An interview with Uncle Richard Wamala – Administrative Assistant – Reception
Everyday many people buzz in and out of the office, some working and others visiting. In Uganda, we hear all the time about “Big Men” but sometimes we forget about the people who are really making things work. Uncle Richard Wamala is one of those important people who rarely get noticed because he isn’t one of the ‘Big Men,’ but it’s safe to say that he is part of the glue that holds Kasana together. He is also a New Hope son who is giving back what God has given to him.
Can you describe yourself and what you do?
I’m Uncle Richard Wamala. I’m working here at the office as a receptionist/secretary. I do secretarial work and in that work I do minute writing in the general staff meetings, type sitting, photocopying, handle phone calls from different departments as well as outsiders, receive visitors, and partly handle our administration store.
How do you run everything from the office?
At times, I find it very hard because I find many people in the office at once while I’m typing or photocopying and different people come in with different issues to handle at the same time, which is challenging. The tactic I always use is that I serve the one who has come first. If you come last, you will be the last to be attended to. Simply, that’s how I end up managing my work here at the reception.
What are your goals for reception?
My main goal is to make sure I serve everybody equally. Since I’m one of the old sons, I like seeing my fellow brothers and sisters and attending to them. I feel well when they come to visit my office and I feel free with them.
What are some ways you have seen God work?
I have seen my relationship with my fellow employees, as well as my children improving. I lead devotions with our Primary 3 class every Tuesday. I always discuss important issues with them, especially talking about the goodness of God and how He has made us alive and how to keep on growing in Him. This has brought me closer to God, as well as the staff and children.
What are some of the challenges that you face?
The biggest challenge I face is with our machines in the office. There are times that they experience breakdowns when I have much work to do, especially with printing. Due to large amounts of work in the office, they will only work for a
short time and then they will break down.
How did you come to New Hope (as a child)?
Before New Hope, I was staying with my grandmother who is still alive and we are in good touch. My grandmother brought me here for assistance and I was admitted. I also have a sister who came here when New Hope started; she is one of the first daughters here. She was the first child to make a wedding here, her name is Scovia. She is a teacher at our nursery (kindergarten) school. When I was admitted here at New Hope, I joined David family, where I met brothers and sisters and really had good relationship with them. By then, the family father at David family was Uncle Kimera Stephen, who was a good dad and whom we learned much from as our father.
Do you have any stories that you would like to share?
I joined New Hope around 1992, when I was a very young boy. I grew up from the hands of the people who were here by then, who fought a lot to see that I become someone useful in the presence of God and man. Through the preaching of God’s word, I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior. When I was done with my studies, I started to work. I worked with several organizations and I have acquired some knowledge and skills from those places. Later on, I was given work here, which has also been a blessing. Now, I’m not just a son in the home, but I’m also a father to my fellow young ones, which I really thank God for. It is my prayer that I also become a good dad, which I believe God is going to do.
Anything else you would like to share?
I would be pleased to see the work of the ministry growing and expanding to different parts of Uganda. There are many children who are suffering out there and they need such ministry in their areas, especially in the north where there have been wars, which have left many fatherless.
What are some ways people can pray for you and your work?
My desire is for Him to draw me closer to Him, as well as my fellow employees. My desire in the office is to have better machines, which can do better work for me, and for God to give me the ability to do my work effectively. These prayers would be greatly appreciated.
Culturally, Uncle Richard wouldn’t be considered the ‘Big Man,’ but through Christ he has become a true man. At New Hope Uganda, Uncle Richard is an integral piece in our administration office; you could even say that he is the glue that holds us together.
Interview by Emmanuel Ocakacon
Written by Devin Hiller