BukenyaWe are thrilled to have one of our valued micro loan partners, Bukenya Muusa, the President and Founder of the Volunteer Action Network (VacNet), visiting from his native Uganda this month!

Recognizing the value of partnership over competition, the Greater Contribution and VacNet are working together to increase the number of women receiving micro loans in Uganda and increase the effectiveness of both organizations.

Come and be inspired by this articulate and passionate young man, wise beyond his years, as he discusses the challenges of running a micro loan program on the ground in East Africa. Growing up with an abusive stepfather, Bukenya saw, at an early age, how an inability to provide for one’s family made women dependent and vulnerable to violence, motivating him to dedicate his life to helping the poor women of his country.

Enjoy a casual gathering with refreshments. Original wildlife photos by renowned artist Geoff Glassner will be on sale with 100% of the proceeds donated to TGC.

Thursday, August 27th 6:30-8:00 pm
Church of the Epiphany Meeting Room
5450 Churchwood Dr. Oak Park, CA 91377

RSVPs by email or phone are appreciated: , 805.493.2434

Through the looking glass …

Amsterdam airport windowAbout 14 hours from home now.  Feeling odd staring out the window of the Amsterdam airport with all of its modern conveniences.  The sun is just rising, pink hues light the sky.  Passengers are beginning to arrive and the terminal is filling with the hustle and bustle of the already developed world; such a contrast from where I have just come from.  It’s as if I am staring into Alice’s looking glass at a place so different and amazing.  Looking at those around me I see a busier mind set, one more pressed for time and commitment to this amazing civilization we live in, people don’t linger here, they rush about attempting to beat time prior to it beating them.  There are tradeoffs for my/our world, more rushing less connection with others, but our luxuries and conveniences are to marvel at.  I am so thankful for what I have and for what I give.  I am blessed to have the ability to know, accept, and take action to help change the world for others.  Our work at the Greater Contribution is to do just that, to help others take a step towards independence from poverty; to gain a sense of accomplishment, to see their families prosper by providing more meals, education, and other basic necessities that they struggle so hard to meet.  They are dear wonderful people just like you and I.  We are all one in this world, just as the Universe has always envisioned us – healed and helped by one another in this amazing journey of life.  My thanks to each and every one of you who support our work and the work of others to help minimize the suffering in the world.  You are a sacred soul.  Your donations are valued beyond belief and I am honored to take up the work on your behalf to help others.

The road towards home

We are on our way out of Mbale headed to Jinja, we have one last stop before flying home tomorrow.  We are going to visit the Pittek ladies!  It has been a long, but rewarding trip.  I am sad to say good-bye to all of our dear friends; not only to our amazing Loan Administrators & Coordinators & borrowers in the Mbale area, but also those in the hotels, restaurants, banks, stationers, and markets we visit during our stay.  Being here has had its challenges and rewards.  The rewards outweigh the challenges by far.  I am grateful to have the opportunity to experience and learn so much about our friends in Uganda.  I love to witness the transformation and positive rewards achieved through the benefit of micro loans.  The ability to teach and demonstrate to the women new ways of thinking about business and leadership within their communities is also so rewarding.

view of road out front window of carAs we drive the scenery stays pretty much the same, huts and small villages along the road, road side markets, small plots of banana groves and other vegetation, cows and goats tethered by rope, and the endless line of boda bodas, bicycles, cars, taxis, large trucks, and people traveling by foot.  We pass large public school areas, brick buildings being constructed and those abandoned, large open fields, and people huddled under trees or on the side of structures attempting relief from the hot sun.  Everyone busy in their day to day life struggle to feed and shelter their families.  These are people of resilience and compassion, filled with hope for a new tomorrow.  The hard part for me is that their new tomorrow is more than likely very far away…… that is why I work hard here on the ground and at home to raise funds to provide micro loans and training.  It is my hope that our help here is helping to pave the way to a new tomorrow.