The Member of Parliament for Rwampara county, Charles Ngabirano has been appointed the new Chairperson for the Red Cross Society in Mbarara.
Ngabirano replaces Midragi Lubega Kazooba who was the former Mbarara district health educator whose contract expired in November.
Addressing guests at the handover ceremony which was held at Lake View Hotel in Mbarara over the weekend, Ngabirano appealed to the public to offer more support to the Red Cross Society by subscribing as members and contributing resources towards sustaining the organization’s activities.
“There are very many vulnerable people in society who are sick, others go without food, others are handicapped, the young and mothers who want Red Cross’ intervention,” said Ngabirano.
He added that Red Cross has tried to intervene and mitigate the impact of disasters happening around the country although the resources are inadequate compared to the needs.
He appealed Ugandans to stop perceiving Red Cross as an international organization but instead support it in its efforts to reach out to those in need.
“Uganda Red Cross society is for people stop taking it to be a foreign organization which conducts international activities for refugees. Look at it as a local organization of Ugandans mandated to help Ugandans,” said the Rwampara legislator.
On his part, the Secretary General of Uganda Red Cross Society, Robert Kwesiga said that Africans were traditionally known to join efforts and contribute to the well being of their fellow Africans but that this has changed. He attributed this shift to the advent of foreign aid which he said has made Africans consider themselves vulnerable.
“We now wait for hand outs and have stopped supporting each other,” said Kwesiga.
Kwesiga said there is a need for change in this mindset so that Africans can start contributing to African needs and challenges.
“Africans’ money is contributed to church dues, funerals, parties. We need to change this mindset and plan on how we can solve this kind of lifestyle. Foreignsupport should be coming in as a supplement having built capacity to do the needful in humanitarian support,” Kwesiga noted.
Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) was founded in 1962 and previously it was part of the British Red Cross. In executions of its humanitarian activities, Uganda Red Cross works with a number of partners in the execution of its mission. These include the Government of Uganda, UN agencies, international funding agencies, corporate companies and sister Red Cross National Societies.
The Mbarara Red Cross Society serves districts of Isingiro, Ibanda, Kiruhura and Mbarara.