Turning Passion into Action

Turning Passion into Action

What an amazing couple of days we’ve had.   Yesterday we went to three loan repayment and loan distribution days. They have been days of seeing passion turned into action. So many women with a strong, deep and abiding passion to help their sisters .

The women in these three groups made the last of their payments on their cycle #1 and received their next loans.  In Lwaboba, out of a group of 20 women, 17 were able to buy some kind of livestock – many bought pigs, many bought goats—as a result of their micro loan!   The livestock is an important contribution to their economic stability, a form of savings for them; stock they can sell to pay school fees or when drought conditions result in crop failure. To have extra money to buy these animals is a source of pride for them and an indicator that their businesses are thriving!

In addition, to all this good news, I was stunned and incredibly honored when one of our loan coordinators, introduced me to her new daughter, who she has named Karon!!

Another of our groups, in Tororo, had struggled in their first loan cycle but bounced back beautifully and presented the perfect model of an effective loan hub!   There was a clear sense of community and commitment to each other; they were focused on repaying their loans but also to reaching for greater goals.   Their biggest commitment is to lift themselves out of poverty and to be sure that each of their sisters comes with them.  They have an amazing team leading them, all strong women with a strong dedication to making life better for all the members of their group. They are so inspiring! They have aptly named their group “The Winning Women of Tororo”.   That says it all!

Photos show:  me with some of the ladies in Tororo while distributing new loans,Karon with Tororo borrowersCarolyn teaching some new computers skills to Suzan, the group’s hard working Loan AdministratorCarolyn training Suazn

and a photo of Norah, the group’s dedicated Loan Coordinator:

Norah

Today was training day for our Loan Coordinators and Loan Administrators. As our front line staff here we always strive to give them all the training and tools necessary to do their jobs and always do a training session each time I’m here. This time, we invited a Ugandan expert in micro finance, Bukenya Muusa, President of Vac Net (Volunteer Action Network), one of our local partners, a young and very dynamic individual who has been providing micro loans to poor women for 7 years to facilitate the session.  He delivered an inspiring , thoughtful workshop which was well received by all the women.

Tomorrow, we head for Jinja to meet with another of our partners, The Pittek Ladies, before heading to the airport the next day for the trip home.  It was sad to say goodbye to our local staff and partners in this area today.  They have truly become friends and at the same time, the lure of home is becoming strong. We work hard while here and it’s tough to be away from home, family and our creature comforts call to us and then a woman will tell us how the micro loan has changed her life and it’s all worth it. What is so little to us, $50 or $100 is truly life changing.   How fortune I am to be able to do this work and to have these incredible experiences.