Our appeal to you

Please give Uganda a few minutes of your time! I’ll keep it brief. If you’ve been following this blog you might skip to the 2nd part, after the dotted line. Here’s some background:

The project is called MTCEA (Multi-Purpose Community Empowerment Association). So far it only exists here in the area around the town of Iganga, just north of Lake Victoria in Eastern Uganda. It was set up in 1986 to help the community with adult literacy and farming development. It’s done a great job, from what I can see. Recently it’s been funded by a group of English farmers called FOAG (Farmers Overseas Action Group; their website is ). FOAG has valiantly raised funds for the project, which can now offer a loan scheme to farmers here, to buy a pair of oxen and a plough for each of 153 farming groups.
Ox and cart
The effect on farmers’ lives has been extraordinary. Around 1500 farming families so far have been lifted out of subsistence farming on half an acre or so with a hand-hoe, to growing high quality maize, rice and cotton on 5-10 acres each. No longer do they have to sell ALL their crop to pay their rent; now they have some for their OWN family to eat, plus a little cash surplus to buy clothes, medical care and pay the obligatory school fees. It’s so good. I’ve now visited 25 groups and they say, typically with their hands pressed hard to their hearts – they are happier. But of course!

That’s been fine for the farmers, but the maintenance and expansion of the project continues to rely wholly on the people here on the ground, the team of 5 at MTCEA, the office premises which they rent and buy power for, the ageing motorbike they rely on to visit the farming groups, and the goodness of their hearts. One of them gets a small salary from FOAG, much of which has to be spent on such essential operational costs. The office is dilapidated. I’m already helping to give it a makeover (think Gordon Ramsey but on a rather more limited budget) but it needs so much more to keep this initiative alive.

Broken chain, again....

Broken chain, again….

A little goes so far here. The cost of your latté would feed a large family for a week. My goal is to collect enough money to provide MTCEA with some essential and meaningful resources for a year, by which time some of the loans they’ve made to farmers will be paid back to alleviate their short-fall.

NZ$5,000 will pay for the other 4 small salaries ($800 a year each), the rent and power for the office, transport costs (petrol, occasional hire of second motorbike, maintenance), stationery (they can’t even afford to print 200 newsletters twice a year) and clean drinking water for staff and students. Together we can raise that.

NZ$10,000 will do all that, plus buy a second, more reliable motorbike and some more modern laptops that will endure the frequent and irregular power cuts which beset Uganda. Crucially, it will provide internet access for the office to bring them into at least the 20th century. The office houses a computer “training centre” with 5 ageing and unreliable PCs which provide a small but important income stream. This would be enhanced significantly if internet was available to students. All this will enable the project to expand and reduce further that 42% of the impoverished rural communities. I know it will help so much.

If you are able to help, with the cost of 5 or 10, or even 20 lattés, I guarantee that 100% of your contribution will go straight to MTCEA and will be fully accounted for. We’ll even email you a Ugandan flag (with the Olympic symbol on it, of course, thanks to our single Gold medal!)


There’s a bank account atBank example
National Bank (Nelson, NZ) in the name of “Simon Thomas Uganda”.
Its number is 06-0958-0076759-05.
For international transfers the bank’s “SWIFT CODE” is ANZBNZ22.

Please reference your name so MTCEA can thank you – and a challenge – a one word message of support in the payment reference! Also please email me so I can thank you personally.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Best wishes from Uganda/Nelson
Phone (+64) 275 484688

In any case I’d love to hear from you either by leaving a comment here on the blog or by email to

Thank you very much again:
06-0958-0076759-05 by electronic transfer or international telegraphic transfer, Swift code ANZBNZ22.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rebecca Mackay
    Aug 19, 2012 @ 16:19:39

    Hiya Cuz. I’ve shared this link on FB … and wish you luck with your fund raising! x


  2. David Armstrong
    Aug 22, 2012 @ 23:31:48

    Hi, following a suggestion from Maria Bennich, I’ve placed a news item on Motueka Online about your work, with much of the text on this page as the main article. Hope it gets some responses for you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: