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KC completes dangerous mission to Uganda

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KC completes dangerous mission to Uganda

Post by vhelski on Sun 30 Jan 2011, 1:28 pm

KC completes dangerous mission to Uganda

By Glenda Villena, For Yahoo! Southeast Asia
Friday January 28, 2011 04:22 am PST



When KC Concepcion left for Uganda to fulfill her first field mission outside the country as the Philippines’ National Ambassador Against Hunger for the United Nations World Food Programme, not many understood the danger she had to face. KC had left her comfort zone and risked her life to pursue her advocacy.

As part of her mission, KC visited the remote Ugandan areas of Kapchorwa, Karimojong, and Karamoja.

"I realized it's the same anyway when I go to Central Mindanao. It's just that this time around, it was for a week. Usually in Mindanao, in Central Mindanao, we fly for a few hours and then fly back," KC explained. "While we were having dinner, there were a few gun shots because somebody tried to steal some livestock, which is 'yong livelihood talaga nila... It wasn't until the days went by that you actually realized that there's a risk," recounted KC.

The danger of visiting Northern Uganda, which has just recently regained peace after two decades of conflict, was indeed very imminent.

"We do risk our lives. A lot of our colleagues that we worked with have lost their lives while they're out there... Anything can happen," WFP Deputy Country Director Asaka Nyangara said.

Despite the risks, the Kapamilya actress was able to achieve her mission. According to KC, the whole experience changed something in her - a change she finds hard to explain but nevertheless she welcomed wholeheartedly.

"You think you can absorb everything when you think you're strong right, emotionally, mentally, physically…but there's a process pala. I think the thing that got me most was just being in the plane yeah yung 22 hour na biyahe, and then seeing the pictures which I'm so glad I took using my own personal camera, you'll see na there are things that you don't see off hand when you're there and then you go back to your world, you're in entertainment and everything's presented beautifully, everything is striving for perfection, the glitz the glamour the high heels the luxury bags, the lights the audience and then you remember this quiet arid place under the hot sun with people that you've never seen or met before,” she said.

“It hits you. If you were in a bad situation when she wants help and if you were to hear stories like that na hindi mo naman araw-araw naririnig at nakikita mo lang sa TV at minsan hindi ka naman tinatamaan kasi you can change the channel, pag nagiging totoo siya iba na yung pakiramdam talaga kasi no matter where you are or what happened kung sinong kausap mo or kung anong sabihin ng tao tungkol sa 'yo or kung anong na-achieve mo you'll always know na there's a corner in the world that exists na ganun. And either in our daily lives we forget that these things exist or we just never knew existed," KC told Yahoo Southeast Asia during a press conference at the White House restaurant in Quezon City.

After her Ugandan trip, KC said that she would love to visit Africa again, in fact next to her list is Kenya. She however clarified that her main priority is to still help the Philippines as an Ambassador against Hunger. Her missions outside the country will help her see innovative programs such as “Purchase for Progress” (a program that supports households that can meet their food and nutrition needs but require increased incomes to become fully food secure) that could be applied to the country, particularly, the poverty stricken area of Central Mindanao.

To further help WFP address the problem of hunger, the actress-singer’s website, KC's Closet, auctioned off some of KC's belongings to raise funds for the organization’s projects.

"We were able to raise since late last year about half a million pesos that will all go to our projects in Central Mindanao especially for school feeding. In the last ten days, because we put up a new batch of second-hand items for online auction on eBay, in the last ten days, we were able to raise P106,000 just with most of my clothes, watches, and bags," KC revealed.

The UN World Food Programme, considered the largest humanitarian agency, appointed KC as the country’s National Ambassador against Hunger in 2008.

Photo by Jerome Ascano, NPPA Images
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