‘The least you can do for the vulnerable people in society is to act to ensure they have social justice, if you can’t show this act of kindness don’t harm them.’
Whiles on my mountain trails hikes exploring the beautiful landscapes of Lake Bunyonyi, I was fascinated by a playground architecture in Nyambugu. Nyambugu community is located on the Bunyoni Mountains in the Eastern part of Uganda. The playground made of old car tyres, steering wheels of an old auto craftly ensembled in the entrance of school compound.
I drew the attention of my biking crew and we quickly made a stopover. It was also an opportunity to catch some breadth as we were about to do more climbing. The compound looked dead but as we entered and were exploring the playground a drone of kids from their classrooms stormed out to welcome us.
These kids who were between the ages of 2 to 15years. That was their home and at the same time. Most were orphans and others were neglected children. Met the young proprietor of the home who came out in the midst of all excitement.
He showed around their home and also the day to day life for them. I was really motivated to help. In the midst of uncertainty, the smiles of the children and the commitment of this young man to stay in a rural community to help these poor children.
Out of conviction, I made a post on my facebook to my networks to raise an awareness to what this man is doing for these children. Less than 48hours, a lady I don’t know quickly responded he was a thief. This I thought was really harsh but it was also a warning raising credibility. I am not in a position to judge as I still try to investigate both sides of the story.
This for me raise how donors or volunteers go in supporting organisations with resources especially money. I think you ought to ask yourself these fundamental questions before you make a donation. Is it out of pity or you want to support their development work# Is there a proper mechanism through which donations are accounted for# do you have time to follow up activities through report or any agreed mode of evaluation#
Stories such as local organisations squandering donations are abound but I think donors should take as much responsibility in ensuring that donations get to those intended to by requesting for periodical reports and also take keen interest in the activities through formally agreed procedure.
I support the work of most local organisations and most thrive on volunteers, interns, churches and mosques, organisations to sustain their projects and programs. Governments of Africa continuous neglect for vulnerable people and communities has led to the springing up of organisations trying to alleviate their suffering by provision of care for children with no parents or family or providing portable water. Without the donations from you, most local organisations will break up the cycle of sustainable community development as there is no social support in most communities in Africa.
It is not to say that it is right for them to abuse the trust we have in them with our resources. As much as we expect them to deliver on what ever arrangements made with donations, do we also think about their administrative capacities to do proper accountability.
Corruption in these organisations hurt the very ones they intend to support, when resources intended to alleviate their plight are diverted. The mere fact that allegations or suggestions that an NGO is linked to bribery in any way can be damaging to its reputation and undermine the trust and support of beneficiaries, partners and the wider public and donors. Public concern about the impact of corruption is a critical issue in building public support for aid development.
Local organisations need to act and be seen to act in a way that is honest and transparent. I personally know of local organisations putting in place structures to check corruption and improve its transparency in terms of accountability.
Local organisations continue to fill in the void created over the years through long neglect and run down of our social systems.