This blog post was written by our Fundraising Development Manager, Charles Harvey, following a visit to Uganda in July 2019.
I was sitting at my desk at home on a dark, wet January morning sorting out my business finance - distracted by the constant rain. That’s when I decided it was time for a change. I’d spent two years working for myself as a consultant and on paper I was doing better than ever, but something was missing. I wasn't entirely happy.
I found Five Talents almost by accident after a rant and a quick Google search that same morning - then I was applying for a job. Six months later and I’m stepping off an aeroplane in Uganda onto African soil for the first time ever. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly life can change if you make it happen!
I had two ‘long-haul’ flights and an overnight in Entebbe before I got on the small two seater plane headed north to Moroto in Karamoja. This remote, but beautiful, region is where Five Talents helps people to transform their lives through savings, loans, literacy and business skills training.
The rains had finally arrived in Karamoja after three months of waiting and everything was lush and green, but this masked the truth that very few people had planted crops, and those that did might not make it to harvest.
We drove across rough terrain to visit a remote village and attend an adult literacy and numeracy class. I was excited to meet members of the savings group. Since the team visited last October, the members have moved from writing their names to proudly demonstrating they could write phrases and sentences. This has completely changed their lives. One grandmother told us she now works with the village health team supporting pregnant women, reading health information and delivering hygiene training. Another young man told us that he was able to save for the first time and has taken a loan to set-up his shop; selling to villagers, passing school children and soldiers in the area.
I was struck by this transformation and how our support had given so many members hope and the opportunity to take control of their lives - to create a better future for themselves. It’s made me reflect on my own decisions and my personal journey over the last few months. In this hectic and demanding world of ours, do we stop to think about what we do with our time? Do we grab opportunities that help us live better and more fulfilled lives?
I feel our members grab that opportunity every day they attend group training.
Don’t miss your chance to take a journey with Five Talents as a supporter, an advocate or a volunteer. Contact us to start an adventure that will leave you feeling gratified.