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Luyombya restores hope in broken communities

Godfrey Luyombya (3rd L) hands over relief items to disabled persons recently

Godfrey Luyombya (3rd L) hands over relief items to disabled persons recently

Watching GODFREY LUYOMBYA as he chairs the Nakawa division council using terse language, one may be tempted to think he is an uncompromising conservative.

However, there is a soft side to him, whose motto is, doing small things with great love. A recipient of several transformational awards, Luyombya’s charity work is impacting the thousands of vulnerable persons within the Nakawa division, writes Devon Ssuubi.

Started in May, 2022, the Godfrey Luyombya Foundation has impacted over 10,000 lives, mostly youth, the elderly, the disabled children and women, through mentorship, lobbying and charity, which has been achieved by mobilising resources and doing engagements on a quarterly basis with the help of its partners such as the Hepatitis Aid Organisation, Taste Suggestion Bakery and Spring Wells, among others.

Godfrey Luyombya, the brains behind the foundation, who doubles as the speaker of the Nakawa division as well, states that his dying love to do philanthropic work, support vulnerable communities, and create impact inspired its formation.

“I love supporting the vulnerable. It’s one of my inspirations. And by virtue of the fact that I’m in an office where people always run, that’s how I came up with the idea of an organization,” he said.

“Charity is like wealth; money will never be enough. Try to make sure that at least on an annual level, you do something that is impactful, and it doesn’t need a lot.”

Despite his busy schedule, juggling his political role and the organisation, the positive attitude that he gets from the people he helps and the supportive partners he works with keeps him going amidst the challenges.

“The feeling that I have really blessed these people keeps me moving, plus the passion of the partners who, whenever I approach them, they are always willing to help,” he said.

Talking about the impact of the organisation on the community, he states that in the two years of its existence, they have been able to support vulnerable communities, churches, schools, and the youth. He mentions that the provision of safe and clean water has been achieved through the rehabilitation of water sources and the digging of boreholes in Nakawa division.

Previously, the available water sources were in a sorry state, which proved to be a challenge and a risk to disease outbreaks like cholera and typhoid if not addressed, and still most people were finding it hard to afford even a single jerrycan, which created urgency. Through their partners, they were able to rehabilitate seven spring wells, thereby enabling communities to access clean and safe water.

However, he explains that this is not limited to only his area, Nakawa, but also in other areas where need arises.

“I lobbied for a spring well in Mubende after a funder was willing to give us a spring well, but Nakawa was already sorted, and I had to recommend it to other areas, and the people are now enjoying safe and clean water,” he said.

Furthermore, the organisation looks out for children with disabilities by lobbying for them to have wheelchairs to ease their mobility, and in the past two years, over 100 families with children with disabilities have been supported by partnering with singer Aziz Azion, which provides free wheelchairs to these vulnerable communities.

Meanwhile, the foundation’s partnership with AAR Insurance Uganda birthed the Children With Disability Community Charity day, which is observed every year on March 31. On this day, they provide household items in form of sugar, rice, posho, beans and soap to disadvantaged people in Nakawa division.

“I have been blessed to achieve this through the combined efforts of several partners, including the Elderly Network Foundation, an initiative by Tugende Mu Kikadde. Additionally, there is skilling for the girl child through organising trainings on how to make reusable sanitary pads, which increases their capacity as far as income generation is concerned and creates confidence among them so as to avoid dropping out of school.

“We gave them sample reusable sanitary pads that they can look at to make more after training them because it’s a very essential item for the girl child. Even in universities, you will see a girl child fearing to go to campus because of lack of money to buy these pads,” Luyombya said.

Health is also prioritised through organising health camps aimed at creating awareness within communities. He explained that in most cases, people get diseases, but they don’t know the cause or the actual diseases that are disturbing them. Through these medical camps, people are able to get free consultation.

LASTING IMPACT ON THE YOUTH

The Nakawa area, especially around the market, has been known for the notorious youth gangs that engage in dangerous activities such as robbery, hooliganism, and others taking drugs even during working hours, an issue that creates concern.

However, through the foundation, they have been able to empower them to improve their livelihoods and redirect them into enterprising activities through talent development.

Godfrey Luyombya (R) inspects one of the spring wells he refurbished for the community
Godfrey Luyombya (R) inspects one of the spring wells he refurbished for the community

Through this initiative, the organisation has been able to identify talented young boys and make them brands by supporting their music aspirations, recording their songs, and giving them platforms. This has seen the rise of young stars like the Nakawa-Booming Stars.

“Whenever there is a big concert around Nakawa division, I always take them there, and they perform. It’s a platform for them to give them confidence and make those performances,” he said.

Community parliaments have been created as well as a way to register their challenges, organise them into groups, and lobby for them. For example, they were able to secure a grant of Shs 5 million for a group of youth that had formed a garage, which they used to develop the business.

“We have tried to support them within our means. However, I would beseech the government to try so hard to see that these young people are empowered,” he said.

Additionally, the youths are skilled in civic education through organising competitions, with the winner taking away an award called “Bwongo ku Bwongo Ngabo,” Shs 500,000 cash plus a goat and other support items.

CHALLENGES

Inadequate funds to support all the vulnerable communities is one of the biggest challenges that Luyombya pointed out that the organisation faces. He states that their vision is to provide support on a daily basis, but financial constraints hinder their activities.

Secondly, he mentioned the organisation’s activities are sometimes interpreted to be politically motivated.

“Given that I am a speaker, people who are above you sometimes start questioning your activities and even sometimes even de-campaign them,” he said.

“Sometimes I organise events and some people make fun of it, yet they don’t understand the agenda of the foundation. So, I always get challenges whereby my superiors in politics fight me, thinking that what I am doing is a threat to them.”

Additionally, opportunities for young people are often rare due to their limited education, which proves to be another challenge for the organization. He explains that their endeavours to write to organisations and companies sometimes hit a dead end because most opportunities available cannot cater for the group that you intended to impact.

WHAT OTHER NAKAWA LEADERS SAY

Sarah Nakityo, the woman councillor for the PWD, speaks highly of the foundation for the tremendous work it has done towards supporting the people she is representing at the divisional level. She states that they have been able to distribute over 100 wheelchairs to the disabled through the foundation.

“Luyombya partnered with AAR Insurance Company, and through them, we have contributed to the well-being of the people I represent by
easing their movements.

She added that through the Children With Disability Community Charity day, they are able to provide the disabled with household items and motivate them by bringing artists with the same conditions as a way to show them that hope is not lost.

Jaliya Nalubwama, the deputy speaker for Nakawa division, says that she’s one of the beneficiaries of the foundation, narrating that one time in her area, a family house got burned with all the items turning into ash, but when she approached Luyombya, they were able to bring the family household items such as clothes, food, and other stuff.

Additionally, she stated that they were able to rebalance the water source in Kyanja, which was in a very bad state at the time. When it comes to single mothers, she said, the foundation has always helped them with things like pampers, sugar and clothing for babies.

Comments

0 #1 Luyima Kenneth 2024-07-04 22:58
As a youth leader and advocate for community development in Nakawa Division, I want to express my heartfelt appreciation for the *Godfrey Luyombya Foundation*. Their commitment to empowering disadvantaged individuals and uplifting communities is truly commendable.

Through projects like clean water access, health camps, and talent promotion, the foundation has positively impacted over *10,000 lives* in nakawa .

Their work goes beyond providing essential resources; it fosters growth, enhances well-being, and builds sustainable futures for all.

Thank you, Godfrey Luyombya Foundation*, for your tireless efforts in restoring hope and making a difference in broken communities. Together, we can continue to create positive change!
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