money as a gift

Christmas is here again. The tills and money boxes of the merchants ring with joy, not in remembrance of the saviour’s birth but in celebration of the saver’s spending spree.

This Christmas, the average American will spend US$929 (Sh. 3.3 million) on Christmas gifts. The figure for Canada is about US$600 (Sh. 2.2 million); Norway, US$592 (Sh. 2.1 million); and Britain, US$350 (Sh. 1.3 million). These figures do not include spending on decorations, gifts to self, food and other entertainment.

I do not have the current figure for Uganda, but a New Vision newspaper survey in 2014 showed that the average Ugandan respondent planned to spend a maximum of US$22 (Sh.80,000) that Christmas. All these figures represent hefty change, although how much people spend on Christmas is not my business. If you have the cash, have a great time.

However, I ask that you remember me. I really need your help. I mean financial help. Just a fraction of your Christmas budget. Oh, I do not ask you to give me the money. I ask that you support a cause that is very dear to my heart, namely, accessible quality education for the children and young people of Uganda.

All over Uganda are young people who are hungry for knowledge and employable skills. Like you and me who were beneficiaries of the generosity of strangers that set up an excellent education system, these young people need our support so that they too can have a secure future.

Education is a liberating asset that trumps everything else that we consider important. Not even healthcare beats it. Good education enables individuals and communities to live healthier lives and access better health care.

That is why I ask every Ugandan at home and abroad who has a bit of money, to identify a credible not-for-profit education project in their home district and give it a generous gift this Christmas.

The reason I encourage people to give money to education projects in their home area or region is because charity begins at home. Giving back to a community that made you is a joyful obligation.

Second, one is more likely to keep track of the progress of a project in their home area than one that is far removed. Third, the sum total of “locals” giving to their native communities is a simultaneous national investment in a common vision.

Of course you can give to your community and another community of your choosing. What is key is that you give in support of quality education.

This Christmas, I wish to applaud some individuals that have chosen to invest in efforts to build state-of-the-art non-profit education programs in Uganda.

James & Phoebe Gonahasa

Phoebe and James Gonahasa of Toronto, Canada, have been working very hard to complete the Amazing Love School in Namutumba, Busoga, an underserviced area that desperately needs a good quality school.

Phoebe and James are working with their community to create a school that, in addition to the standard curriculum, promotes good moral values and community service. They need only Sh.250 million ($70,000) to complete this not-for-profit school that offers enormous long-term value to Uganda.

Akello Miriam Atoro

Akello Miriam Atoro, a teacher who, until recently, lived and worked in Canada and the United Kingdom, will open the Gulu Montessori School (GMS) in January 2017. Located in Laroo Division of Gulu Municipality, the mission of the GMS is “to provide an exceptional educational experience that inspires a love of learning and nurtures the young child’s mind, heart and soul through the use of creative Arts and Sciences.”

Miriam, a woman of great faith and integrity, is spending her own savings to create a not-for-profit school that will be open to fee-paying students, but will offer full scholarships to children from disadvantaged backgrounds. To start a fully functioning school, Miriam and her team will need Sh. 970 million ($270,000).

Twesigye Jackson Kaguri of Michigan, USA, the founder of the Nyaka Aids Orphans Project in Kanungu District, continues to receive international acclaim and support because of the impressive results of his team’s hard work.

Twesigye Jackson Kaguri

Central to his work with the Nyakagyezi (Nyaka) community is a major investment in education that has seen the construction of a school with modern facilities. Kaguri and his team serve as an inspiration for those who seek positive transformation of communities, literally one brick at a time.

A small group of Banyakigezi have supported the Kigezi Education Fund (KEF) since its formation in 2003. Through KEF, the flagship project of the International Community of Banyakigezi (ICOB), these Banyakigezi who live in Canada, UK, USA and Uganda have funded three fully equipped Information and Communication Technology (ICT) centres (Rukungiri, Kisoro and Nyarushanje Technical Institutes), and an electrical and plumbing college program at Nyakatare Technical Institute.

The Board of ICOB has also approved funding for a brand new ICT Centre at Kizinga Technical School in Kabale District that is expected to be fully operational by the end of the first quarter of 2017.

These and other not-for-profit efforts deserve your financial support. I recommend these four projects without reservation because I know they are led with integrity, transparency and fidelity to accountability.

I encourage every community in Uganda to invest in accessible high quality education of our children and young citizens. The best Christmas gift is one that gives hope and opportunities through quality education for young Okello, Mukasa, Kamure, Gidudu and Rubaganzya.  The best gift to me is a donation  to the Kigezi Education Fund right here.

I wish you a very blessed, happy and safe Christmas and New Year.



9 Responses to “I need your financial help this Christmas”

  1. Avatar

    Thank your very much Dr.Mulera Muniini for that heart of giving. Giving is very good but sometimes we are limited by our income.

    • Avatar
      Muniini K. Mulera

      Thank you Innocent. I think we are limited by our hearts, not income. There is no minimum amount that we are required to give. Each person should give as they feel led and can afford. A dollar given with a good heart and commitment is as good as ten thousand given with the same spirit.

      Furthermore, one does not have to give money. Time, treasure or talent. For example, a person may not have the money, but they may know someone who has the money. By mobilizing support, one gives to the cause. Thank you again.

      • Avatar

        I agree with you, Muniini in regards to giving. I am reminded of the woman who gave the only penny she has and Jesus said that she gave more than anybody else as that is she had unlike others who had plenty. I will see what I can do. Merry Christmas!

  2. Avatar
    Kanyamugara Maria

    Thx Dr Muniini for that encouragement n to be honest giving n sharing is my family’s theme for this festive season.

    I asked my girls to pack the clothing they no longer use so we take them to the village n I’m amazed to find heaps of clothes. On whether they have left anything for themselves the baby reckoned they have packed all…God will provide in the New Year

    True, giving should not be limited to finances. We can share food, household items, and most of all LOVE.

    MERRY XMAS Brothers n Sisters

  3. Avatar
    Ann Karasanyi

    Muniini you forgot my Namutamba, Ssingo, Buganda water project where people do not have clean water acrucial essential to good health. For those interested can writeme st

    • Avatar
      Muniini K. Mulera

      Hello Ann,

      No doubt the needs are very many and lots of people are doing great work. This Christmas I chose to focus of education.

      Warm regards,


  4. Avatar
    Diana Onyango

    Thank you for the comment and challenge. I have not checked but assume these people/projects have on line platforms via which some of their achiements and progress can be viewed. I will checking the out out of interest.

    I have done that for the school my children go to for their sponsors!! I also was pursuaded to donate £2.00 month which over a year along with other equal amount donations covers fees for at least one disavantaged child year. I was pursuaded also because I was a benefiary to help from people I will never know personally but feel hugely grateful to.

    Charity begins at home you say. So in time I will consider what I can afford to give regularly to one these projects however, it needs to be clarified I guess as to how exactly my humble contribution will help. That is how this school caught my attention on the matter. There are lessons to learn from such people on how to motivate people to give.

  5. Avatar

    Great piece,
    My family has sponsored an under priviledged girl from primary level to University,and now our task is to find her a job as a procurement and office administrator.I know that her family are really proud of her,and look forward to her continued success.
    As we look towards supporting others,not only during the Christmas season,let us also think about continuously supporting those in real need.
    Thanks for the continuous support you give to the less priviledged.

  6. Avatar
    Waa Byamukama (Katikiri ).

    Thank you so much Dr. lets have a giving heart. ‘Kamwe kamwe’ nigo muganda.


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