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On Dignity and Poverty.

The first blog I ever wrote was titled “A quest for Human Dignity” I was 25 years old. I would totally change the topic if I was to rewrite the blog. The gist of the blog was, at eight I witnessed a neighbour and a good friend murder someone I had nightmare for days on end. By the time I was 25 I had witnessed it happen so many times that it didn’t bother me at all, not even the fact this was close childhood friend being stoned clubbed to death by an angry mob for attempting to rob someone. Here I was studying a course on Human dignity, I was so conflicted but I guess half way through the human dignity and Who am I unit I gained a new profound respect for humanity, dignity was my coolest English world, If I were to display my vision statement on a glass framed then It would have read “Uphold the dignity of the Human person.” I even signed a charter to do that at the time I was doing the blog.

Much has changed since then but one thing remains constant a great desire to uphold the dignity of the human person. I am scheduled to make a presentation on pros and cons of right based approach to development in Copenhagen mid-May this year. I am still not sure what I should really say, all I can think of is that they should have invited me when I was younger. Things would have much simpler I would have talked of right holders, duty bearers thrown in a few examples to show how effective it is as a sustainable approach to poverty alleviation. If they had invited me last year I would I would have trashed RBA – in a diplomatic manner, and ventured my new found wisdom of social enterprise as a new better way of alleviating poverty and approaching development Having spent a couple of years working on poverty alleviation program, times it feels even with the best of intention we run the risk of comprising the dignity of those whose very dignity we intend to uphold. And that times the conversation needs to be deeper, courageous and beyond pros and Cons.

I want to be part of this conversation, be part of changing how the world view slum and deals with the slum dwellers, be part of inspiring a generation of young people in slums that believe it is possible to transcend the world we are born into. I keep quitting all the time, times it because it is feels overwhelming; times it feels like thankless task and times it reads mission impossible. When I was applying for this program I thought it was because I had a story I wanted told, I wanted to learn how to write, be part of a support community but a month into it and a reply to a post sums it up, I need support to speak for them until they find their own voice. Dignity begins when they can write their own story and author their destinies.


ikirimat's picture

Your experience shows you are

Your experience shows you are caught in the middle of it. Ever heard of the say, a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step?. You need to just begin with one person, then two then three.... I am sure you will feel more satisfaction when you are able to see the impact you have made on the person. This will eventually cause a ripple effect. And before you notice it the whole community will have felt the effect of your contribution.

Again thanks for telling us your thoughts

Grace Ikirimat

"It takes the hammer of persistence to drive the nail of success."

paulinewanja's picture


Thanks for making me smile on a Monday Afternoon.

Anita Muhanguzi's picture

Dear Pauline

My dear sister do not loose hope. You have taken the first step in this great journey. You are the voice of those you defend and protect. Continue to scream and post those stories. We are here for you. Always put a smile on your face knowing you have strong world pulse community behind you my dear. Stay blessed my dear and be strong for us and for those you are speaking for.

Mrs. Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi
Head of Legal and Advocacy
Centre for Batwa Minorities
Skype: mrs_muhanguzi

Klaudia Mexico's picture

we have no option

Dear Pauline

I know there are times it seems our efforts are being unfruitful. Nevertheless, we don´t have option, but keep working for the good. Don´t lose your hope, we’re here for you.
All the best,

Klaudia González

So true, Pauline. You sum it up so well in your final paragraph: "I need support to speak for them until they find their own voice. Dignity begins when they can write their own story and author their destinies." That resonates loudly with me. I'm in agreement. We can be a voice for the voiceless until they voice their own voices.


Anna V's picture


I agree with Pauline. My favorite part of your post is "I need support to speak for them until they find their own voice. Dignity begins when they can write their own story and author their destinies." It is important for everyone to speak their truths, and until they find their voice, we can speak it for them.

Take Care,

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