- Rebecca Smotherman
The Power of One
The power of one. One smile, one hug, one song, one rain shower, one light, one meal, one dance, one teacher, one hygiene kit…
Today our team visited Pageya Primary School where we were greeted with songs and smiles. Pageya is the largest partner school in the Northern region hosting around 1000 children. As we shared the day with this partner school, I was reminded of how frequently in the U.S. we learn phases like, “Go big or go home,” “There is power in numbers,” and “Two are better than one.” Although these sayings may hold some truth at times, they miss the point that even one can have a huge impact.
Today at Pageya, the Fields of Dreams staff worked alongside the Pageya school staff and our team to remind young women about the power of one. The 2017 theme is: “The World Needs Me.” While the Women of Substance program was taught, we listened to young girls share not only the challenges of being young women, but also their hopes and strengths. The young women of Pageya value education and understand the significance of one. As I stood before them today leading the Women of Substance pledge, I knew I could not make promises to these young girls that I may someday not be able to fulfill. They need to journey with people who encourage them to be empowered and educated. They, like me, need relationships built on trust, compassion, and integrity. So as much as my heart wanted to say I would return often and promise a better tomorrow for each of us, I am not promised tomorrow. The best that I could do was pledge with them to strive to be a woman of substance every day in my own life, while encouraging them to strive to be women of substance in theirs. One promise.
As we distributed hygiene kits and the girls were encouraged by each of the FoDU staff and our team, I reflected on how this one kit had the power to change each young woman’s life by providing an opportunity for her to be in school and to be healthy. There have been times in my life that I have found myself feeling insignificant while wondering how one might contribute to lasting change in such a huge world. I have already learned from the blessed people of Uganda the most powerful answer. One step at a time. One person at a time. The world needs you. The world needs me.