Today was our final day of distributing hygiene kits to the beautiful young women of New Kabale Busega. The response we received from the girls during our presentation and discussion time was amazing. I loved hearing them say, loud and proud, what they love about themselves, what they dream of doing in the future, what they are proud of, and that they are women of substance. Hearing the girls say that their lives have a purpose, their stories are important, and their voices matter is so empowering to them, their peers, and even to me.
I am so proud to be a part of this incredible team and so thankful to witness firsthand the joy the girls have when receiving their kits. This is my second trip to this beautiful country and it has been an honor to be in the presence of so many wonderful children and staff again. My first trip was in June 2016, a technology training trip. Although I feel I am somewhat computer savvy, this Girl Empowerment trip is much better suited for me.
This trip has allowed me to get to know the girls on the campuses a little more and has reminded me how much we take for granted on a daily basis. I never had to worry about missing school because I got my period. Never had to stress about how I was going to keep all my classmates from knowing I got my period. I certainly never had to worry about being married off for money because I got my period. These are real worries for girls in Uganda. The luxury of a pad or tampon and a clean, private bathroom to take care of ourselves is extremely taken for granted in our culture. Seeing the joy and gratitude these girls express for being provided with washable pads and soap really brings me down off my "high horse" and makes me think about all the things I've taken for granted over my lifetime…things that can seem very petty in perspective.
I am amazed everyday by the incredible women of Uganda and love being a small part of empowering them.
The theme for 2017 is "The world needs me!" and I love sharing that message with these girls. The world needs them and they have the potential to do anything they want to do. These incredible young women dream of being doctors, lawyers, teachers, pilots, judges etc. Every single one of them has the potential to reach for the stars and make those dreams come true.
As Mike always says, "we are just a drop in their bucket". Providing these hygiene kits is not the reason these girls can become anything they want to be. However, it is a basic need that we can meet to help keep them in school, when they normally would probably stay home for a week. Knowing we are encouraging, empowering and placing a small drop in the bucket of the lives of so many incredible young women in Uganda is an amazing feeling that I will never forget.
I am proud to be a small part of Fields of Dreams Uganda, and even more so proud to say that I will "practice what you preach" and always strive to be a Woman of Substance: Strong, Unique, Beautiful, Service Minded, Trustworthy, Authentic, Non Judgmental, Compassionate and Educated. I am so thankful for Fields of Dreams Uganda and all the amazing programming they help establish at their partner schools.
I AM A WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE! :)