July 16, 2018

Patrick Sambaga

Patrick Sambaga is Country Director for Send a Cow in Uganda. He has worked at Send a Cow for nearly four years and has over 25 years of experience working for charities.

He says: "Throughout my life I have seen and touched many lives. I've helped and contributed to making some lives better - that is my passion."

What is the most challenging thing about your role as Country Director?

The most challenging thing is mind-set change for vulnerable people - it doesn't come easily. You might have the money, but you need the openness to receive information and accept to do things differently.

When you find a community who are willing to listen and work with you, life becomes easier for everyone.

Who is one of the most memorable people you have met during your time at Send a Cow?

A few months ago I went to northern Uganda where we had been working for three years. We finished our project there in 2014 but I wanted to reconnect with the people we had worked with.

I met with Julius who, to my pleasant surprise, had gone above what I had expected. He has changed his whole life and looks at the the future with a lot of optimism - although he has already done a lot, he strives for more.

Before we started our project, Julius had nothing. He had just come out of an internal displaced people camp so had no education. We held his hand and he agreed to walk with us. For three years we worked with him and now he's flying on his own.

When we left him in 2014 he had a pair of oxen. He now has seven. When we left, he was farming three acres. He now farms twelve. The oxen have not only helped him, but he also hires them out to other farmers in the community, so they can farm more land.

Julius has built himself a new home and is planning to build a commercial building to rent for an income. All his children go to school, which does not often happen. He has bought himself a motorcycle but when he saw me arrive in a car he said "that's my future plan, I would like to buy a car for my family." That is a man with a vision.

I always say 'take advantage of me, take advantage of Send a Cow, and then you will fly on your own.' Julius is one man who inspires me and I am happy to have worked with such a man.

What do you like doing in your spare time?

I like jogging and I love to preach. I love spending time with my family and playing with my children - we have a lot of fun together.

What would you like people to know about Uganda?

When I tell people I come from Uganda, there is only one thing they know and that is Idi Amin. But Uganda is more than that - Amin left Uganda more than 30 years ago.

Uganda is the source of the great river Nile, the longest river in the world. We have good wildlife and we have good people. They are hospitable - they love people. Poverty is everywhere in Africa but Ugandans are receptive. They are good people to work with, they want to solve their own challenges.