UCU Run 2023: Over $6,000 in help & hope for needy students
Originally posted at: https://www.ugandapartners.org/2023/11/ucu-run-2023-over-6000-in-help-hope-for-needy-students/
By Pauline Luba
Years ago, when Brig. Gen. Abdul Rugumayo, a member of Uganda’s army, completed Senior Four, he could not proceed to A’level. He said he did not have the money that was needed for school fees.
As a result, he registered to teach as a non-qualified teacher in a primary school in Uganda, so he could save some money for further education. He eventually saved the money and was able to complete school.
What a coincidence that Rugumayo, the Deputy Director of the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence — the intelligence arm of Uganda’s army — was the one invited to flag off a run organized to raise funds for tuition for needy students of Uganda Christian University (UCU).
“This activity is something very close to my heart, especially when someone is about to do their exams,” Rugumayo said, as he narrated his personal story, before adding: “To give is not because you have. To give is because you share.”
The run, which covered six kilometers (three miles) around Mukono in central Uganda, took place on October 21, 2023. Organized by UCU student leaders, the event began at 7 a.m. with participants engaging in aerobic exercises before the actual race at 8 a.m.
“I come from a family that would have required this type of arrangement during my time as a student,” said Rugumayo, who has served in the army for the past 35 years. He handed over Sh3 million (about $800) as contribution from the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence. He also promised to contribute sh2million (about $530) and commended the student leaders for identifying the military as a partner in trying to support society.
Uganda’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in charge East African Affairs, Rebecca Kadaga, was the main guest of the day.
“I’m glad that the tradition has been maintained and that the young people are growing up as philanthropists. It’s very easy for one not to care about others because their tuition fees have been paid,” said Kadaga, a former Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament. She flagged off the maiden UCU guild run in 2020 and has been keeping tabs on the subsequent races. For the 2020 run, among the donors was Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who contributed sh80million (about $21,250). At the October 21 event, Kadaga pledged to donate sh10million (about $2,700) towards the cause.
UCU Vice Chancellor Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi thanked runners for participating in a cause aimed at supporting needy students with tuition. Mushengyezi pledged sh3million (about $800) from the Office of the Vice Chancellor. Pamela Tumwebaze, the acting head of the Directorate of Student Affairs at UCU, pledged to contribute sh1million ($264). All participants in the race bought running kits — either a vest at sh20,000 (about $5.3) or a T-shirt at sh30,000 (about $8), which they wore on the day of the run. By the end of the event, sh24,000,000 ($6,400) had been collected in cash and pledges.
The proceeds are expected to be handed over to the student leaders who organized the run and they will, thereafter, distribute to students facing financial difficulties.
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