[saymaListserv] A curious solicitation

Janet Minshall jhminshall at comcast.net
Thu Feb 26 13:37:16 JEST 2004

Dear Charles Schade,  I worked a couple of assignments sponsored by 
US Quaker monthly and yearly meetings doing economic development in 
Kenya in 1986-88 with Kenyan Quakers.  Most of the tribes in Kenya 
are the same as the tribes in Uganda having been split into separate 
countries during the time of colonialist occupation.  There has been 
a significant amount of evangelization by FUM Friends in Kenya (about 
250,000 people there and a smaller number in Uganda call themselves 
Friends). Since I returned to the US and ceased my efforts there (due 
to disability) I have received two or three such solicitations each 
year -- sometimes more.

Uganda is once again caught in the middle of a rebellious uprise or 
confrontation in the North.  I don't know the details, but have seen 
photos on the BBC International News.  Anytime there is significant 
unrest the people of Uganda, Kenya, and much of the rest of Africa 
revert back to violence based on long-standing tribal hatreds. That 
has clearly happened again in Uganda.  Some of it makes the US news 
and some of it doesn't. The last time I was there the wonderful 
Quaker man who served as my cultural interpreter and guide had just 
lost his sister in Uganda to poisoning.  Poisoning has been a common 
form of quiet murder there for millenia.

A 12 year old boy was interviewed on the BBC International News last 
night because he seemed to be alone and was obviously frightened of 
the men yelling and yielding machetes and the women screaming around 
him.  When asked, he responded in very good English, through his 
tears, that he was alone, his parents had both been killed in the 
violence, and all his relatives (who in that culture would have been 
expected to take him in and care for him) had also been killed.

If you wish to find out more about the person or persons who sent you 
that letter, FUM's office in Richmond, Indiana, 101Quaker Hill Drive, 
Richmond 47374, phone:317-962-7573, might be your best resource. 
(Bill Wagoner used to be the resource person there on East Africa but 
I'm afraid I've forgotten his actual title.  He is probably retired 
by now, but there must be someone who picked up his responsibilities 
with East African Yearly meetings.  Whether the author of the letter 
is a Quaker or not, Uganda is desperately in need of aid and 
peacekeeping efforts, (as is Haiti, by the way).  Up until this 
recent violence Uganda had the distinction of being further ahead in 
its fight on AIDS prevention and treatment, and in its efforts at 
economic development, than most of Africa. This is a serious setback.

If you do contact FUM, please let me (us) know what you find out. 
Also, the Quaker UN Office (777 United Nationas Plaza, NY, NY 10017, 
phone 212-682-2735) might be helpful.
   					 Best Regards,  Janet

>I received a letter from a person who says he is a Ugandan student 
>in need of money to complete his education.  It had a Ugandan stamp 
>and postmark, and was addressed in a different hand than the letter 
>(both appeared to be hand written).  I don't know anyone in Uganda, 
>and I am assuming someone is working a mail list.  I have no way of 
>knowing whether this is a genuine request or a scam but I strongly 
>suspect the latter.  The writer admits I don't know him, but does 
>not disclose just how he came across my address in Kampala.  On the 
>off chance that this is a Friends mailing list, I thought I'd ask if 
>others have received similar messages.
>Charles Schade
>Charleston WV
>Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting and Association mailing list
>sayma at kitenet.net

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