Even after so many months of Zoom calls in all aspects of my life, it still is a thrill to meet with SIA Grant Partners from all over East Africa. This month, we held the SIA Africa Summit on Zoom. Twenty people attended, representing 13 organizations and the African Advisory Board, and the North American Board. Each organization shared what they were most proud of in the past year.
And wow- these small but mighty organizations have had some amazing moments in their work this year! Here are a few of the highlights:
"We are all, through SIA, someone's answered prayer," said Tiba from Reach Girls in Malawi. Reach Girls led a sewing and tailoring training program for six girls. At the end of the training, one student has established her own shop (see below!) and she can now support her children and give them three meals per day. This is a huge turnaround from her life before Reach Girl's program. Reach Girls has also established a good working relationship with the Area Development Committee in their district, and this is helping to increase their visibility as an organization.
"It is through togetherness with the community and working as a team that we have been able to reach far and achieve what we have achieved," said Vincent Atitiwa, Director of Matungu Community Development Charity (MCDC) in Kenya. MCDC used its SIA grant to expand its communal poultry project. Below is a video of Vincent showing off the new chicken coop. They have also installed solar panels which keep the power steady for their egg incubator. With the incubator, they have hatched 1,600 chicks. The other SIA Partners on the Zoom call were inspired to hear about the great potential from this income-generating activity for the organization!
"There is more joy in the village because of the community center," said Manasse from Flaming Chalice International in Burundi. Burundi is a country very divided along ethnic and religious lines. The Flaming Chalice community center is a place where everyone - regardless of beliefs or family - can come to gather, share, and learn from one another. SIA supports the staff salaries of Flaming Chalice so that there can be full-time attention on their community programs. Pictured below: a group of women gather at the community center to Share the Gift with each other.
More updates from our grant partners to follow! :)