I, together with the Lango Association of North America, have decided to launch a crowd funding campaign to address the PID issue. The screening that was done last year only covered women in three of the eight districts in the region. We need to help the other five districts, as well as make sure all of them are able to access treatment. While some of the responses have been encouraging, I was infuriated the other day when some of our brothers told me that I was bringing shame to the women of Lango by openly admitting that they have PID.
According to health workers here, matters are complicated by the fact that the kitchen-turned-maternity ward which handles up to 90 deliveries per month has neither doors nor windows and even then, it is too small and ill equipped to handle the numbers that turn up there.
Many times, our friends want to support our initiatives, but they need to know what to do. So while you seek for help, be specific about what you need from them. In the past couple of weeks, I have organized two fundraising events for the Suubi (Hope) Health Center. I worked with my friends on some parties- because music and dance usually bring our Minnesota community together. And of course, what beats partying for a good cause!
In lieu of my Thursday Fund-documentation post, I am going to share with you a recent article, published in The New Vision on May 12th. It was written by Professor Calestous Juma of Harvard Kennedy School. He makes a case for women’s education, using African Rural University (ARU). ARU is under the URDT umbrella and it is the only all women’s university in Uganda.
Everybody likes an inspiring story, right?
I thought that today we would let the girls tell their own story so I am sharing a video.
I wrote last Thursday about the why story and how I discovered that I couldn’t articulate it for my friend in a Skype conversation. I am going to attempt to tell you some of it today and if this is not articulate, well, there is always the comments section.
For now, this is my challenge, putting emotion into words. My friend explained to me that I needed the people to connect to me as a person, and that presenting it in a story- like most of my first paragraphs of motivational letters- does just that. I need to work on that story and I need to make it clear and urgent. It is still not easy because it is still pleading but this time with the personal, and I can only hope that by telling my why story, I will be able to help the URDT girls get that school truck.
I am invested in this project especially (and I know there could be other health centers that need building in other new districts) because it reaffirms my belief in a grassroots approach to development. This is a model that creates true ownership and long term impact in the community.
I was afraid to have the word out there.
Not because it’s not worth it but because I was afraid to ask for money. I was afraid to not raise the amount I had set for my goal. I was afraid of asking people twice or not having them listen to the cause. I kept the fundraiser on hold for over a month as I talked to myself into starting. I know I always tell myself, that if you do not try- then you will never know.
Latifah is fundraising to help build Suubi Center in Budondo, Luuka district. She will be sharing her progress and her learning process here every Tuesday and hopes that it will be helpful for other Ugandan women who are running-or thinking about running- fundraiser campaigns.