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Giving a voice to student leaders

The Nnabagereka Development Foundation held a leadership symposium this weekend (28 – 30th August, 2019) for patrons of student bodies. The symposium that attracted patrons from 5 cultural institutions (Acholi, Alur, Buganda, Busoga and Bunyoro) aimed at giving a voice to student leaders through triggering their civic engagement ability. Targeting the teachers was premised on the fact that teachers have been granted privileged access to our children and entrusted with their development and raising the future generation.

Leadership mentor-ship is at the heart of the Nnabageraka Development Foundation just like in the Buganda Kingdom writ at large. By which means—as the undersecretary of Buganda Kingdom explained as he opened the leadership symposium on the 29th August, 2019 —leadership of the kingdom through our administrative structures, such as the Prime Minister or the office of the Katikiro, county chiefs, Gombolola chiefs, the parish chiefs all the way to the Batongole.

Inside, thirty volunteers from the United Kingdom were supported by three Ugandan trainers from Nnabagereka Development Foundation. Professor Sam and Mrs Christine Luboga also from Uganda as well and Dinnah Senkungu Walusimbi who travelled all the way from the USA to offer her services.

Topics covered ranged from basic Luganda language, handcraft making, the importance of good behaviour, preparing Kiganda food, financial intelligence and then we directed our attention to knife crime (a pressing problem in the UK at the moment).

In his speech at the closing ceremony, Kabaka’s representative in UK & Ireland – Oweekitiibwa Ronald Lutaaya expressed gratitude to the Nnabagereka for Ekisaakaate concept, the organiser of EKN South London and the parents who brought their children to attend.  Owek. Lutaaya cautioned the parents that the only way their children will retain what they learnt in Ekisaakaate is if the parents are inclined to carry on teaching these values in their homes.

Our education system is incomplete without leadership: not only is the leadership instinct the inspiring force of all education, culture and high society, it is also our chief teacher of gentleness and tenderness an ideal that is so warring against cruelty, harshness and misjudging of our fellow human beings.

The undersecretary of the Buganda Kingdom Peter Zaake opened the leadership symposium on August 29th and thanked the teachers for honouring the invitation. The teachers were patrons from five kingdoms across Uganda, some came from Buganda, Busoga, Acholi, Bunyoro  and Alul kingdom. The undersecretary broke down the structures of leadership within Buganda. “Everything we do, we do because of love for Kabaka and Nnabagereka.’ Peter Zaake said.

“It’s of pertinent interest for us as a foundation to see that we awaken the consciousness of the youth for leadership. Whether it’s in the churches, in schools, in businesses, we want to see an increase in the number of youth in these engagements”

Andrew Edrian Mukiibi, Foundation Manager Nnabagereka Development Foundation

He bestowed onto them gifts from the Buganda Kingdom and urged them to have more responsibilities than they have freedoms. Since a leader with more freedoms than responsibilities is not a good leader.

The Foundation Manager Andrew Adrian Mukiibi made evident the need for youth for civic engagement: “It’s of pertinent interest for us as a foundation to see that we awaken the consciousness of the youth for leadership,” he spoke to an audience of more than 49 teachers “whether it’s in the churches, in schools, in businesses—we want to see increase in the number of youth in these engagements.”

Under the programme youth for civic engagement, the teachers learnt about servant leadership, how to put the needs of others before their own, how to address people and the importance of diversity.

Andrew Adrian Mukiibi, urged the teachers to forfeit corporal punishments and the teachers—induced by the great interest of the symposium—said they desired to put an end to this practice in their lives and in the lives of other teachers. He stressed the importance of diversity and multiculturalism. And encouraged the teachers to interact with others of different cultures and the audience learnt about different proverbs and totems across the board.

Patrons at the NDF Leadership Symposium that took place 28th – 30th Aug 2019 in Kampala

The evening was closed with cultural performances from Acholi, Alur, Basoga, Bunyoro and Baganda.

“We have found the experience helpful in making sense of our experiences as teachers,” said Mr. Chan, one of the patrons from Acholi, “going forward I will affirm, receive and nurture strength and leadership in my students.”

One Patron from Bunyoro named Amoti, said he learnt about the realities of headship and submission. In the Nnabagerka Development Foundation leadership conference he found a moral vision for how to nurture students, a magnificent commitment to the advancement of violent free institutions, an articulate dream for the education system and the tenacity to make it real.

Ms. Nalubega one of the patrons from Buganda said she learnt to hold a position of leadership and fulfill it in a way that signals to her students her endorsement of their responsibility to lead.

The patrons of the student bodies found the Nnabagereka Development Foundation trainers knowledgeable, engaging and comprehensive and by the end of the conference they informed us that they found the experience valuable in teaching them how to make their teaching more personal and directive in order to create a harmony and mutuality that is more effective in guiding students, in turn, they invited the Foundation to each of their schools to teach on leadership in order to provide to the students strength and initiative.