Dear Fellow workers,
In our continued appreciation of your support towards our organizing here in Uganda, during our meeting held on Sunday 17th November at our offices, a motion(minute) was passed to thank you our contributors to our fundraising campaigns and explain to you as well the reasons for the campaigns as here follows:
EXPLANATION AND REASONS FOR THE FUNDRAISINGS:
1. The Uganda Government (especially the District local government) demands that None Governmental Organizations (NGOs) operating at local and national levels show a minimum of USD 2000 for their annual income/expenditure and account of related activities and or purchases and a minimum of USD 4000 for international NGOs.Moreover some of these so called policies and laws are not written anywhere.
2. The Industrial Workers of the World(IWW) being the first of its kind not only in Uganda but also in the whole of Africa, we are overwhelmed by the number of enthusiastic workers eager to learn much about it and hence need for a lot of materials to facilitate this.
3. Most of the workers not in self employment but both in formal and informal employments are not paid their salaries /wages in time or not at all paid and those paid are paid very low salaries compared to the cost and standards of living in Uganda ,eg a Ugandan teacher working five days a week and 10 hours a day earns equivalent of United States Dollars 120 while nurses working for the same time earn USD 160.Most civil servants have their salaries not paid since April this year. They earn a living by growing crops on their own gardens and staying either at their own homes or government provided simple housing. This makes it difficult for most IWW Uganda members to pay their dues and contribute to other activities/causes for the running of the branch.
4. We always get members of the working class who like to show their solidarity towards our organizing through financial support and there is no way we can be able to mobilize and receive their contributions given that it is always each in amounts expensive to send through internationally other known means of funds transfer.
5. Over 90% of Ugandan population does not have credit cards and have no access to internet banking hence cannot make local fundraisings which can be locally supported in similar ways. Also the Uganda Government opposes/resists local fundraisings by trade Unions and opposition political parties with intent of making sure they remain weak and unstable. Also locally publicly announced fundraisings could lead to the Government sabotaging us(the union).
6. Usually we post the fundraising on the Indiegogo website, and once the campaign receives a reasonable percent of the targeted goal it is given a chance to appear on the Indiegogo website hence advertising the union in general since we always indicate the union website and contact information. This results into contacts and enquiries and possibly also joining the IWW.
7. The contributors are always updated on the prevailing fundraising campaign and finished campaigns and how the funds were properly utilized for the intended cause. Receipts, photos and video clips are also sent to the gallery section of the campaigns as well as emailed to the individual contributors.
The funds are also reflected in the General Membership Branch(GMB)’s report to the General Secretary/Treasurer of the IWW which is done every 6 months.The Report for the months of January to June this year was sent in at the beginning of July while that of July to October was sent in a few days ago.That of November and December will be sent ii at the end of December.
8. The campaigns are also away of participation of both IWW and none IWW members of the working class to contribute to the building of the IWW in general and Uganda in particular by contributing ideas, cash and in kind. Also increase solidarity among the GMB and other members of the working class.
9. Some of the fundraised funds is taken back by the company through which we make the fundraising usually 12% when the campaign doesn’t reach its goal and 7% when it reaches its goal; plus bank charges.
Also some of the money is used to purchase and post perks to our contributors as stipulated by the company through which we do the fundraising. Hence the money received is less than the targeted and that shown on the website.
This has luckily helped us raise targeted goals in most cases.
10. Most of the perks to our contributors are products of our fellow members, supporters and or members of the working class especially art works and handcrafts which make a source of income to them.
11. It serves as multiple sources of research on fundraisings and finance management, knowledge of existence of the IWW by fellow workers globally, attitude to the IWW by workers and relationships of the IWW with other workers’ organizations and also research on why workers may or may not join the IWW.
12. It has taken us some of the IWW Uganda members a lot of time, money, brainwork, research and studying before coming out with successful results through crowd funding and instead of stopping it we would rather help other fellow workers on how to make successful crowd funding campaigns.
13. The rate of exchange value of Uganda Shilling to US dollar, Euro, British pound is 2500, 3000 and 4000 times (in that order) the Uganda Shilling thus making it more possible to do much more work or pay for more here with the same amount of such currency than can be done with the same amount of money in the home/origin of that currency.
14.The General Membership Branch being here the first and only one of its kind not only in Uganda but also on the whole Africa continent where there is limited freedom of speech,expression,association,assembly and very little democracy; we encounter a lot of challenges given that the present membership is highly enthusiastic though small in number. Support can help to make the ROC grow and be self sustaining in the future. As most funds are used to purchase equipments such as computers, photocopier, printers and furniture it gives the IWW ownership of the ROC and thus the ROC being independent of individual members.
15. The working class members here have big families and extended families to cater for thus making them have less to spare as contributions and donations to the organization and organizing.
16. Despite capitalism destroying human nature, the inherent to share and help each other remains. This should be highly exemplified in organizations of the left such as ours that promote fraternity and solidarity.
Yours in Solidarity,
Secretary/Treasurer Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Uganda.