Greek in origin, philanthropy means “love of humanity.” The word has taken on many connotations over the years. Today, the word philanthropy evokes images of large foundations and wealthy individuals seldom found in African communities.
African traditions of generosity have been revived in African philosophy as ‘’ubuntu”. The Liberian peace activist, Layman Gbowee, defined Ubuntu as ‘I am what I am because of who we all are”
Ugandans, like many African societies, have practiced Ubuntu - embracing and valuing community as an asset to drive community action and change. But African generosity that is characterized by sharing resources like time, love, labour, energy and talent to help each other has been called “informal’ and ‘indigenous’ charity and not philanthropy. It renders African generosity, in the words of Jacqueline Asiimwe, the CEO of CivSource Africa, “as not important in the global economy.”
Centering a specific image of financial wealth has created what Chimamanda Adichie called “the danger of a single story.” It portrays Africans, and Ugandans in particular, as needy receiving from those outside of them.
CivSource is introducing “Omutima Omugabi Conversations” in an attempt to reframe this “single story” narrative by reclaiming philanthropy through Ugandan and African lenses, imagination and practices.
Through curated series of conversation events and audio-visual content, Omutima Omugabi Conversations will examine beliefs, values, histories and mind-sets that shape why and how give and whose stories can be told, celebrated and praised.
Join us on this journey as we explore, identify and understand what it is philanthropy in the African context is with focus on Uganda.