Lets all lead through simple acts of Gratitude, Lets all be philanthropists!

The East Africa Association of Grant Makers must be commended for the good work they have done. Eaag team did Kenya, East Africa and my self proud by hosting a wonderful Conference and also awarding philanthropist. Time for this had come. I must say that through the conference, I have been able to learn more things than I ever thought I would. Most of which are related to the theme of the conference; Philanthropy, and others too……

Let me start with the other things; I became an international tourist . Uganda is a wonderful country, starting with the people, they treat you with a lot of respect  and this makes you feel cared for. I finally got the chance to try out the famous Matoke meal that has been in the airwaves as one of the best delicacies in Uganda. On matters security, Uganda security staff walk with guns and I found this a bit interesting; I think the bill should also be allowed I Kenya so that G4s can easily transport money and even reduce on the cost implications of additional police! In addition, the traffic police put on white and have  whistles. To make it even more interesting, the new Samsung Galaxy S3 is 21,000,000 Ugandan Shillings; Shocking right? Am heading back to Nairobi as of this writing and I opted to use Road as my means of transport because of the beautiful sceneries I would not want miss, but more of this another day.

Am sharing my thoughts on the conference because it has opened my eyes and deepened my understanding on the matter of Philanthropy. Various discussants touched on issues that have been lingering at the back of my head and I have also wondered how Literate Kenya can go around them. Some of the topics of discussions included; The Role of Grant-makers and implementing organizations in Promoting Leadership & Governance, Mainstreaming Institutional Support and Strengthening Programmes in Grant-making, Resourcing Leadership and Governance Programmes, Promoting Philanthropy through Public-Private Partnerships, Towards Self Regulation: Accreditation and Certification Mechanisms for Nongovernmental Organization, Philanthropy as a Catalytic Agent for Regional Integration and  Contemporary Initiatives Supporting the growth of philanthropy. I also found the opportunity of considering my self as an East African and in our interactions, it was clear that the problems we go through in our different countries can be handled through interactions and replicable programs. In addition, I made new friends who during the discussions helped me reflect on the issues the civil societies undergo in Kenya. For Example, Kepta Ombati actually informed me about the understanding of Philanthropy and Charity; a concept that most of the Kenyan organization confuse to mean one thing. However this is not true. I have also realized that, ” we need not to wait till we are rich or wealth to start being philanthropic or start giving,” words of the EAAG chair who when awarding the winners of 2012 as he  talked about the little things we can do to change and impact the communities. I would also like to congratulate the organizations and individuals who worn the awards. It would also be unfair for me to end the blog without mentioning these facts;

    1. Their were more Kenyans that any other country in the conference; including Ugandans
    2. Kenyans stories and lessons resonate with the rest of East Africa
    3. Most of the Awards we taken with Kenyans  and I must say that Kenya has once again led by example and its true that I feel nice and wonderful when  our country is represented and named in such events

The youths are changing; and we are no longer Leaders of Tomorrow but of Today and by learning and interacting with Knowledge and Skill, we will make a difference as our vision at Literate Kenya states; Learn Make a Difference! In the conference, we were a total of 8 youths from different countries who were nominated for the philanthropy award.  I proud to congratulate a fellow Kenyan; Ephastus who got the Award. Just to point out, the young individuals have always been despised as individuals who can not do much in the area of giving. Through the conference,  I was able to realize that the problems we face as literate Kenya are also being faced by other youth full organizations else where in the country and there are hands to hold us through the journey.  As we were discussing, we also agreed to form a Movement that will incorporate all the youths in Philanthropy in Kenya and in East Africa as a way of pulling together resources for the communities  and ensuring that there is a lasting effect in our programs. Our agreement was backed with the Chief Executive of EAAG; Nicanor Sabula, who promised to support all our activities. I would like to rally the youthful generation of this country to adopt a cause and commit to giving. I must commend Safaricom Foundation for demystifying the concept of philanthropy by asking Kenyans to give back to the communities through Talent and Expertise. In addition, we need to realize that what we consider small may make a difference in the life of another Kenyan, East African and to a larger Extent, African. We have always had the thought that donors are guys from abroad who have lots of money and give after they have become wealthy! Africans, East Africans, Kenyans and more so the youth can become Donors. I must commend Bill Gates and others who have been philanthropic through giving to various programs and initiatives in Africa and Kenya for that matter but this is a new Dawn for the young generation and East Africa.

To all the youth and citizens of East Africa, Lets all lead through simple acts of Gratitude, Lets all be philanthropists!

Tusaidiane tuchanuane

Scofield Muliru

Director Operations

Literate Kenya Initiative

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