By: Frederick H
A year ago, at a time when clarity, positivity and purpose in life is all I hungered for, a friend introduced me to Prince Wako Foundation. A beginning of a new era in my life. Just like any other beginning, there was a lot for me to learn. Actually I was so inquisitive and curious all through the introductory stages, this did not take away the excitement that the new experience harbored within. At the back of my mind, I kept itching to explore what Prince Wako Foundation really stood for; its values, core principles, mission and vision. For several days, a myriad of ideas wandered through my head like a little child seeing its shadow for the first time. I did not know, I was slowly falling in love with a growth and development oriented charity organization that breathed and lived for its passion, i.e. “…empowering the girl child.” The focus on the girl child caught my utmost attention and the clear project implementation strategies utilized by the young women and men swept me off my feet. In a fortnight, moments of curiosity had already paid off. Joshua Wako, a strong willed human rights activist and director vividly shared the vision and all that he wanted to see come alive. From that moment, I knew I was in the right place, doing the right kind of work.
From the onset, I could see the core values and the lifelong commitments exercised by those that worked to see to it that the organization’s vision came alive. Dignity was and still is a core principle on which most projects are hinged.
At Prince Wako foundation, we look at availing sustainable solutions in different parts of the world, under different sectors, with great focus on the girl child
Our first case study was based in East Africa. Here we observed the way of life of most societies, both rural and urban. In reality we were met with appalling situations, where girls in different communities or families were treated in a demeaning manner that went to the core to destroy all pillars that upheld their dignity. From refugee camps, to rural schools, girls in distress looked on without sustainable solutions. Children that grappled with downs syndrome and HIV, had several other layers added onto all that they had to cope up with in the different societies – neglect and rejection. Early marriages also worked against all kind of sustainable development we wished to see in many rural societies. Even when a girl had several skills at school, parents easily got her away, at the expense of getting married. So in broader terms, we coined our mission based on the desire to empower the girl child. Deep down the heart of Prince Wako foundation, we knew, empowering the girl child in the society would influence and have a great development impact on several generations to come.
Then came the projects that were already running in different areas allover East Africa. To the beneficiaries that were found living in the refugee camps in Kenya, scholastic materials and reasonable fees were availed to enroll them in school. Counseling and rehabilitation sessions became a core for many of such kind of beneficiaries. This added impetus in the psychological recovery process of most of the beneficiaries. In Uganda, schools were selected for counseling sessions. Girls from underprivileged families in rural areas were given a lease of life by providing them with scholastic materials, pads and school fees. In other projects, there was focus on the talent of beneficiaries. In some situations girls who possess talent in sports activities that are dominated by males are usually ignored. For us, talent does not discriminate, with several opportunities for female sports ladies all over the world, we chose to encourage the girl child to develop their talents and skills in different fields of sports. All efforts included availing a decent education.
Then we explored and exploited several projects and topics that introduced me to Josephine Sandra Nagayi, a Prince Wako Foundation Ambassador. In all the experiences she shared, she brought to light the draining reality of girls sexually harassed by their step- fathers. This is indeed a very traumatizing experience that can haunt one for the rest of her life.
Volunteering at Prince Wako foundation involves team work and learning new things every day. Every participant gets an opportunity of airing their ideas and implementation is based on the need to provide the right solution
With Sandra, I personally learnt the role and impact of perseverance and persistence in human beings working to make this world a better place. Think about this, what would our societies look like if we chose to surround ourselves with positive energy? What if we were open to encourage every child of ours, regardless of sex or gender to pursue their dreams to the core without relying on customs that propagate discrimination! For sure, things like early marriages and female genital mutilation would be a mystery. Amidst the challenges, we still have to persevere, encourage ourselves to see to it that chains that encourage gender discrimination are done away with in a civil manner.
Then came the passion that I saw manifest in all that Hilda Nabuya did. As a project co- coordinator, a lot rested on her shoulders, but she gave it her all. With several visits to different beneficiaries, I saw passion like never seen before. In my eyes, accountability came clearly. At Prince Wako foundation, we love what we do, all that is done, comes alive with Passion and commitment. Any contribution made by a donor is delivered to the desired beneficiaries through the chosen project. This amplifies our commitment to being accountable and our inclination towards righteousness.
At this point in time, I still feel like it felt the first time. Just like the beginning. Whatever has been done ever since I joined Prince Wako foundation, came as a result of combined efforts that aimed at achieving clear virtuous goals. Thanks to all donors, volunteers. I call upon all well-wishers to join us. To those that are already walking with us, I urge you to keep walking with us till the end. Facts still hold that many girls in East and central Africa still drop out of school due to early pregnancies. Several families in rural areas still consider girls as tools for domestic labor, thus keeping them in the domestic realm as opposed to letting them have a decent education and explore their full potential. What then can we do? If you are a likeminded person, let us share ideas on how we can make this world a better place. If you have the ability, please donate to our cause, support a beneficiary and never stop. For the love of a better tomorrow, Prince Wako Foundation will live for work geared towards empowering the girl child.