Scott Douglas Jacobsen: You have been involved with humanism to a great degree. What makes humanism the life philosophy worth pursuing?
Bwambale Robert Musubaho: Yes, I remain committed to advancing humanism to the wider community here with a purpose.
Humanism allows us to understand better the world better by favoring us to question everything and grow up with critical minds.
Humanism stresses a lot on encouraging belief in evidence; me as an educationist I encourage evidence based learning at my schools to open up the minds of learners to embrace facts than myths or fables.
Humanism encourages us to put humanity at the center of everything, this is very true because all the advancements, knowledge and innovations under the sun and beyond are evident because of human existence, all the inventions & discoveries have been evident because of human existence.
Humanism is a great necessity in my country Uganda which is highly religious where the majorities believe in god, deities or gods; the country has scores of religions ranging from foreign based ones to indigenous ones. These beliefs have caused divisions, hate, and confusion among people. It has even fueled wars and cases of fundamentalism and extremist activities have been noted. There is a high belief in irrational thinking and superstitious activities, witchcraft and witchcraft accusations, witch hunting which have led to the lynching of innocent lives.
Humanism presence in this part of the world is an antidote to homophobia which is high in Uganda, there is a strong hate of civil liberties and minority rites where same sex acts, LGBT and transgender humans are not looked at as people but castes or wasted fellows, this to me it hurts me since I feel homosexuals are people like others, a majority of them are born naturally like that and have a right to live, study, work and contribute to the development of our country and the world in general. In general, Humanism teaches us to respect human right freedoms, race, sexual orientations etc.
Humanism stresses a lot for people to share with others, this is a great factor that brings people together and puts them on equal footing. You can share food, ideas, shelter or anything and at the end of the day, both of you benefit mutually.
Humanism emphasizes people to broaden their minds and get an education, questioning everything, investing in research and being curious of anything opens one’s mind. This favors you to have self-confidence within you and puts you in a state where you can be fooled or your minds getting manipulated, so in general, this makes one an all-around person which is good for humanity.
Humanism encourages people to respect others and tolerates being with them irrespective of their thinking or mindset but the good thing about being a humanist, you can be an ambassador to explain more about people’s beliefs and where people fall prone to being religious. Humanism allows one to research more about people’s beliefs, God, gods, heavens, heaven, hell or whatever. “Sacred books” This means humanists are more informed about the beliefs systems people embrace plus the books which they pray in.
Humanism Okays Science, Science advancement, and innovations. Science has played a great role in allowing us to understand more about nature, food crops, diet, flora, and fauna and provided solutions to some of the world problems like climate change, over population, proper nutrition, ease transport and mobility of people from one place to another, communication & telecommunications and so many other things.
Jacobsen: What is the Bizoha Humanist Center?
Musabaho: The Bizoha Humanist Center is a one stop point located along Mbarara Kasese Highway in Muhokya trading center in Kasese District, western Uganda where you can come enjoy our services:
We have a library that stocks readable books, magazines, journals, and DVDs. Most of the books are in humanism, atheism, science, and self-help sustainable projects in Agriculture, small business management etc. The purpose of this center is to enlighten the locals about the goodness of science, humanism, and one living a free life free from dogma and indoctrination.
At the Bizoha Humanist Center, we organize conferences, debates on a number of topics on humanism and science and in more months ahead we plan to make tours to different schools, churches, and outdoor places teaching about humanist values, human rights and our role in this world.
At the Bizoha Humanist center, we aim high at being a point where locals can come for entertainment, listening to the news on Television and watching soccer on a giant screen. At some points, we pass on secular messages to the locals to give some eye opener of what we stand for.
At the Bizoha Humanist Center, we offer hostel facilities to guests, some of the guests are volunteers who come work with our projects while others are just tourists who came by to tour Uganda’s rich biodiversity of wild life flora and fauna.
We do have Bizoha women Empowerment group which has an office on our property whose works include women empowerment in tailoring, craft making, trading skills, micro financing to mention but a few.
We do offer other services like boat rides on the nearby Lake George, tractor hire services, secretarial services, soft drinks & hard drinks plus a cup of coffee.
Jacobsen: Why did you organize it?
Musabaho: I organized the Bizoha Humanist Center to share with my people the best of what I embrace and cherish plus enlightening them about humanism and science.
Jacobsen: What are its targeted objectives?
Musabaho: To educate people about humanism and secular thinking.
To encourage people to get more knowledge about science, its importance and how we can make good use of it to solve most of our pressing problems.
To bring people together as one family in this one life we all share.
To make people happy and encouraging them to enjoy life to its fullest as they also take precautions in avoiding things that may tend to complicate their lives.
To foster peace and unity among locals so that we all find joy during our life time.
Jacobsen: How do you hope to implement the intended outreach?
Musabaho: Most of our outreach programs include us moving from the Humanist Center to some outside location in other schools or villages. These movements will be implemented by Kasese United Humanist Association, a community-based organization which I founded in 2009.
Jacobsen: How can people donate or help you?
Musabaho: People can donate to my initiatives via the following organizations:
Brighter Brains Institute based in the United States, their website is at https://www.humanistglobal.org/donate/
Atheist Alliance International based in the United States https://atheistalliance.org/support-aai/donate.html
Humanist Canada https://www.humanistcanada.ca/contact/donate
All these organizations welcome donations earmarked for my projects and have done a good job of redirecting funds to me with ease.
I also do have an organizational website called African Humanists where one can donate directly to me at http://africahumanists.org/new-products/
All in all, I do encourage personalities who can fundraise for my initiatives at their locations by holding fundraising drives or sharing my works with friends.
Jacobsen: What does Bizoha mean to you as an organization?
Musabaho: Bizoha is a great project that has helped so much in favoring scores of needy and orphaned children get an education.
Bizoha has also helped in putting in place an orphanage hostel where total orphans shelter during times when the school term is running.
Bizoha as a project has helped me move from owning one school to owning a string of schools, the international community has welcomed and supported immensely this project and it’s the reason I do have a number of assets which are helping out in creating a change to the better as we serve.
Jacobsen: Who are some partners in the endeavor?
Musabaho: The Bizoha Project is wholesomely a partnership of Kasese Humanist with the Brighter Brains Institute.
Brighter Brains Institute generous donors plus some section from other secular communities worldwide plus some contributions by local guardians and parents have done a great role in ensuring the success of this project.
Jacobsen: Who may be valuable stakeholders in it in the future?
Musabaho: The valuable stake holders of Bizoha Humanist Center in the future is we the local people here in Uganda, the same goes to the Bizoha Schools or Kasese Humanist schools since we are the major beneficiary and at the same time we are on our journey to self-reliance and sustainability.
Original Publication in Humanist Voices.
Scott Douglas Jacobsen founded In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal.