Uganda hosted the 2018 Global Peace Leadership Convention this August 1-2 in Kampala. Here, regional and global experts focused on the theme ‘Moral and Innovative Leadership: New Models for Sustainable Peace and Development’, to examine the anatomy of peace, explore best practices to transform identity-based conflict, and address development challenges through the application of universal principles and values.
The following is the inspiring story of Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Uganda Director Milton Kambula and how he is being a part of the global movement for peace.
By Tamami Jeon
"Before we can talk about uniting all of Africa, we need our youth to start having shared values, principles, shared expression for peace and prosperity. So their hands can be able to be self-reliant, to be able to work with others, to have partnerships, to look beyond their nose." —Milton Kambula
It was a fateful day that Milton would encounter a message that would ignite his heart, mind, and his world. Milton grew up in Kampala, Uganda and dreamed of making his nation strong and prosperous. In 2008, he had settled in Kenya to grow a small business. While he still carried dreams of a better world, he put them aside to focus on work.
His friend invited him to join a youth leadership program, so he attended the first of a 3-day Global Peace Leadership Conference. It was here that he heard of the idea of “One Family Under God” that stirred awake the dreams of his childhood.
In his address, Chairman and co-founder of GPF, Dr. Hyun Jin P. Moon detailed a vision for a world of lasting peace and shared prosperity, a world guided by the vision of “One Family Under God.” In short, he encouraged those in the audience join together to bring substance to this vision which he believed was alive in every heart of Africa.
Fast forward to 2018, Milton had taken up Dr. Moon’s charge on that day and formed a branch of GPF in Uganda. The Uganda chapter hosted the Global Peace Leadership Conference in August and we look back to the vision for Uganda and Africa that inspired Milton to share on a national television network on the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation and how it has taken shape.
In his interview, Milton called for “a new strategy, new approaches, in terms of solving the root problems” that have been challenging not just his home country of Uganda, but also the world at large.
He saw that solving the root problems for all Africa would be through cultivating the “core content of character and creativity.”
"Before we can talk about uniting all of Africa, we need our youth to start having shared values, principles, shared expression for peace and prosperity. So their hands can be able to be self-reliant, to be able to work with others, to have partnerships, to look beyond their nose.
"We need national values that can transcend lines of identity and bring people together to align objectives, agendas. […] If we can come together as a nation, we can attract peace, investment, stability, etc."
In casting his dream for Africa “to have powerful, vibrant economies” he saw the most critical way forward to change mindsets. Contrary to popular belief, Milton saw capital as coming first and foremost from mindset and as such he has been working in Uganda to raise the next generation of moral, innovative leaders through a focus on character and creativity.
To do this, he explained the need look at leadership itself differently; to work bottom up: with families, faith leaders, and community leaders to prepare the next generation.
Family, Milton asserted, is the primary place to prepare children to become “global changemakers, peacebuilders.” From the family, children grow into their communities and schools, eventually growing into active citizens who transform their society, nation, and world.
He pointed to the efforts of GPF in Kenya where its Character and Creativity Initiative (CCI) has been nurturing global changemakers. In the classrooms, he encouraged evaluating not only academic performance and skills but to evaluate character, conduct, and creativity. To this end, Kenya CCI has evaluations on conduct and creativity and has created leadership hubs in schools to share ideas, invent, create, and raise social entrepreneurs.
Milton also pointed to the critical role that faith leaders play in Uganda. He noted that in the country, every week, people of faith hear the messages of the faith leaders in their own communities. Were faith leaders to align their message in the direction of a shared national vision for peace, character and creativity, there would be a transformation on a national scale.
There are always a million different paths a person might take. Milton chose to take up a global dream and to make it a reality in Uganda on that day in 2008. He continues on today with his team in Uganda to push forward his dreams, their dreams, our dreams of One Family Under God.