Tuesday, 26 May 2009
It is tipping down in Kampala, so I have the opportunity now to update my recently under-utilised travel blog.
Last Tuesday I was invited to visit KEST - Kampala Evangelical School of Theology, who can be found at http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~kest/about_kest.html. I have always been a little wary of evangelical Christian organisations as I would much rather Christians practise what they preach and my discussion with Dr. Solomon Nkesiga was focused around how his college can be utilised for practical ways to alleviate poverty and suffering.
He's definitely someone to be welcomed at NED, for his interest in social entrepreneurship, but also someone with significant interest in plants - he showed me Aloe Vera, Jatropha (from which one can extract oil to make biodiesel) and also some genetically-modified bananas on my whistlestop tour of his home environs. He also showed me papyrus growing in fields and how he was testing out its use in construction.
Our common ground is his interest in supporting the development of "the educated poor", focusing in on those within rural communities who can create change and be relied upon to learn and manage development effectively. There is clearly some synergy here with the Butterfly Project, which is about educating the gifted and talented disadvantaged youth in social entrepreneurship and thus another advocate of the Butterfly concept was found.
KEST also work in training of youth workers, as Uganda has so many orphans and children and youths who were previously soldiers and have been severely impacted by the experience. Many NGOs have sprung up looking for aid funding, yet few have the experience to deliver high quality services.
To me this is a Christian organisation using the bible as a vehicle for change, not a sword to battle others.
Pics: Dr Solomon Nkesiga and the Jatropha plant