Ugandans have been urged to emulate Irene Gleeson, the late Australian philanthropist, who dedicated her life to supporting children in northern Uganda.
According to the Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah, Irene Gleeson chose to carry out charity work in Kitgum district so as to give hope and a future to a society affected by war.
“Sacrifice and charity are the hallmark of the life of Irene Gleeson who showed us that if you want comfort, then you cannot help anyone else. We should emulate her and help people live up to their full potential,” Oulanyah said.
The Deputy Speaker made the remarks at the annual Irene Gleeson Charity Walk in Kitgum district on Saturday, 20 July 2019. The walk was aimed at raising funds for the construction of the Irene Gleeson Memorial Library and Youth Training Centre.
Oulanyah said that the Irene Gleeson Foundation based its work on eight core principals of Christianity including service, compassion, giving to the underprivileged and endurance among others; which ought to be emulated.
He also cautioned the youth against irresponsible behaviour, which has seen some of them with unplanned pregnancies.
“I told young girls in Pader district the other day that elopement messes you up by delaying or ruining your chances. If you have to start a family, get married first,” Oulanyah said.
The Charge’ d’Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Uganda, Chen Huixin, who was the chief walker, said that support of the Chinese Government to Uganda can be likened to the work of Irene Gleeson.
“China has sent medical staff to work at the China-Uganda Friendship hospital in Naguru. There will also be 99 scholarships to Ugandan students to study in China in 2019. Here, we converge with mother Irene Gleeson in her efforts,” Chen Huixin said.
Former Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi said that Irene Gleeson lived up to the teaching of servant leadership through her charity work in Kitgum district.
“Our people need to know how to serve their country. If you want to succeed, you have to be faithful and trustworthy in your work. Irene Gleeson brought hope to the young people of Kitgum, and we ought to follow in her footsteps,” Orombi said.
The event was also graced by State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Okello Oryem, Lamwo Woman MP, Hon. Lanyero Molly, Pader Woman MP, Hon. CD Lowila Oketayot and the Charge d’Affaires of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Uganda, Banda Mohammed Alfaifi.