Shun M7 Handouts — S. Korea Ambassador Tells Ugandans
By Venenscias Kiiza
The South Korean Ambassador to Uganda Park Jong-Dae has asked Ugandans to shun the begging culture and embrace Agriculture, Education and as well enhance projects monitoring and implementation if they are to get out of the poverty cycle.
Park has since asked Ugandans not to look at president Museveni’s handouts as a way to go, but instead to help him in fighting poverty in order to achieve vision 2040.
“Ugandans should not wait for government to do everything for them, they should shun handouts. They should not even think about donor aid. I have heard president Museveni in news saying, Ugandans have left him alone in the battle against poverty, and let’s help him,” Park Jon-Dae said.
Park made these remarks on Tuesday during the South Korean Ambassador’s cup awards to Ugandan villages for transforming their communities through voluntarism and cooperation.
During the awarding ceremony held at National Farmers Leadership Centre-Mpigi, Kangulumira village took the grand prize of Shs10m for initiating several developments and income generating activities without receiving any external help.
The group was also awarded various farming equipment’s.
The village was lauded for the significant improvement in the living conditions it achieved through building ‘smart homes’ with enhanced hygiene.
They were also recognized for widening village roads, and as well constructing affordable smart homes.
The second prize went to Shuuku Village from Sheema district, for promoting modern Banana farming practices among others.
Other villages included Nyakahama (3rd), Mukono (4th), Hakagongo village (5th), Naguru Katale (6th), Ndiraweeru village (7th) and Moru Ikara village coming in eight position.
This was the second National Saemaul Undong (SMU) competition, having launched last year by the South Korean Embassy, requiring all Ugandan villages to submit in their rural development action plans using the SMU model.
This time, a total of 57 villages across the country participated in the competition.
The participating villages were evaluated in terms of the ambitions and actual achievements stated in their SMU action plans.
SMU is a South Korean model of rural development founded on three principles of diligence, self-help and cooperation.
It can be likened to a Ugandan village movement locally referred to as ‘Bulungi bwansi’ where people volunteer to work for the good of the community.
He commended Uganda for her impressive plans saying the only problem underlies in implementing them, before requesting development countries not to rely on donor support.
“Development aid cannot help developing countries to develop, it just facilitates. Let the mindset change, they have to develop themselves and this will help Uganda to take off on a right direction, “he added.
The model was born in 1970 and it played a pivotal role in transforming South Korea from a lowly country to one of the richest countries in the world.
Commenting on the SMU model Park said, “SMU is a mindset reform and wellbeing movement wherein the people themselves shape their future development and villages engage in mutually reinforcing competitions.”
A growing number of countries around the globe are embracing the SMU as a role model for sustainable development. In Africa alone, SMU villages have been established in Uganda, Tanzania, Madagascar, DR Congo, Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire.