Oh Boy! How do I say this without whining! After encouraging everyone I know to follow this blog, the internet has been more unreliable than usual and it’s been impossible to get a connection and to blog until today. My apologies. This is just a taste of life in Africa. In the U.S., we’re used to being able to get an email answered in hours and here it can take days!
And these challenges in Africa are always offset by the joys of working with Ugandan women. I started the first day of leadership training yesterday with the women who will administer the loan program in two new loan hubs we’re opening. I was again so impressed with their intelligence, sophistication, initiative and drive to launch this program. Their joy at having the opportunity to participate in our loan program is heart warming. Suzan, who is our Loan Administrator in Tororo couldn’t stop smiling and saying “this is a dream come true”. For these women, the opportunity to receive a micro loan is like winning the lottery.
We all know that this is the beginning of something that will be transformative for their lives. We all recognize the magnitude of what we’re beginning. I’ve always enjoyed the beginnings of things and knowing what a tremendous difference this program will make in their lives is really thrilling. They have a vision that this will be big for them, and I know it will be bigger than they can even imagine. I love the power of this little tool called a micro loan, powered by the love and compassion of supporters who believe in giving African women an opportunity to be all they can be.
It is remarkable, that these incredibly poor women are also highly educated — with both formal education and life education. These leaders include two teachers, a trained statistician, a clinic administrator and of course, all are businesswomen looking to improve their skills and start small businesses or make their very small businesses truly sustainable. Despite the daunting conditions these women live in, they are remarkable, strong women with a will and a drive that will allow them to make the maximum use of the training we give them.
I am also impressed with the drive of these women to improve the lives of their neighbors and colleagues. There is a lovely sense of unity among these groups. The leaders are committed to training and helping the other borrowers to learn good business skills, create successful businesses and turn their lives around. In addition, they are so grateful for our help, that they won’t think of not working hard and making their loan hub successful.
I have been blessed on this trip to have Volunteer, Carolyn Corwin, accompanying me. Her compassion for these ladies, her wisdom, her commitment to the work of TGC and her friendship have been invaluable. She’s one of those wonderful human beings who says “whatever needs to be done — I’ll do it!” She’s adding great value to our work here and she’s funny!
Thank you all for your support and for making this good work possible.
While here I am training seven leaders and mentoring them through training the women borrowers. We will fund loans to 131 borrowers — 131 women will begin their journeys out of poverty!