From Leadership Development Program to Ugandan Parliament

Our President and CEO Wess Stafford understands both the purpose and the aspiration of the Leadership Development Program* — to select the best and brightest Christian students from our Child Sponsorship Program and position them for major impact in their communities and nations.

“To overcome the plagues of our world today — poverty, disease, injustice — we need leaders who are fully equipped with a quality education, yet walk the path of Christ.”

A former Leadership Development Program student is, in fact, on track to do just that in Uganda.

Margaret Makhoha, a 2003 Leadership Development Program graduate, was recently elected as a member of the Ugandan Parliament and will serve a six-year term, representing her home district of Namayingo in the nation’s legislature.

smiling woman in black jacket

Senator Makhoha won with 50 percent of the vote in a four-candidate race. Her campaign theme of “It is possible!” was born out of her personal experience of growing up in poverty. She saw the suffering of the women in her village and determined as a girl to someday make a difference in their lives.

Margaret’s vision is to bring services closer to the people of her rural district, where most make their living as subsistence farmers or fishermen.

“Few can understand the worsening plight of families in developing countries more than those who are rising above it,” says Wess Stafford.

“And who better to defeat these societal ills than those who have lived through it?”

The freshman legislator plans to work with the Ugandan government to improve roads, education and health services for her district.

She also is an advocate for the economic empowerment of her people, desiring to network with nongovernmental organizations to serve needy children and orphans so that they might be helped as she was through Compassion.

While she was an LDP student, Margaret received a bachelor’s degree in education from Makerere University, located in the capital city of Kampala. On her own, she later pursued a master’s degree at the same university.

Community service was a way of life before moving into politics, and Margaret served her community as Director of the Butema Child Development Center, run by the Butema Baptist Church on the rural plains west of Kampala.

Margaret stepped down from that position in order to enter the race for senator. A mother of three children, she is married to a pastor. Her strong Christian roots began in her childhood home, growing up with her pastor-father and mother.

two women and two men speaking to one another

The now Senator Makhoha sees challenges ahead for Uganda, including insufficient and poor quality social services. But she looks forward to the work with optimism.

She joins her colleagues next month, when the newly elected class of legislators will be sworn in.

*This content honors our historical Leadership Development Program. To learn more about our current youth development opportunities, click here.

16 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Ruataraka Joseph October 7, 2013

    Thats my vision come 2016 ,am also an LDP student from uganda.
    congz my sister.

  2. serugo robert June 10, 2013


  3. Efren Arieta February 13, 2012

    [quote comment=”38104″]Hi Efren! That is Beguens Thues. You can click here to see the post.[/quote]


  4. Efren Arieta February 13, 2012

    Very inspiring. BTW, I heard we had another senator from the LDP elected in Haiti. If anyone know about it can you make a post?

    1. Jacquie Parella February 13, 2012

      Hi Efren! That is Beguens Thues. You can click here to see the post.

  5. Sarah July 21, 2011

    So exciting 🙂

  6. James Etuwat July 6, 2011

    Congratulations to Senator Makhoha. As part of Butema team (PD) involved with the then incipient LPD youth programme (Esther, Japeth, Kwoba, Zikusooka, John, I rejoice and wish them the best.

    Greetings to the CDC members, the Pastors of Busoga Cluster (Pastor Benson Situma….) and Compassion Uganda especially Gilbert. Keep it up and even support more youth into LDP: the strategy works. (Psalms 126:6)

    Otherwise, Namibia is fine.

    God bless you all. Amen

  7. Dan Jalang’o May 9, 2011

    How best to summarize it than in her own political motto:

    “It is possible”

    The Envisioned Future… possible!

  8. Steven Lumonya April 28, 2011

    Margaret we are indeed proud of you and we are glad to have been part of your journey in LDP.

  9. Rebecca April 23, 2011

    Now that’s what I call breaking the cycle of poverty- and to know she will be in a position to do so much good is such and inspiring thing. Way to go Margaret!

  10. Humphreys Barasa April 22, 2011

    Hon. Margaret,
    “A VISION BRINGS VICTORY” (Acts26:19-20). Be encouraged you will make.

  11. Humphreys Barasa April 22, 2011

    Margaret you are a blessing to us the compassion alumni family.
    Your determination to become a Legislator encourages us and we can also say “COMPASSION YES WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THIS COUNTRY (UGANDA) AND THE ENTIRE WORLD”.
    Congratulations Margaret and Glory be to the Almighty God.

  12. Kees Boer April 21, 2011

    This is really neat. Ouma Willy, who is now one of the Moody Bible students grew up with her in the same project. They played together as children. 🙂

  13. Sheila April 19, 2011

    Congratulations Margaret, I am so proud of you. Glory be to God.

  14. Nisha April 19, 2011

    This is fantastic! So proud of Margaret.

  15. Lisa April 18, 2011

    This is awesome. The potential for Compassion graduates to start rising in the political arena is one of the things I’m most excited about. If Compassion produces honest leaders who govern with wisdom and integrity, it will truly make a change in the world.

    Congratulations to Margaret Makhoha on her election – she’s leading the way! It’s really great to hear that she has her sights set on improving social services in Uganda. Think of how children will benefit from that…

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