Ubuntu is an ethical or humanist philosophy from the southern part of Africa that revolves around give and take, sharing in groups and as more peace between tribes. Loosely translated it means ‘I am because we are’.
Unity & being one together. These are nice terms but also a bit vague. I think it is best to explain the word Ubuntu with a short story.
Anyway .. This could be fake news, but let’s just pretend it actually happened, okay?
A long time ago there was an anthropologist..
He is researching in the remote parts of Africa and staying with a tribe. One day he comes up with a game and collects all the children, points to a tree and says;
“I have placed a big bag of candy at that tree over there! Whoever gets there first can have all the candy.”
To his surprise, he sees the children grab each other’s hands and walk leisurely to the tree. When they reach the tree they sit in a circle and distribute the candy. When asked why no one started running, a girl answers;
How can I be happy..
when the rest of us is sad?
Nice story, right? Whether it happened or not. And you know, a nice thing is that you see this way of living with people in the poor and more remote areas. They take care of each other; not only their family but also the villagers and even strangers.
It’s nice to see people taking care of each other. But on the other hand it’s heartbreaking to see a child die from malaria or diarrhea. It is quite normal here that a large part of the population has no money to allow one or more children to go to school. It is also normal that there is no money for the dentist, they just pull the tooth for 1 dollar. But that there is no money to prevent someone dying from an easily curable disease .. that is something that should not be possible anymore in this day and age.
If we can make a small difference than please, let us be that difference!
We can make a difference in two areas:
What do you think?
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Looking back over the past few years it is interesting to see that the Covid-1984 crisis brings us back to our core. Joeboentoe was founded in 2016 to provide an answer to the commercial approach to volunteering and the many dying projects in developing countries like Uganda. We wanted to be the alternative, a bridge between supply and demand. We asked our volunteers for a contribution that was almost nothing compared to other organizations and hoped to attract volunteers who know how they can help. Based on these principles, we had a website made and we thought; this is what the world is waiting for!
We were constantly asked the same questions; “At what kind of project can I help?” or “What does my daily schedule look like?”. What went wrong? Most importantly our website was not made for these volunteers, so to make our visitors happy we have adapted the website. This made things more clear so we got more volunteers and our chairman learned to develop websites. So a valuable investment of the time, you could say. Over the last years we have received volunteers who have done a nice job but.. Something was not like it should be. Was this the Joeboentoe we initially wanted to be? We want to be the non-profit link between our rich western world with all available knowledge and passions and the poor people in developing countries. We had the feeling that we were on our way, but we were not quite there yet.
Covid-19 has given us the final push to rediscover our core. The situation is so dire that we have decided to host volunteers free of charge in order to get the right volunteers to Uganda. Thanks to two lovely annual donors (♥ thanks Anke & Addy ♥) and the savings account of the chairman, we can keep Joeboentoe running so a volunteer fee can be omitted. Somehow we should therefore be grateful for this crisi. In any case we as Joeboentoe have become stronger, more focused and back where we want to be!