Interview with Susan Nambejja on Malcolm Childrens’ Foundation

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Susan Nambejja is a Ugandan Human Rights Activist who was born in a small town, Kabwoko, in Rakai District, Uganda. She earned a Bachelor of Information Technology degree from Makerere University, a Certificate in Depression Management and Suicide Control, and is a Certified Humanist Celebrant in Uganda where she was trained in Scotland in the United Kingdom.

She is the Founder, and Managing Director and Programmes Coordinator, for Malcolm Children’s Foundation Uganda, and is a Former Editorial Assistant of the Open Talk Magazine for HALEA Youth Support Organization.

Nambejja is among the directors of Uganda Humanist Association (UHASSO). Nambejja is a fine artist and a painter. She draws her art from imagination and real life (Nature).

She imagines a happy world for all human beings where there are healthy life and less suffering. Nambejja is a businesswoman, who owns Sudona detergent supplies.

She has worked with Humanist Association for Leadership Equity and Accountability as a secretary, psychosocial therapist, and an entrepreneurship trainer.

Through the same organization, she has taught teenagers about entrepreneurship skills, sharing knowledge with the aim of empowering girl child in Uganda.

She fights for the rights of the marginalized people/families in Uganda. Nambejja is a voice for children suffering from life-threatening congenital diseases in Uganda.

Her ideas are against human suffering and societal inequalities, their origins, and how to mitigate or possibly eliminate them.

Nambejja is a very hardworking, brave and determined lady that leaves no stone unturned. She doesn’t give up unless success is achieved. She is very passionate about acts of Humanity rather than human beings.

If you feel like contacting, please do so through the following: Nambejjanambejja9@gmail.com, malcolmchildrensfoundation@gmail.com, and https://malcolmchildrensfoundation.wordpress.com. Here we talk about her recent work and background.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: How did you become involved in humanism and its community?

Susan Nambejja: In 2008, I was in my first year at Makerere University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in information technology. I decided to look for a nongovernmental children’s organization to volunteer with.

I landed on the Humanist Association for Leadership Equity and Accountability (HALEA) youth support organization and, by then, they had the teens empowerment project.

The project’s goal involved empowering teenagers, especially teens who would become pregnant, to go back to school, and as well as helping orphans to go back to school.

My role was to take these children whenever they would get sick to hospital. Being orphans, I would act as their parent.

Together with other roles in the organization which included secretary and entrepreneurship trainer, I begun to ask a lot about Humanism. I got various answers.

But what triggered my interest to keep following and later on change were the values (e.g., fairness, equality, happiness, freedom, and justice for every human being).

I liked the organization and started fighting to ensure that putting Humanity first is key in my life.

Jacobsen: What seems like the stronger points of its, not necessarily structure formal philosophy but, way in which to approach life and live in the world?

Nambejja: Human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. (The right to freedom of speech, medication, to be educated, to eat what you want, to lead and, among others but moreso, consider fellow human beings.) To have a sense of Humanity for us all in this world, to me, it is key.

Jacobsen: Who are prominent African humanists who stand out to you?

Nambejja: Sedar Senghor of Senegal and Nkwame Nkrumah of Ghana.

Jacobsen: Why those individuals?

Nambejja: Senghor is the father of the poeticizing tradition. He defended the humanity of black Africans primarily through literature; although, his thought also included reflections on music.

Senghor argued that African value systems were more properly humanistic than European ones because the African models affirmed that the passionate or emotional side of a person carries the same value and legitimacy as the rational, and analytic side.

In Ghana, the secular humanist tradition took hold through the thought of Kwame Nkrumah (1909–1972), who in 1946 offered what he called consciencism, or critical material consciousness.

For Nkrumah, African humanism was a call for explicitly political responses to social problems.

Jacobsen: What have been important literary productions of African freethinkers?

Nambejja: Literature by Wole Soyinka communicate has important truth about politics. Emancipation of a Black Atheist offers an emotional and intellectual odyssey through the expansive sea of religion in the Black community.

Jacobsen: What are the next important stages of the freethinking African movement for the inclusion of more women’s voices?

Nambejja: Encouraging women to take up leadership positions to enable wider representatives of women and indulgence in speaking for the rights of women in Africa.

Women in Africa are still undermined and in some areas are still taken as the weaker sex. If we encourage women to stand on their feet to get involved in airing out views, we can help women be heard by inviting them to speak on different occasions, seminars, workshops, conferences, and debates, among other events.

Jacobsen: How did all this feed into the founding of Malcolm Children’s Foundation?

Nambejja: Despite the fact that I like children and am passionate about serving them, Malcolm Children’s Foundation was founded contrary to all this.

I was inspired by the short life of my son Malcolm, born with Truncus arteriosus type 2. A congenital life-threatening heart disease which required over $40,000 to save his life.

His father and I couldn’t afford to raise funds. We suffered a lot, but later on, we were helped by various humanists to take him to India for heart surgery.

He died shortly after the surgery. The pain of losing a child is unexplainable, but I decided to start helping children suffering like him to get access to the medical treatment they need through Malcolm Children’s Foundation.

Jacobsen: What is the mission and mandate of the Malcolm Children’s Foundation?

Nambejja: Malcolm Children’s Foundation was officially registered as a charity organization based in Kampala Uganda, its mission is saving little lives.

We focus on helping children with congenital life-threatening diseases to get access to the medical treatment they need.

Jacobsen: How does Malcolm Children’s Foundation provides services and support within its mission and mandate?

Nambejja: Our services include paying patients’ medical treatment for those whose treatment is readily available in Uganda, and helping those whose treatment is not available in Uganda by starting campaigns to raise funds required to take them for life saving surgeries.

We help parents to take the required medical tests, including echocardiograms, liver cancer, encephalitis, among others. We do patient follow-ups by visiting patients in hospitals and homes to see their medical improvement.  

We create awareness about child neo-natal and post-natal health care. We educate our communities about primary and secondary health care. We do monthly hospital runs where we visit patients and in doing this activity we give out materials that help patients to stay in a clean hospital.

Materials, too, including soap, pampers, sugar, and so on; we also buy oxygen oximeters, bandages, and medicine prescribed for our patients. We encourage patients to go for HIV, Hepatitis B, Sickle Cell, and other diseases tests.

Jacobsen: What is the 5-year plan, say, of Malcolm Children’s Foundation?

Nambejja: Helping at least, and not less than, 50 children to get access to medical treatment they need in Uganda and outside Uganda, having a pharmacy where our patients can get free medication prescribed by doctors.

We see ourselves giving equipment like x-rays, echocardiogram machines, scanners, and others, to hospitals that lack them.

Jacobsen: What tasks and responsibilities come with the position of Managing Director and Programmes Director of Malcolm Children’s Foundation?

Nambejja: As a managing director and programmes coordinator, I am responsible for the performance of the organization, as dictated by the board’s overall strategy.

As a programmes coordinator, I ensure that all programs of the foundation are coordinated and run as expected by the board of the foundation.

Jacobsen: What are your hopes for its work in the coming second half of 2019 and into 2020?

I hope my work will enable me to save children’s lives. Their parents will refer to my help for the life of their children. I will rejoice to see children living a healthy happy life. I am not sure, but I hope I will get people willing to help me achieve this goal.

Jacobsen: Any final feelings or thoughts in conclusion?

Nambejja: “Life is a big classroom that we all need to learn from each other, and we should love to help each other, otherwise we’d be subject to failure.”

Let us join hands to help the poor marginalised people to enjoy life as we do by helping them to have a healthy happy life.

Please visit our website: https://malcolmchildrensfoundation.wordpress.com to see the works of Malcolm Children’s Foundation Uganda. Feel free to contact us on malcolmchildrensfoundation@gmail.com.

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Susan.

Nambejja: You are welcome, thank you Scott.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-books, free or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.

Do not forget to look into our associates: Godless Mom, Nice Mangoes, Sandwalk, Brainstorm Podcast, Left at the Valley, Life, the Universe & Everything Else, The Reality Check, Bad Science Watch, British Columbia Humanist Association, Dying With Dignity Canada, Canadian Secular Alliance, and Centre for Inquiry Canada.

Other Resources: Recovering From Religion.

Photo by Daniel Seßler on Unsplash

4 thoughts on “Interview with Susan Nambejja on Malcolm Childrens’ Foundation

  1. Thank you so much for the opportunity, especially for our foundation.
    Susan

  2. Ooh well done Susan For the work done in ur presence

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