Among my responsibilities in administration of Musana Camps is providing for the needs of our security team. This team is tasked with keeping our staff and children safe, and our land secure. With roughly 750 acres of camp property, and a boundary that crosses some very difficult terrain, this is a difficult task for them to accomplish. The boundary is a 7-mile path through jungle, swampy low lands, and hilltops with stunning views. They guard the main gate that provides vehicle access to the camp, but also patrol the entire boundary and the countless foot paths that are regularly travelled by people who require access to gardens, water supplies, and neighboring villages.
Just last night we had a man wander onto camp property from a footpath. The man was intoxicated, and seemed lost. Our herdsman encountered this man, and tried to direct him back to the road that leads out of camp, but the stranger became belligerent and began arguing with our herdsman. As one thing led to another, the altercation escalated. Security responded, the man was detained, and authorities were notified. The night ended peaceably with the drunken man headed for home, but it was a reminder of the value of our security team and the need to have them well equipped.
There are many ways that we think of equipping the security team with the necessary tools for their trade. The first I will mention is a new effort to train them on the vision of Musana Camps. It is important to us that they know what they are protecting, not just the physical aspects of land and property. Our desire is that the security team members would take ownership of the vision, and thoroughly understand how important they are to accomplishing God’s work in a safe and secure environment.
The second way we intend to provide for our security team members is through a training program. We have a gentleman working with New Hope Uganda who previously served in the Ugandan military. He is very skilled and knowledgeable, and has already started to evaluate and train or security program at Musana Camps. With his help, we are developing an ongoing training program to provide job specific education to our team members. In addition, we will also be providing general staff training that encompasses everything from money management, work ethics, and spiritual enrichment through Biblical teaching. Our hopes are that through job specific and character building training, we will decrease turnover and build mutual trust and respect with these valued employees.
The third and final way that we must provide for our security team is through physical provision. We desire to have our security team be a highly respected, organized, and professional group of men. In order to accomplish this, we are adjusting our budget to account for projected expenses to keep them well equipped in years to come. In the short term, we have to find a way to equip them with some of their basic necessities.
Here is our current needs list for our team of 8 guards:
- Uniforms – 2 sets per guard
- Boots – 1 pair per guard
- Flashlights – 1 per guard with 3 spares on hand
- Bow and Arrows – 1 for Main Gate
- Knife – 1 per guard
- Baton – 1 per guard
- Solar Battery for Main Gate
- ID Badges – 1 per guard
We can source all of this equipment in Uganda, and we estimate that filling these needs will cost approximately $75 per guard, or $600 for the entire team. We estimate the cost for the shared equipment at the main gate to be approximately $100.
Of course, we anticipate having to replace these items as they wear out, so we will be taking a look at our budget in order to cover those costs in the future, keeping this team well equipped.
It’s hard to have to ask for these basic necessities, but I believe that there are many who know the value of having the appropriate equipment to do your job well. Will you help us to meet these immediate needs, and get us started on this corrective path? Do you know someone who has a heart for public service that might consider helping us to establish this team of young men who provide for our security every day of the year?
If God so leads you to consider a gift for this cause, you can make a donation online at https://newhopeuganda.givingfuel.com/default-donation. Simply specify an amount, and type Musana Camps Security Team in the Additional Info text box. This note restricts the use of those funds to this specific need.
I’d like to also thank Between The Lines Officials Gear who generously donated high quality whistles and lanyards for the Security Team in March.