Hi, My name is Caleb Rukundo, the founder of AMAHORO COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE, which is a fully registered local NGO in Uganda. AMAHORO is an East African word for “PEACE.” We wanted a beautiful word for a home for children, who have suffered from abandonment, AIDS, war, and unspeakable violence. But we must speak. So we will speak words of peace…Amahoro.
The focus of our Organization is COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND SOCIAL CHANGE.
My conviction is that there are millions of people in our Ugandan communities today for whom a better life would simply mean having sufficient food for the month, and for the year ahead (or for even the next day). I want to refer to myself as a development worker and aspire to make our organization one which will consider our purpose as to help those who are poor and disadvantaged to achieve a level of “better life” with the capacity to at least secure their basic needs now and into the foreseeable future.
I feel community development and social change work is not about giving needy people free stuff, that would be called welfare or “relief work”. Relief is all about giving people the things they need to survive. But I feel a concern that relief turns people into beggars and parasites who either begin to like the idea of living off other peoples’ generosity, or become so disempowered that they begin to believe there is no use trying to become productive members of society once again- in other wards they lose their self esteem.
This doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in relief work, because on the contrary relief is helping those who honestly cannot help themselves including feeding themselves each day.
However, I believe in, and want to focus on, development which is about enabling people to help themselves- those people in my community who long to be productive and self-reliant, if they only had the capacity and resources to do so (teaching them how to fish and thereby to feed themselves). That’s where I feel our focus as an organization should be.
I believe and want to focus on community development which I know is a process which will enable people in our communities to realize their potential, build self-confidence, and lead lives of dignity and fulfillment. This process will set people free from the fear of want and exploitation.
I believe it will be a movement away from political, economic and social oppression. I believe through development, political independence acquires its significance. By the way, I intend to run for the Village Local council 1 office for this village. I also believe that the base for a nation’s development must be its own resources, and development has therefore to be an effort of, by, and for the people- Its people centered.