Desperate times call for desperate measures. After hitting the streets in search of a job to no avail; many Ugandan girls will resort to hopeless actions despite their educational level. Of course they will jump at anything that promises a good life , in other words, will dust poverty off themselves. In such endeavors, they seek greener pastures in the so-called developed world. But the grass is perhaps never greener on the other side of the fence. As a result, they end up getting trapped in the darkness instead of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. They curse like sailors in the middle of a storm. The bitter truth is they are better off at home than wherever they are clearly caged.
For starters, Ugandans think that outside Uganda everything is a bed of roses. When will Ugandans ever learn not all that glitters is gold? Sincerely, conmen/groups have existed since time immemorial. They have also used the same pack of lies, made same kind of promises and hurt people from all ages and professions, but still we have remained with rigid minds. For example the Uganda Veteran Association took their colleagues to Iraq and they ended up slaves in Arab Homes, Daman International and other mushrooming Companies with political support are taking out Nurses, hoteliers and other professionals promising lucrative jobs ending up into slavery.
Their passports are confiscated after signing a contract with the hiring firm thus there’s no way out when they need to leave. What’s more, according to reliable sources in UAE Dubai and other Arab countries, they are not allocated the exact amount or hours of work and are not paid the actual amounts of salary signed in their contracts. They work past their normal time and under cruel supervision. The blame however is put on their rawness. They sign contracts without understanding the terms or sign them under the influence of excitement with the “to hell with Uganda attitude”. Those in Dubai, for instance, are often promised about $1,000 and $1,500, but the story changes when they get to Dubai where they are uncompromisingly paid 700 Dirhams (460, 000 Uganda Shillings or US$176). As if not bad enough, 250 Dirhams (shs.150,000 or $57) is deducted as company commission. Can you stop for a moment and imagine the take home package for a Ugandan Graduate working in the United Arab Emirates? Shs.300, 000 or less. Yet, she has other needs or demands to meet. What next? She obviously will resort to sex working or engage in other unnatural acts in order to afford a decent living given the high cost of living today. Is this what our folks really want?
At the moment, the level of poverty is alarming and yet the number of graduates is increasing year after year. The feeling of living a high life and high standards is forcing many Ugandans to take up any promise for a job. Call it fake promises of greener pastures?
Many Ugandans will stop at nothing until they get there. From desperate moves of hooking white dudes, seeking all avenues for sympathy, weakening before any foreign face and narrating life story journeys as if they are with God himself, we have seen it all! . Even when everything seems obvious, they close their eyes until it bites us hardest that we return to our fellow countrymen for damage control.
Now check what happened to the group that flew to Iraq in search of greener pastures, they ended up working as sex workers forcefully. What is wrong with our dear sisters? Does it take a rocket scientist to figure out that even in those green Countries; there are people with enough qualifications to occupy the particular promised positions?
This business of thinking going aboard, against all odds, is the perfect solution that everything should stop. If one is ready to close their eyes for the obvious then they should also prepare to pay the price for expecting too much and accommodating all levels of uncertainty, lies and brutality instead of wasting quality time for our parliament.
In the end, it is better to deal with the devil you know, than the angel that you don’t know. We all need a good life and it takes hard work, not short cuts like many think. I sympathize with these victims and hope that this group is brought to book such that we can take this as a lesson and put an end to this “going aboard for better life” syndrome. Sometimes, it is just not worth it, especially if it takes the wrong procedure. For those who took the right procedure, I respect your decision.
Director at Mountain Gorilla Coffee Tours Kisoro Uganda.