After three days without an internet connection, I have so much to tell you!
Recently, we re-visited our amazing administrative team and some individual borrowers in Lwaboba. Here you see Annette, our Loan Administrator and Fenny, one of the senior members of the community, in their new office. They are thrilled with the new opportunities that the program brings them and are jumping into their new roles with enthusiasm, joy and creativity! They are determined that every woman in the program will be successful.
Visiting borrowers in their businesses is always an interesting experience. Many of the women run their businesses from their homes (like many of us in the U.S.!) and so we had opportunities to see their homes as well as their businesses. Here is Deborah at home with chickens she’s raising in a room behind her living quarters.
We questioned the wisdom of several women in the group all raising chickens. Would there be a large enough market for all this poultry? We learned that in the even years in Uganda, there are a lot of circumcisions of adult males which necessitate parties that last three and four days with large, extended family members attending, all eating lots of chicken! Carolyn Corwin worked with quite a few of these women on their business plans and now knows so much about this business that the ladies have jokingly dubbed her the poultry expert!
Aidah is a lovely, tall woman who told me her older husband is in poor health and she is the sole support of the family of seven! Her five children sleep on the floor in this tiny room and she is both very grateful to have gotten a micro loan and also frightened about her future. These are the women who need our help the most.
After visiting several businesses, our Loan Administrator, Annette, insisted on serving us lunch at her home , which you can see consisted of potatoes (called ‘Irish’ here), rice, bananas, chicken, beef and the au juice from cooking the meat and poultry.
The Ugandan diet is sadly lacking in vegetables and we’re always glad to eat a more healthy diet at our hotel. But the fact that the food is such a lovely gift from a lovely woman living in such incredibly poor conditions is so moving and generous that lack of vegetables is irrelevant. Annette explained that we had done a lot of business together and it was time to “come together in friendship”. The character of Ugandan women is strong, loving and a treat to experience. How could we not help them?