UGANSWA influencing the next generation of Ugandan-Australian leaders
After another successfully organised Uganda Independence Dinner, the New South Wales Ugandan Association of Australia (UGANSWA) is continuing to bring the Ugandan diaspora together in celebration of their culture.
President of the NSW chapter Robert Hirya said UGANSWA has had its up and downs since its creation 20 to 25 years ago, however, one thing remains the same.
“When you make some time to come together, there’s that same heart, soul and atmosphere that you feel when you are back home in Uganda,” he explains.
“You are speaking the language with others and there are others there who are understanding you properly, and I just want people to continue to come together.”
The UGANSWA Ugandan Independence Dinner was held on Saturday October 13, 2018 and saw members of the community from both NSW and Victoria come together in celebration of the special occasion.
It is the time we remember our country’s independence, when it gained independence from the British and we started deciding our own matters.
“It’s a day of celebration and a day of eating local food, and I remember some people who were talking about it, they were saying they were really looking forward to having this day because it’s a day when there’s plenty of Ugandan food and meeting people you’ve not seen for sometime,” Robert said.
The organisation also organises an end-of-year Christmas party, as well as other popular community events in conjunction with other associations.
Despite the association’s progress since its creation in the 1990s, Robert still said there is still a lot of work to do, and he hopes to encourage younger members in the community to take an active role in UGANSWA.
“We have to think about how we’re transforming it and how we’re encouraging the youth to become to become leaders of our association,” he said.
Another challenge we face is really to encourage people to become members of our association rather than just being members of the community.
“Those are some of the challenges that as leaders we have to think about, and I really want to mentor someone to come after me and lead the future generations.”