Update from Uganda!
SIA Board President Kathleen King and SIA Executive Director, Tanya Cothran, are in Uganda this week, visiting our grant partners and witnessing the amazing work they are doing there. Here is an update from the trip: Visiting KADI in the Rain “Visitors who come with rains, come with blessings.” And so everyone was in good spirits as we walked through the farm in a massive downpour of rain. We visited SIA Partner Kakuuto Development Initiative (KADI) in Luwero District in Central Uganda on Wednesday. ( See a map of our trip so far. ) They have a new pineapple plantation; a local company donated the plant suckers, and the local council lent the land. Pineapples self-propagate so they can continue to expand the plantation as a way to become a self-sustaining organization! KADI, like many SIA Partners, is entirely volunteer-run. We were impressed by the diverse team of volunteers and the strong show of community support contributing to these deveDouglas'initiatives. CAP-AID Home of Hope (& Peaceful) The CAP-AIDS Home of Hope invites teen girls from the Lira area who have suffered abuse by parents, had traumatic abortions, lost parents, been raped, and provides them with a safe and comfortable home and vocational training for a six-month period. From the moment we walked into the compound, I felt a sense of peace and calm so different from the busy roads outside the gate. The young women welcomed us with songs and the baking team had made an excellent vanilla tiered cake. They are near the end of their six months and their faces reflected a joy that I’m told was not there when they arrived. I was asked to give some words of encouragement and felt almost at a loss of how to speak to all they had been through. Watch a video of their welcome song: Douglas' Photography: Then & Now This week we were able to visit Douglas in Aboke in Northern Uganda. Douglas was orphaned at birth and raised by his grandmother. In 2018, he received business training from our coordinator, Naomi, and a $150 Small Business Fund (SBF) grant from SIA. When SIA visited in 2019, Douglas sold produce and raised pigs with his grant. He lived in a basic thatched roof hut on a property with his grandmother and was beginning to expand into photography. With his infectious laugh and endearing smile, we enjoyed visiting Douglas this week and hearing him share his many accomplishments. Despite many new challenges created by the COVID lockdown, he has been able to save and build himself a new tin-roofed, cement-floored home! He now has a mobile photo studio which he brings to events in the community, and he has created a growing business selling shoes. Douglas is very entrepreneurial, and he meets up regularly with another nearby SBF recipient. They can talk through business plans, similar struggles and ideas for future growth. We're here for one more week and will be travelling in Western Uganda tomorrow! Click for more photo updates!