Yesterday was a long, long drive from Kampala to Gulu, the headquarters of our program, a city of about 40,000 people. Our various loan centers are in remote areas surrounding Gulu so we use this location as our central location during our stay there.
Today we began our first full day in Gulu with a meeting of some of our peer counselors, our Local Project Manager and other key team members.
Our Project Manager did a great job, giving my fellow travelers a summary of the fine points of the program. Elaine Himelfarb, Board Member seen in the photo above taking notes, was new to Uganda and so it was especially valuable for her to learn about the program in greater detail and to meet the very dedicated women involved in the day to day running of the program.
In the afternoon, we visited The Gulu Main Market, a very large, three story concrete structure which houses dozens of small stalls for independent business women and men including some of our borrowers. It was great to see some of the borrowers and learning about their particular businesses.
They were all so grateful for the help from The Greater Contribution and were proud to tell me how much the loans meant to them and their families. We heard many reports of women able to send their children to school for the first time, families able to eat more nutritious meals and great pride in their accomplishments. These are the reasons we all do this work!!
Tomorrow we head out to some of the remote villages where we have loan groups! It will entail a long drive, over very rugged road followed by energized, touching meetings with a lot of borrowers! Can’t wait!