Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Unplanned Safari

How nice it is to go home again!

It has really been a very long time since I visited Gulu on official programs. I have traveled about two times after the closure of our center there, but on private matters. It was also the same this time, though it later turned out to be the most interesting visit this year.

During the time I have been working there- the past three years or so, I developed serious friendship with very many of the people who were involved with us in one way or the other. So this time I felt so lonely not having these people around me and decided I needed to get in touch with them and guess what! this turned out to be the most interesting trips I have ever made since we closed the center.

I first gave a call to one of the officials of our members who have regrouped under a new name.This I will talk about later , because they are our true offspring and I know each one of them by name.

The most interesting group that I visited were the Koro people . I started with these people about three years ago as Invisible Children Bracelet makers. Here I had developed very good friends and whenever I meet them in town, they would always wonder why I do not visit them and yet it was me who brought "All these to us". So I decided I needed to call one of them and see what they were up to, he instantly said "Please come and have lunch with us". So I took a "boda boda"to their place about 6 kms away from town towards Kampala.

The "Akwo Ki Lweta Group"

The members getting ready for their weekly meeting.

These people are very organized, after our lunch at the chairperson's house, I was taken by the husband who is now the Executive director of the Akwo Ki Lweta Group (literally " it's my hands that I survive on") to their " office" , his unfinished building . I have really liked the name they have chosen because it shows that they are really focused on doing things by themselves and not so much looking at foreign assistance which really is a very healthy move and very much in line with our vision.

A lady paying back her loan

That day was a day for collecting money and paying back loans. They have grouped themselves and registered as a CBO and every week they would all put together some amount of money , which they later use as loan capital to be given to the most needy applicant among the members who would have applied earlier and has been approved by a committee. This seemed to be working very well and everyone looked happy during the whole process.

The Executive Director conducting the meeting

So I picked interest in it and thought this could be replicable in many such communities. I then asked them what their other objectives were and I was given a full book of their documents to read through and was even allowed to go with and continue reading whenever I would be free. well I know it's going to be a bit of time before I finish all this , but will let you know what other things they are up to.

1 comment:

Shawn4lia said...

Thank you for the post Grace. Keep up the wonderful work!