiling and full of energy, the groups sang their first two pieces in beautiful harmony demonstrating their talents and dedication to spreading the message to fight AIDS. It was very interesting to listen to how the singers included lyrics that encouraged actions to promote HIV awareness and detection, such as talking to a spouse and getting blood work done.
Gertrude, a member of the drama team, was then introduced to tell her story. She explained in candid and heartfelt detail how she had contracted HIV from a man who falsely promised to pay for her school and then proceeded to take advantage of her sexually. Her story was inspiring, though, as she explained how TASO helped her to rebound from losing her job because of stigma, reclaim her life with positive living, marry, and even have a healthy child of her own.
After Gertrude’s testimonial, the drama team performed several more musical numbers. One addressed AIDS stigma with solos from various members highlighting their traumatic experiences with stigmatization. One member sang about losing his friends, and another woman related in her native language her story about being kicked out of the home that she and her deceased husband had built. Another piece emphasized the power that comes with knowledge because even if you are HIV positive there’s still life to live and everybody will die at some time. The closing song had everybody clapping, and finally standing together, perhaps symbolizing us all standing against AIDS. After the music finished, the group members each introduced themselves and stated the year they were diagnosed. Some were diagnosed and joined TASO as early as 1990, 14 years before antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) were introduced to Africa. One man diagnosed in 1995 was even able to boast a CD4+ Tcell count of 1,119µg/dL without ARVs, showing the effectiveness of TASO’s ‘positive living” method which encourages eating healthy foods, taking medications, no smoking/drinking/drug use, mild exercise, acceptance, socialization, not blaming others, not feeling guilty, avoiding depression, and basically leading a normal, healthy life.
After the group closed their performance, students were allowed to ask questions and browse the jewelry and crafts that were made my clients of TASO and for sale to benefit the organization. The afternoon’s performance and messages, hopefully inspired students to consider the possibility of TASO’s vision coming true, the possibility of a world without AIDS.
Perhaps as you consider whether or not TASO’s vision is realistic, you can consider other questions regarding their organization and HIV/AIDS in Africa. How were you touched by the music of the drama group? Did Gertrude’s story inspire you? Were you surprised by the appearance of those with HIV/AIDS? Do you think stereotyping and stigmatizing is an issue in the United States because of our expectation of what they would look and act like? What do you recognize at the biggest challenge to fighting AIDS in Uganda? Do you think stigma is still a major factor affecting an HIV-positive individual in Uganda? If so, what did you recognize TASO doing to combat stigma? If not, what do you recognize as factors that are helping to reduce stigmatization?