Home' Scoop : Scoop 53 Spring 2010 Contents 92 scoop SPRING 2010
At Liberty to make a difference
In an attempt to break away from her mundane
Human Resources job in Perth, Magda Woloszyn
of West Leederville set off to make a difference
in the world by signing up for a volunteering
placement program with the Liberty Development
Foundation (LIDEFO) in Kasese, Uganda.
Now halfway through her year-long placement,
26-year-old Magda is getting used to cold showers,
regular blackouts, water cuts, a diet of rice, beans and
potatoes and being shouted at by curious children.
“Out of the 100,000 people in the town I live in,
there are only 12 muzungus (white-skinned people)
so the locals are still surprised to see us.”
As the Organisational Development Advisor at
LIDEFO, Magda is currently working on Liberty
Colleg e, a not-for-profit vocational education
centre for young adults with underprivileged
backgrounds who cannot afford tuition. “The
focus of the college is to equip our students
with practical life skills such as tailoring, catering,
journalism and secretarial studies in order to
improve their livelihoods,” Magda says.
“Muhayirwa Michael Thembo’s story is one that
is common within this area of Uganda: his dad was
one of many who was shot by the Allied Democratic
Forces rebels, which crippled him and made
providing for his family impossible. Michael often
went without meals, fell behind on paying his college
fees and came close to dropping out. The situation
got so bad that the college had to step in and provide
his meals because he wasn’t eating.
In exchange, Michael offered to sleep on
the floor within the classroom to guard
our few computers from thieves. It was
a heart-war ming moment when Michael
discovered he was chosen for a full tuition
scholarship by a Perth-based woman, and his
life was turned around. He now no longer
has to worry about missing meals or meeting
college payments; his sponsor has provided
him with an opportunity of a lifetime – an
education and access to a better future.
“As part of Liberty Colleg e’s
commitment to ser ving students from
disadvantag ed backgrounds, I have
introduced a scholarship program
for those in need. This program is
made possible only by external donors
sponsoring a student’s fees and in turn
changing their lives forever,” Magda says.
Aliganyira Josam is a young man looking
for a sponsor. “Josam had encountered many
problems at home, including domestic violence, his
father’s alcoholism, his parents splitting up and not
being able to raise the money needed to pay for his
school fees throughout his life.”
Josam began to beg on the streets of Kampala to
make a living. A relative came to Josam’s rescue and
took him under his wing, sponsoring his school fees
until Josam turned 18. Then his life took another
unfortunate turn when his relative was killed.
“Josam has now managed to enroll in a catering
course at the Liberty College, and is seeking support
in the for m of a scholarship because he is unable to
make the fee payments. We hope a sponsor will be
identified in the near future.”
One year’s tuition at Liberty College costs $100
and provides students with the opportunity to learn
a practical skill to work their way out of poverty. “I
am convinced that the average, everyday Aussie can
make a difference in the world,” Magda says.
For more infor mation about Liberty College at LIFEDO
visit lidefo.or g or globaldevelopment.or g.au . If you are
interested in helping Josam – or another child – you can
contact Magda direct firstname.lastname@example.org .
There are currently 140,000 Australians living
with type one diabetes, a life-long autoimmune
disease that mainly occurs in childhood. Walk
to Cure Diabetes brings together 40,000
members of the community suffering from
type one diabetes with the hope of raising
$2 million to help find a cure. Walks are held
all over Australia: in Albany, Geraldton and
Perth, the walks will be starting from Middleton
Beach, Pioneer Memorial Park and Burswood
Park respectively at 10am on October 17.
Mike Wilson, CEO of the Juvenile Diabetes
Research Foundation, says the situation is
urgent because every day six Australians are
diagnosed with type one diabetes. If you can’t
walk yourself, you can still sponsor a walker, or
better still, a team. For more information go to
jdrf.org.au/walk or call 1300 363 126.
LIBERTY BELLE Magda has joined the Liberty
Development Foundation to help disadvantaged men
like Josam and the families of Kasese (below right).
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