Recently, I was sitting in a staff meeting. We were talking about how only a few months ago, with the support of our Australian donors, we were able to send gifts and necessities to Uganda. The story was told, that as some of the ladies in our care were given a new handbag, tears began to slide down their cheeks. There was power in this moment. For many, this was the very first time they had ever received a gift. The very act of giving and receiving gifts, an act we so often take for granted, was life transforming to these ladies. The gifts represented value, love and purpose. Listening, my eyes filled with tears as I tried to imagine a life where no one had ever placed value on me. A life stuck in a cycle of poverty.
Ten years ago, I was a stay-at-home Mum to five children and had been for many years. I was in a troubled marriage, had no career skills to speak of, and was living in a foreign country with limited access to financial aid. Often I thought it would better if I left my situation, but I had no means to provide. We would have been in poverty, just like our Living Hope ladies, but I had a choice. These ladies don’t.
It took one person to change my life. One person to take a chance on me. One person to encourage me, and believe in me and start my career. One person to give me independence, one person to place value on me.
My skills increased, but it didn’t stop there. I was empowered. I started to hold my head a little higher. I began to believe I had a new kind of value and worth. My confidence grew both in my workplace and in my other interactions. In fact, as my ability to be independent increased, my marriage relationship improved in equal proportions. Today, my husband is my greatest supporter and friend, and I can’t imagine life without him.
One person taking a chance to provide me with skills changed my life, and you, my friend, have the opportunity to be that one person to someone else.
In December we have 450 ladies graduating our Living Hope program. A program that has taught them skills to start their own business. Our aim is to provide them with the physical tools to see their business come to life. For many of our graduating ladies, this moment will be the first time they have received a gift. A gift that says ‘Someone believes in you.’ A gift that empowers them to become independent, a gift that places value and love on a life from which so much has been taken.
Right now, you have a choice. You can read this and forget it, or you can choose to take action. You get to choose the power of a moment. You can change not just the life of a mother, but also her children. In Uganda, mothers are the hope of the next generation.
Will you partner with us today and give a gift of hope? Will you use your resources to empower the life of a woman in Uganda? Will you take the opportunity of giving her not just a business, but worth, value, and independence?
For most of us, it is little, but to her, it is everything.
Donate today https://chuffed.org/project/graduate-to-greatness
By Adele Turnbull from Watoto Australia