I’m sure some of you are saying “where are those blog posts Karon was going to write?” Well it turns out that this trip has been more difficult than any other trip for access to the internet. In Uganda, I have access to the internet only in the morning before leaving for the villages or in the evening upon my return to my hotel and on this trip, the internet has been down consistently during those windows of opportunity! My appologies for the lack of posts.
However, Kerrie Sadler, one of the board members who accompanied me on this trip has written a beautiful reflection on the trip and I think you’ll enjoy it. Here it is:
“You Are Very Welcome”
I’ve returned home and had awhile to reflect on the essence of my African experience. What keeps coming to mind for me is the graciousness of the Ugandan people, even in the face of unrelenting poverty. In each village we visited we were greeted with such genuine warmth by our borrowers! Among the common forms of greeting we heard were the words, “You are very welcome.” With those words and with hands outstretched in friendship, they invited us into their world.
That world is not an easy one to navigate; I had no real idea until I saw it firsthand. Most women we support through micro loans are not just operating small businesses but also caring for their numerous children. Many of them grow, pick, dry, grind, slaughter, and otherwise prepare the food they provide for their families, as well as to sell at their village market. And they cook in pots over fires – there is no microwave to pop a meal into when they’re on the run!
This is the lifestyle within which we have had the honor of doing our work, improving their lives with our micro loans. But the improvements go beyond just the women. As one of our Ugandan loan administrators, Annette, said, “Mothers and children move together.” As such, what benefits our borrowers also benefits their offspring and uplifts an entire community.
These amazing, resourceful people ask for so little. They smile and are so grateful for the help we’re able to provide through the generous donations we receive from so many of you here at home. We repeatedly heard the words, “Thank you for loving us.”
I came away feeling that the world is now a little smaller due to the connections we have made in each of the villages we support. As Karon Wright once wisely stated about our African sisters, “They are us over there.” We all want good health and an education for our children, and we all have the same basic needs. I am convinced, now more than ever, that The Greater Contribution’s work is indeed making a measurable, lasting impact.