My name is Anthony, a farmer here in Namisita (also Namusita), a village in a remote part of Kamuli, in eastern Uganda.
I happen to be one of those people who are only emerging from the hardest forms of poverty, and the finest servings of hunger, that are unique only to this place, or Sub Saharan Africa for that matter.
I was born here in Busoga; have spent my entire life here, and so, I have hereditarily been part of the mess we are facing here, my whole life.
As a person, it is only years now, from the very first time I exited the hardest forms of hunger, where I could practically go a full day without any food.
But the reason I have chosen not to sit back, is the fact that nearly every household in our region lives in extreme poverty. I also believe the only way global poverty can end, is when the world’s ultra poor, i.e., those of us at the very bottom of the pyramid, are directly at the helm.
Because, in a place like ours — Uganda’s most impoverished region — it is very, very hard to find anything that is happening to end extreme poverty, let alone as a result of the global fight against poverty.
The extreme poor, meanwhile, permanently live here, and are therefore best placed to end poverty, with continuity, if only they were at the helm, or if they were accorded the means to take charge of events.
Moreover, I hate to say this but, even in our region itself, various poverty alleviation programs have come and gone, often without leaving a trace — a firm reminder once again, that the only change that will ever last, or the only way global poverty can ever end, is when the extreme poor themselves are directly at the helm.
I have previously written about my own battle with ultra poverty, and the yoke of poverty in our region, in The Guardian. See here and here.
I am also founder of the UCF, a nonprofit social enterprise that aims to end extreme poverty.