Celebrating the Love of Friends in a Loving World

Celebrating the Love of Friends in a Loving World
Red Roses for You, My Sweet Friends ... Total Love.

My Sweet Friends

My sweet friends,

We grow closer to each other;

When we interact together and share ideas;

The common faith that we share,

Binds our hearts in one accord.

For sweet friendships last a life time,

When built on mutual respect, humility and understanding;

Throughout each different season,

We find we are one in life.

Sweet friends are there through times of grief;

And times when hope is gone;

Always there with encouragement;

So we can carry on.

I thank the Lord for you,

My true and faithful friends;

To fondly speak with you, whether we agree or not,

On this, our beloved blog;

For sweet friends will stay, no matter what;

Giving support.

Together, our hearts and minds truly unite;

With the amazing love of sweet friends.

In the spirit of true friendship,

Best wishes, my sweet friends;

May the Lord bless you abundantly.

I remain, yours truly,

B.B. Bakampa.

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Monday, August 9, 2010

Youth Present Their Demands For A Better Uganda

By Bakampa Brian Baryaguma

As Uganda nears the February, 2011 general elections, about five hundred youth, between 12 and 34 years, met at Hotel Africana in Kampala, on Friday, 6th August, 2010, and made known their demands and expectations of the next government. The day-long colourful event was organized by the Uganda National NGO Forum (UNNGOF), in collaboration with the Uganda Youth Network (UYONET), under the theme, “Making the Voices of the Youth Count in the 2011 Elections and Beyond: Building an Agenda and Demands of a Generation for the Next Government.” This is part of the wider Citizen’s Manifesto programme aimed at soliciting ordinary people’s views for presentation to political parties and other stakeholders for consideration.

They presented a number of demands and expectations in a remarkably passionate and mature manner. While they lauded the Universal Primary Education and Universal Secondary Education programmes, they demanded a review of the education curriculum as a strategy for producing a workforce suitable for Uganda’s needs. They also called for revamping of the deteriorating health sector (with emphasis on reproductive health), fighting against corruption, infrastructural development, promotion of democracy and good governance, respect for and observance of human rights, among others. Rampant unemployment, which at 65% is as high as the youth population itself, featured prominently in the discussion. It was therefore, recommended that the retirement age be reduced to enable them attain Civil Service employment. Further, it was proposed that either a fully fledged youth ministry or an independent statutory commission be established to adequately cater for youth affairs as well as enhance youth participation in national development.

The guest speaker, Hon. Major General Mugisha Muntu took the young Ugandans through the history of Africa with quotations from Martin Meredith’s book, The State of Africa, which recollects the continent’s tumultuous past. He implored them to aim at building a better nation, saying that the best way to do this is by acquiring and nurturing a positive character as a virtue. “With character, you will be able to overcome the challenges and temptations that have failed many current and past African leaders,” said the former army commander and currently Uganda’s legislator in the East African Community Assembly.

The event also doubled as an award giving ceremony for participants in the July national essay and fine art competition. According to the Executive Director of UNNGOF, Mr. Sewakiryanga Richard, a total of 214 entries were received during the contest. Although all participants were awarded certificates of participation, nine overall winners in the essay category and three from art, were given handsome cash prizes.

Captain Mike Mukula spoke at and presided over this ceremony. He motivated the youth with his message of hope for a bright future, stating that with hard work, determination and right attitude, anything is possible. A pilot by profession, Mr. Mukula told his audience that he has come from a very humble background, where his family (of eight children) “sometimes went without food for three days” and school fees was difficult to get, to being one of Uganda’s most influential politicians, top investors with a licensed air line company and an accomplished scholar with several honours including a Doctor of Philosophy.

Mr. Larok Arthur, a panelist, encouraged youth to participate in Uganda’s socio-political development, since this is too serious a matter to be left to experts and politicians. He however, stressed that in order to contribute meaningfully they must safeguard against HIV/AIDS and study well in school.