Who could have imagined that my destiny was to take my TAG 4 Change Movement to Africa as a part of eliminating bullying worldwide. Using a new model of Emotional Intelligence, we teach adults and children how to relate to themselves and others with confidence, compassion, connection and civility.
In 2015 my life changed forever. Pastor Buni Alex, who had been bullied as a child, took my book “Get Clear, Get Confident, Get Going” off a pile of books to be burned at a church in Tanzania and contacted me to know more. In 2 years, Buni became our TAG 4 Change Africa Liaison and reached over 10,000 students & 1,500 pastors, teachers, and parents. By the time I arrived, we had a team of 5: Pastor Modi Emmanuel Victor, Peduni Esther, Musheb Feni Richard, Pastor Nsubuga Frederick and Luyijja Mugagga and our program well established in 10 schools and churches.
Joining me on this trip was Christina Stuart, Christina Stuart Photography, our dedicated and well-loved photojournalist. She was a “child magnet!” Everywhere we went, the children gathered around her and squealed with joy when they saw their picture. This album reveals her special gift as a photographer.
For 3 glorious weeks, we squeezed into our Toyota van singing and laughing our way through Uganda. We called it our “Love Bubble” because of the love shared between us. Our mission as a team was to Eliminate Bullying/caning of children and wives by sharing the next evolution in personal and child development principles so that children and adults can believe in themselves rather than the mean words and deeds of the bully. We showed them how to see each other as the gift they are and to know that BEING ME MATTERS.
The homes & restaurants in the countryside had no running water or electricity. Some had solar power. Food was prepared on open fires and came directly from farm to table. We bathed in plastic tubs with boiled water. Toilets were outhouses. We carried our personal supply of toilet paper wherever we went.
Uganda is a country and people of constant contrast:
– Loving, caring, joyous enthusiastic people believed to be a good parent or husband they had to cane their children and wives.
– They navigate narrow, rutted, roads dotted with people, animals and bushes with grace and ease and yet the aggression of a prize fighter getting through a crowd.
– While they have no running water or toilets in the countryside, they are always neat, clean and washed. They sweep the dirt in front of their homes and businesses.
A leftover cultural pattern from the British rule is women curtsey and kneel to greet you. They are expected to serve men and do not eat with the men or guests. They work hard morning til night. Many are business women. They farm, create arts and crafts, bake, teach, nurse, pastor and run schools.
Through the generous donations of 10 supporters of Confidence Eliminates Bullying, Inc 501c3, all 10 schools that use our TAG 4 Change philosophy, received a water filter and soccer ball! They will have 300 gallons of clean water a day for 10 years to nurture their bright minds. Instead of a soccer ball made of banana leaves and plastic bags tied together with string, they now have a real soccer ball. As creative as theirs was, they love having a leather one!
We established a TAG 4 Change Scholarship program. Through the generosity of our community, 25 children are attending school, being fed, clothed and drinking clean water. They now know that we believe their dream counts and that BEING ME MATTERS!
Pastor Owino Simon Peter used the philosophy that I taught throughout Uganda of focus on what you want from children rather than want you don’t want. Not only did the children cooperate, but they also voluntarily went and put on their shoes!