President Yoweri Museveni has urged Ugandans to learn from the Koreans about hard work, discipline and frugality saying these are some of the qualities that have pushed Korea to be the 10th richest country in the world.
“Korea is poor, not as rich as Uganda in terms of natural resources. It is half the size of Uganda but it is now the 10th richest country in the world because of their hard work, discipline, frugality and now compassion,” he said.
The President was performing twin ceremonies of ground breaking of Cardinal Kim Su-hwan Kkottongnae centre, a home for the HIV/AIDS orphans.
He also commissioned the Kkottongnae Rehabilitation and Training centre for the less privileged and vulnerable children at Kashasharara sub-county in Nyabushonzi county Kiruhura district.
The US$ 800,000 Kkottongnae complex currently accommodates 52 orphans and is targeting, after expansion, to accommodate 2,000 vulnerable children.
The President commended the missionaries of Kkottangnae from the Republic of Korea for spreading the spirit of love, honesty, discipline and hard work adding that these qualities will serve as an inspiration to the people of Uganda in the development and transformation of the country.
“You have come to the right place at the right time. What was lacking in the past was stability and direction. These are now there, we are struggling with discipline and hard work. So by your coming here you are going to be good examples to the people of Uganda,” he said.
The Koreans through the Korea International Cooperation Agency KOICA have also established the Kampiringisa leadership center to teach local leaders about agricultural technology and community organization through which villages can be transformed.
The President commended the Kkottangnae missionaries for their spirit of compassion and for doing charity work in Uganda, quoting Mathew 25:40.
Korean based Kkotongnae was founded by Fr. John Oh Woong Jim in September 1976 and is a religious congregation of Catholic brothers and sisters who have dedicated their lives to serving the less privileged, the poor, ill and the homeless among others.
The ceremony was graced by the Archbishop of Mbarara Catholic Diocese His Grace Paul Bakyenga, the Apostolic Nuncio of the Holy See Archbishop Micheal Blum and the Ambassador of the Republic of South Korea to Uganda Kim Jong Dae.
President Museveni who on arrival toured the complex and later pledged to support Kkattongnae project with a bull dozer for levelling the ground for expansion and also pledged government support of US$ 100,000 next financial year.
The South Korean Ambassador to Uganda Kim Jong Dae said the project will not only improve the livelihood of vulnerable children but will also promote the existing good bilateral relationship between the Republic of Korea and that of Uganda.
He said Kkottongnae supported by KOICA, a development arm of the government of Korea will cooperate to ensure the success of the project.
The Korean envoy who praised the good weather of Uganda added that Kkottongnae which means ‘Flower village’ in Korean language, will prove that South Korea and Uganda are very good partners.
He pledged the support of his country to Uganda to achieve its potential especially the 2040 vision.
The Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Michael Blum told the congregation of the statement made by His Holiness Pope Francis during his visit to South Korea in August 2014 where he stressed the work of God’s mercy.
He said Kkottongnae is now doing exactly that in Uganda.
The ceremony was attended by MP’s from the region and Kiruhura district and religious leaders among others.