A month ago, there was a week of observing mental health awareness at the Parliament of Uganda.
At work, we were extended an invitation to be there.
I had missed out on being a part of this if I hadn’t asked Archer to share with me the social media posters for the event.
And yet this event was happening for the very first time at this institution!
That morning found me so ready, armed with my phone charger, EarPods, beanie hat and hard drive.
Given my job, I knew those specific items would come in handy.
To be specific, I always need those items to transfer media (photos and videos) from one device to my own.
This is exactly what happened when I arrived at the Parliamentary Gardens!
We didn’t carry our camera from the office that day.
I had to improvise with my phone as the camera till I could find a better alternative, which I did!
In one of the tents, I was visiting and profiling, there was a group of 3 ladies from an institution called AVSI Fondazione.
They had carried one of their cameras to this event!
And yes, it was a very good one!
You don’t know how happy I was, when they were kind enough to let me use it to take as many photos as I wanted with the understanding that we would share these photos and videos between us!
I made it a point to take photos at every moment, angle, corner, walkway, and height that I could find.
They say that camera operators see so much behind those lenses. I find this true.
In many of the photos that I took that day,
I saw so many people concerned about the cause of mental health mixing and mingling amongst themselves.
I saw police officers and politicians approach our exhibition tents trying to ascertain what we were all about.
I saw something born in this August House (no other sitting of Parliamentarians has ever been this concerned about mental health like this one).
Might I say that we need this week next year?
Yes, we do!
Our people’s mental health is so bad and many of them aren’t even aware of it!
Would I want to see more ordinary Ugandans like me visiting us during that week?
Yes, I would love to!
We make the core of the communities that make up the country, at large!
Would I like to see more politicians visit our exhibition tents?
Yes, I would like to see all of them down here (they are over 500 of them, mark you)!
I want them to see what is at stake and why they should allocate much more funds to this cause, on the national budget.
I must tell you that as it stands right now, the health of the mind was allocated 0.5 billion shillings alongside other non-communicable diseases!