Akampurira Abraham: My LIFE and Work

Development Studies

Elaboration 2013 128 Pages







Chapter One.
1.1. Introduction
1.2. My culture
1.3. Schooling
1.3.1 Early years of schooling
1.3.2 Secondary life
1.3.3. College life
1.3.4. University Education
1.3.5. Difficult incidences of my life
1.4. What forces me to work hard
1.5. My best moments
1.6. Business and commerce
1.7. Infrastructure
1.8. Agriculture
1.9. Association

Chapter One.
A Research Study on the Poverty Scourge in Kihorezo Parish.
1.0. Introduction
1.1. Background to the Study
1.2. Definitions of Poverty
1.3. Problem Statement
1.4. Purpose of Study
1.5. Objectives of the Study
1.5.1. General Objective
1.5.2. Specific Objective
1.6. Research Questions
1.7. Scope of the Study
1.7.1. Geographic Scope
1.7.2. Periodic Scope
1.8. Significance of the Study
Chapter 2. Review of the related literature.
2.0. Introduction
2.1.Environmental Degradation
2.2.Diseases and Poverty
2.3. Effects of Nutrition
2.4.Alcoholism and Poverty
2.5.Education and Poverty
2.6. Ignorance and Development
2.7. Politics and Income
2.8. Unemployment
2.9. Gender and Resource distribution
Chapter 3. Methodology.
3.0. Introduction
3.1. The Research Design
3.2. Area of Study
3.3. The Study Population
3.4. The Sampling techniques and sample size
3.5. Data Collection Instruments
3.6. Data Management
3.7. Ethical considerations
3.8. Limitations of the Study
Chapter 4. Presentation and interpretation of findings.
4.0 Introduction
4.1. Background Information
4.2. Gender.
4.3. Age distribution
4.4. Marital status
4.5. Family size
4.6. The Level of Education
4.7. Employment Category
4.8. The possible causes of persistent Poverty in Kihorezo Parish
4.9. Interventions to solve the Problems of Poverty
Chapter 5
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations.
5.0 Introduction
5.1 Summary of findings
5.1.1What are the possible causes of poverty on households in Kihorezo Parish?
5.1.2. What interventions could solve problems brought about by poverty?
5.2. Conclusion
5.3. Recommendations


This book is dedicated to my Parents Mr. Fred and Mrs. Margret Kururagire for their dedicated effort to meet all they could to educate me.


I would like to acknowledge the efforts of different people who made it possible to have this work completed.

Fist I express my sincere gratitude and thanks to my wife and the entire family members and my children Agatha, Anna, Daisy, Sincere and Esther for their support and prayers.

Sincere thanks go to all respondents that participated in making this study possible.

Last but not least special thanks go to the Almighty God for the blessings and the gift of life.


The life of the researcher through a village setting has encountered many experiences which have created passion for human life and the environment to initiate the study into poverty scourge in the brothers and sisters of the time.

The study was carried out to investigate the possible causes of poverty in Kihorezo Parish. The methods used include qualitative and quantitative approaches to collect and analyze data. The research study was carried out in five villages of Kihorezo Parish.

The people generally face many challenges that include negative attitude, low incomes, high illiteracy rates, disease, low life expectancy, hunger, high women fertility rates, discrimination against women, children and the disabled which all that lead to disharmony in society and ultimately result into low productivity in primary sector. Low levels of information and technology, savings and investment breeds to low productivity and this compromises the position of the country in the international trade.

A lot needs to be done on a collective responsibility basis where all key players are necessary to alleviate the conditions that are unfavorable to mankind.


Chapter One


1.1 Introduction

I was born in Kabale district in western Uganda on the 13th April 1971. My parents Mr. Fred and Margret Kururagire struggled to take me to school out of their peasantry activity. They enrolled me at Kihorezo Primary School in 1980. My parents tried their best to pay my tuition together with other four brothers and two sisters.

This humble background made me develop a lot of courage and inspirations even when I did not have many roll models.

I success fully completed my first seven years of Primary education in 1986 where I sat and scored highly in National Examinations according to the village standards since I was in the first division.

In 1987 my parents took me to a boarding school in the Kabale Municipality where tuition was a challenge due to a poor family background .It is this level that I interacted with better family children and started developing better attitude towards most of the aspects in life. I was in this school for six years where I sat national examinations in 1990 and 1993 respectively and passed well. These six years of my education was a real struggle because of my poor family background. I could join my parents during the holiday session to work on the small gardens where a little food could be sold at takeaway prices for me and my siblings’ tuition. This economic situation helped us through up to adult hood. We had food at subsistence level. I have a great need to do a study in related societies

In 1993 I never went for university education since I could not afford the University tuition. I instead joined a National Teachers College for a Diploma in Secondary Education which I completed in 1995. I concurrently sat Diploma examinations together with UACE examinations where I qualified for a university scholarship. I therefore joined Makerere University in 1995.This marked a new life since it was a big opportunity to go to a capital city of Uganda which was a big exposure. At the University I did Mathematics, Economics and Geography but majored in Economics in years 2 and 3 at the University. I graduated in 1998 and my parents got an opportunity to go the capital city of Uganda to accompany me at the graduation ceremony.

While at the University, I had decided to work hard on Economics which would make me get a job in the banking sector. My dream was not achieved since I could not stay long in the city looking for a job. The one month I kept in the city was not easy for me in terms of accommodation and upkeep. In fact the day I left the city to the village I almost lost my life as I was attacked by thieves in one of the slums of Kampala where I was renting a ram shackled house.

In the month of April 1998, I started teaching at Kamwezi High School one of the Secondary Schools nearby my village. I got an opportunity of serving as a teacher of Mathematics in a village school where young graduates were not willing to work. This was due to lack of basic services like good roads, power, health services and incentives at the job. Despite all this I got an opportunity of teaching my counterparts in terms of socio-economic background.

In the year 2000 in December I got married to Kate a primary teacher who started assisting me in organizing my new home.1n 2003 I transferred to my school Kigezi High School-my former school. One of the reasons why I changed place of work was that we had had our first born Agatha and we wanted her to access good schools in an urban area. It was my pride that when I left Kamwezi High School many qualified teachers had joined the School. The time I joined I was the only qualified teacher that could teach Mathematics. Failure to get a job in the banking sector remained a thorn in my fresh because I knew I would earn much more to develop my family and support my dependants. Despite all this I have derived a lot of pleasure in helping young people grow and attain their ambitions and inspirations.

For the last eight years I have gone through many experiences that has ushered me into different dimensions of life and worked in different positions; such as a house teacher, Food master, Director of Studies and deputy head teacher. All in all I have observed that hard work and self commitment is key; leave alone material motivation. I have always derived motivation from achieving my set objectives enshrined in the organizational objectives. I enjoy team work but I love members of the team that are focused for the smooth running of the planned activities. Down the road I have had challenges with these responsibilities. At first I would expect appreciation whenever I felt I performed to my best but at times I would receive negative comments and felt bad. With experience I know I have to set goals and try my best to achieve them and get satisfied. In the Public service sector, there is no clear performance appraisal which normally leads to frustration on the side of workers.

I enjoy challenging tasks especially when the set objectives are eventually accomplished but I must say that teaching teenagers in my country needs patience and tolerance. I have observed that there is a generation gap where learners may not easily take up advice and our children in schools are not brought up according to community expectations. I would say community is into two categories the young and the old. The young call themselves as the dot com generation and feel that the old have not much to advise them. The old (mainly above 30 years of age) also have a tendency to think that the young have nothing to contribute in terms of ideas towards the welfare of society. This has led to communication gap between teachers and students, parents and their children, administrators and sub ordinates and all this has culminated into some indiscipline in our school. I have tried my best as an administrator to bridge the gap between different categories of people for the smooth running of the institution. We have encouraged dialogue between students and teachers, involved students in planning for school activities, interactive activities among staff, parents and students in form of career guidance, hosting an annual sports day and visitation days. We are developing a system of always reaching down all workers both teaching and non teaching staff for effective communication. There was a problem where the support staff was treated as temporally staff which created a lot of gaps and poor service delivery. They now have sense of belonging and have developed love for the institution and made many tremendous contributions.

I would like to observe issue of students with different income social status in school. Some students are from well to do families whereas the other group are from needy families. My concern is majorly on the latter. This gives me great memories of what I was when I also a young student. Children from the needy families have a challenge of raising money for their tuition and are always asked to go home and look for their tuition. They therefore loose some contact hours when they are away. This eventually affects their performance which makes them lose interest in school work. This is one the causes of school drop out in schools especially in rural areas. I have developed a lot of passion for the hard working children but unable to adequately raise enough money for their education. This forms a core source of my desire to be among the researchers on issues that affect societies on the globe. I also feel one day that I will contribute ideas on how society can come out of the present challenges.

The curriculum we handle is not well equipped in two ways. First of all it does not equip students with the required skills for human development. We have many school drop outs who despise work. They look for office work and cannot stand with the community to under take production in agriculture which is the back bone of our economy. Graduates keep in urban areas and despise villages where agricultural production is done. Secondly this curriculum is too academic and examination centered and therefore boring to some categories of children who do not enjoy book work. Children that have a skill of singing, hand work, dance, and drama are not well catered for especially at the early stages of education. I am in charge of discipline at school and every time we are handling students the so called in disciplined students have been discovered to be the victims of the inadequate curriculum. They are not catered for. They end up getting frustrated and becoming a problem at school. I hope that with improved research skills through further education, I will make a contribution in this endeavor.

During and after school there is always a question I have always asked myself. It is all about where I belong in the wider society. To me I interpret it as how much I would contribute to society. It is through hard work, thick and thin, let rise or shine that I will contribute handsomely to society through many studies I intend to do in future. It has been my wish to make my contribution through scholarly studies.

It is worthwhile to note that I have learnt that some of the cultures in certain societies deserve a fundamental change. In schools, teachers still have a belief that corporal punishments should be maintained in schools for proper bringing up of children. This is derived from the African adage that ‘ the eyes of an African Child are on his buttocks’. This means that an African Child cannot take up advice unless he is whipped using a stick on his buttocks. The activists of this exercise have themselves discovered that when a child is constantly subjected to corporal punishment, he will not live to be responsible, will only wait to be corrected through the usual means. This is one of the issues we have been struggling with in the education sector. It is true that fundamental human rights do not encourage children torture but appropriate alternatives have not been provided and this has led to many challenges in schools, in the community, at the job places and the sole cause being improper handling of children by parents, teachers and the community. Teachers are not given adequate motivation. They leave work stations and go to look for alternative ways of earning for survival after teaching their lessons. Parents have a big role of trying the means of survival for their families and too have limited time to talk to the children. All this aggregate to child neglect both at home and school. All these need to be looked into by research authorities. These children do not feel loved and they do not respect any one. They end up being guided by their peers which creates crumbling of society norms.

I want to share my experience on the issue of comfort in situations I have gone through. Many times am comfortable I tend not to think deeply for solutions. When I was going for my degree course in 1995, it was a result of torture I went through in 1993 when I failed to qualify for a government scholarship and I joined the college. While at the college I worked very hard and passed college and university intake examinations. I was the first born in the family and I wanted to be a role model to my brothers and sisters. When I enrolled for a Masters Degree, it was as a result of failure by the Ministry of Education and Sports to shortlist my name to do an interview for substantive appointment as a deputy head teacher and also at times I could not ably handle particular tasks in my work schedule. Secondary there are four of my staff members who already had Masters Degrees. I therefore knew very well without pretence that it is not good to be below your junior in terms of academic qualifications. Applying for a PhD was as a result of ever dire need to know about societies and also the desire to make my contribution through research. Once I successfully complete this program am sure I will inspire many to go for further studies. Many of my staff have always worked with me, share challenges together, and stand with me at all times. I am sure I will inspire them to think big for local and international communities. In my former school I advised four teachers to upgrade from diploma to graduate teacher and I feel that struggle continues. In my country, many people struggle to obtain the first degrees and they stop at this level. This has contributed to low levels of research in my country. Most jobs require a bachelor’s degree as a basic academic qualification which induces many people to do it. They eventually relax after getting their jobs. Our societies are still low income societies. Young graduates need money to support families and in due course research work is suffocated.

At school I do the administrative role in addition to teaching Economics. I enjoy working with children in class. They report back their experiences and challenges while in class. I learn from them and this gives me an opportunity of proper class planning and lesson delivery. A big challenge in teaching these children is the curriculum issue I have already talked about and the nature of examinations that encourage cram work. Students aim at getting very good grades but we eventually produce irrelevant graduates. They are not consonant with the realities of life. Some time ago I was teaching a mathematics concept and a brilliant student asked me the relevance of vector geometry in the real world and I failed to give a good explanation. We still need experts to integrate human issues and academic life.

I am very grateful for this opportunity to have got an opportunity of doing a Doctors of Philosophy in Regional Development. Am very sure I will do my best in contributing for the good of local and international community. I will not be limited in my operations since I have been equipped with research skills, and international exposure through interacting with other students of AIU. Great thanks to University management for awarding me a scholarship of $4820 a gesture of love and passion. I and my family are sincerely grateful. I also look forward to make a contribution to the disadvantaged societies. I am preparing my self in terms of repairing my computer, saving for an internet modem and its maintenance such that I will be able to graduate in time. Now I feel I have achieved the happiness I wanted to achieve in life. This has substituted and sub merged the strong desire I had when I was coming out of the university to work in the banking sector. This gives me strength to work hard on research programs such that the best come out of it.

1.2. My culture

I belong to the Bakiiga Clan with a culture that has recently mixed cultural practices of the Banyankole, Banyarwanda, Baganda and the entire Western world. Some of the good cultural practices that are fading away include;

- Community cooperation, unity and solidarity. This we used to see during Christmas festivities where all immediate relatives would collectively celebrate the said season from door to door eating and drinking for a good number of days. I even remember how a sick person could attract attention of the whole village. A drum would be sounded, villagers would gather up both women and men. Men would ferry the sick on their heads to the medical centre while women would prepare food for lunch.
- Generosity that used to be the uniting factor of the Bakiiga people. One would be sure that his/her children would not go hungry since they would have meals where they are playing from. Women would prepare meals to cater for the possible eventualities.
- Abundant resources in a poverty situation. I observed that many families would have a lot of land, animals, and resources yet could not have money to pay for their children at school.
- Respect for each other and fear of the living God. We could go to church to glorify God and those that not go could not be highly respected and trusted.
- Engaragggazi. This was a form of insurance in case the family issues between family members do not go very well. This was in form of a piece of land that would be kept for the family head when he could grow very old unable to work.

The family head distributes his wealth among his children (sons) and leaves some for him self. The girls’ children are not entitled to family wealth in this culture. After the burial of the last parent, all girls are entitled to share just a little potion of the remaining wealth. They call it ‘emiziga’ for having mourned the deceased.

There is however practices that I never admired which I think everything should be put in place to make a change. These include;

- Unnecessary competition that would end up in rivalry, malice, envy that would at times result into murder as noted killing of some progressive people in the villages. One would be found in the house chopped into peaces to reduce the business competition of the many known examples.
- Laziness among the youth and men. It was and is still the responsibility of women in most families to plant crops, do the weeding and the harvesting on top of collecting firewood and water at the end of the day. Women end up exhausted and this makes their productivity very low. They have little time for personal administration results into poor health and unhappy mothers of the land.
- Careless burning of the garden staff and the bushes that have contributed to flooding and soil degeneration.
- Producing many more children that the household resources can adequately support for a better life.

Culture had always intended to nurture children according to society expectations and values such as respect, hard work, commitment, self confidence and therefore they would always tell us many constructive stories.

Challenges experienced with rural life.

- Lack of enough social services like clinics, roads, schools, power, and other social amenities.
- Lack of access to information.
- Constant movement of the youth and the entire population between rural and urban centers so as to earn the desired life.
- Change of weather affects the work schedules like when it rains people are forced to keep at home.
- Land fragmentation that leads to waste of time while farmers are moving from one place to another going to dig. This affects their way of life; for instance when I and my brothers would be taken to the neighbors whenever my mother would be going to work very far.
- Failure to change with structural changes; people are used to the same environment and therefore unable to pick up with the expectations of global growth.
- Wastage of time and other resources. There are abundant resources that are not utilized such as land, that are not put to use. People keep on complaining over lack of money.
- Poor feeding despite available food sources. Some children under 5 suffer from kwashiorkor and other diseases due diet deficiency.

Circumstances that used to bring about excitement.

- Parties and special days like Christmas and Easter days.

This was as a result of special meals that used to be rare due to low incomes like beef, rice and other food stuffs that were rare in the rural areas.

It was also due to having a chance to see the urban people who would come to attend these parties driving, well dressed and probably with children speaking foreign languages like English.

This situation has not changed so much. The people seriously save for the whole year so that these preferred items can be obtained for the Christmas day. This is the time that those who dwell in urban areas travel upcountry to celebrate the day with their friends and relatives. A lot of expenditure is incurred for excitement of just one day; something I feel affects saving and development.

A lot of expensive parties are still held especially for the seasons of August and December of every year. What I have surely observed is that some of these are made expensively to impress the public yet as a country we has not yet attained much in economic prosperity. The majority at the grass root are dying of poverty related problem

1.3. Schooling.
1.3.1 Early years of schooling.

I want to appreciate the years when infants innocently join others at school when in actual fact they do not know what they are actually doing. It was around this time that I used to walk to school on the band wagon of the rest just trying to imitate what others were doing. I was shepherding my family’s animals after school and this was at the age of around 5 years and this could give me a wide experience even at the young age.

The first 2 years’ work looked a bit abstract so I could not do well neither could I enjoy what I was doing. In my fifth year I started understanding and constructing a few simple sentences but English speaking was still a hurdle.

What I remember is that I was just intimidated and stressed by the whole situation whether at home or school. At home I would be subjected to very difficult work at a young age, while at school most teachers were not very welcoming; may be because teaching profession in Uganda is widely despised.

While I was in year seven I started liking school work though the village environment was not enabling. I sat PLE and scored Grade Two and was admitted in two secondary schools i.e. Rushoka secondary school and Kihanga secondary school but I relaxed to join any of the above. I told my parents that I was ready to repeat to get a better grade that would enable me to join an urban school and my interest was ether Mbarara High School or Kigezi High School.

1.3.2. Secondary school Life.

Joining this section was another life in my academic profile. I remember this was my part of life where I was most ambitious. As noted earlier, there I joined a variety of children of different backgrounds in terms of socio-economic status, tribe, and religion as this was not the case before.

This forced me to adjust in one way or another in every way possible so as to achieve what I had intended to.

In form 1 and 2 I had no serious friend and at this stage I was struggling to catch up academically since I was admitted when I was among the last performers. Indeed, it all put me in a fair position since I was not scared because I was actually admiring my performance. The friend I picked on later in form 3 (in fact a very good friend) influenced me to change from my intended career of being an engineer to becoming an accountant.

What I observed is lack of comfort as shown by the quality and quantity of meals provided, stress caused by work pressure and examination pressure that causes discomfort


A very stiff competition to the university did not allow me direct entry to Makerere University in 1993 and instead enabled me to join a National Teachers’ College where I was offered Mathematics and Geography. This is one of my times I never enjoyed because it was not my intention originally to do anything less than a degree qualification and moreover in a teaching profession.

1.3.4. University Education.

Joining the University was one of my preferred moments since there were very little that time who had reached that level especially in my local area. I was admitted for Bachelor of Science degree in Math’s, Economics and Geography.

What I observed in both college and university in “unguided democracy’’. There is a tendency to think that someone has come to a level where s/he can exercise independency, a transition from the dos and don’ts to do what you think can give you peace.

1.3.5. DIFFICULT INCIDENCES OF MY LIFE. Thugs stealing my money for fees.

While waking a distance of about 50 km to my secondary school, thugs roughed me up and picked school fees from me while I was being escorted by my young brother and my cousin. Because of hard economic times, I used to walk from Kihorezo village to Kigezi High school, a distance of about 50 km trekking while carrying my entire luggage on my head. This meant walking back home to collect the remaining school fees and this would be the same story at the end of every calendar term. I had about 15 journeys to make in a year with my colleagues I was schooling with in the same school. Strike at school.

Strikes were common in most urban schools and therefore Kigezi high school was not an exception. Among many strikes that happened in my days was one that occurred in my fourth year during 2nd term. Our boys decided to burn a vehicle of a neighboring school. Having heard about the incident all of us could not go to sleep for fear of attack by the students of the affected school or the police itself since it was the role of the policemen to curb such strikes by beating every student they could come across.

During morning policemen came to school while shooting in the air and every body of us took off to the bushes. I unfortunately fell in the deserted pit latrine that had been covered by the bushes. On struggling to get out I stepped on another person I never identified while police was seriously chasing us with the live bullets. I proceeded downhill and crossed the river that washed my entire body and hid in the nearby bushes.

In the whole incident, I lost my only pair of shoes I had in my life and this meant walking on bear foot the rest of the term. I was saved by one of my friends called Ambrose who lent me his sports pair for the rest of the term. What helped us children of the needy parents is that school administration was able to identify those who did the havoc and were each made to pay the damages on top of being excluded from school. When I got an accident.

When I was waiting for joining secondary I was asked by my parents to participate in looking for money to take me in secondary school. One of the avenues was making local brew from bananas, an activity that was laborious. On a fateful day, I left home to gather bananas while my mother went to attend the market day while my father left to work at the sub county head quarters. While I was collecting the bananas, I fell down and landed on a panga I was carrying. I started breeding seriously and I had nobody to assist me. I tore what I was putting on in order to dress the bleeding wound. I decided to walk undecidedly and hopelessly but while it was getting darker and darker I met my beloved father who took me to Mparo health center where the medical personnel did what they could to save my life. When I lost a brother.

We were five brothers and two sisters in the family. This particular brother of mine, the late Gordon was working in the military department when he acquired a disease that claimed his life. I attended to him during his last days of his life. When I was growing up, I had a desire of my family to break the poverty cycle. His death touched me so much because he was leaving behind three young children whose education was at stake. When I was embarrassed at a function.

When I was growing up I never had any opportunity of attending to social functions. When I started working, I started attending only the functions I felt were very important to my life after all I am not a social fun. One day I attended a function dominated by politicians. When I arrived, I was ushered in a seat but when the politicians kept flowing in, me and my neighbors were pushed out of the tent. I took the decision of leaving for other businesses. What I have seen in our communities is that ‘big people’ are never in time in the cover of being busier than everybody and they end up inconveniencing everyone at functions. When I lost property.

While I was going for my holiday from Makerere University, I went to board the bus back upcountry. I was supposed to take with me the luggage that belonged to one of the army generals who happens to hail from Kihorezo. I had paid for my ticket in a certain bus and the generals aides had put the luggage in a different bus and were not ready to release it to me. In that situation, the bus that I was supposed to take me to Kabale left me, and travelled with the other one, yet my properties were in the bus that left me. One hour later, the bus I was in also left but it could not move any faster to catch up the bus where my property was. I was to catch up with the a-head bus so that my property could be recovered. When I reached Kabale, the other bus had already reached Kigali the capital city of Rwanda and my properties were not left at their regional offices at Kabale. What next? To sleep in Kabale town, and wait for the bus from Kigali back to Kampala the following morning. I tried to get the relative where I could put up for the night but I could not get. Finally I remembered of my cousin sister’s residence some five years before. I rushed there but found that what she had changed the place of residence; in fact where I was standing were at that time the poultry unit. Because I had no enough money to rent a room for a night, I decided to walk to a nearby village upper Bugongi at my aunt’s home though it was late in the evening at around 9:30p.m

The following morning I went back to town to wait for the Rwanda property. I waited for about 2 hours after almost losing hope I went for a short call. No sooner had I left than the bus left; I just saw its back turning through the bends of the hills. From there I decided to go home and called it a loss.

1.4. What forces me to work hard.

- Avoiding situations of being cited among the unserious.
- Trying my best to be better tomorrow than what I am today.
- Avoiding embarrassing people that have hope in me.
- Trying to make my environment better than I found it.



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Atlantic International University – BUSINESS MANAGEMENT AND ECONOMICS
akampurira abraham life work development studies




Title: Akampurira Abraham: My LIFE and Work