Corruption rears its ugly head in all parts of the world -often hiding behind a heavy veil of religion, spirituality and/or charitable organizations. Donor mistrust and donor fatigue are not new challenges that face organizations working to share skills or to make a difference to the lives of those needing a hand up. Wealth, race, country of origin, tribe, sex, religion, opportunities … we are not given a choice at birth. What motivates an individual to give and/ or receive. When an individual decides to help another individual to see and to access the many doors and windows in the world -why do some individuals feel it is their right to place restrictions on who receives this opportunity and why do some individuals give not from their hearts but give based on their own personal agendas. Be it love, passion, greed, jealousy, sense of entitlement or survival that motivate these individuals -I continue to see that education is vital to help change how our kids see the world. They must see through the eyes of the informed and not only through the eyes of entitlement/poverty and other stereotypes perpetuated by the media.
Recently, I have had the pleasure of meeting corruption face to face not only in Uganda but also in Canada. Corruption does not necessarily lack wealth nor does it have a race, country of origin, tribe, sex, religion or less opportunities in life. Corruption comes in many forms and disguises and can often walk comfortably next to us. When Corruption rears its ugly head, in the form of defamation, theft and blackmail, it hurts not only those targeted but the innocent and the vulnerable women and children we are working with. In military terms, the innocent lives lost are considered collateral damage and it is heart breaking to see how easy it is for some humans to sacrifice innocent lives, and lives of loved ones, for their own greater good. Actions and in-actions … do not think for one second that no one is watching.
Truth is not always well received and it has been entertaining to see the intricate stories woven to silence me and to take me out of corruption’s picture. I am not the first nor will I be the last, I am told by those who have out danced corruption, but I will not be silent. I have been warned by friends that lives are lost at such chance encounters and I have always taken heed. With time – truth, integrity and strength always prevail. It is time.
I am constantly reminded, in my line of work, that “all that glistens is not gold”* and sad that the weak often choose the cowardly dance steps of greed over friendship and growth. Today – corruption chooses me as his unwilling dance partner. Fortunately, I am a quick learner and perhaps today -it will not be my toes that will be stepped on. Let the music begin.