Today I cried – the kind of tears where your heart is filled with so much joy, there is nothing to do – but cry. Yesterday was a buying day in Uganda. Which means that 25 HIV positive women gathered in the round hut to bring the jewellery they have been working on since our last buying day (in february) to sell to our project coordinator.
It means that each one has been working hard to create the beautiful shanti uganda jewellery that is now worn all over the world and that yesterday she left with a renewed sense of hope, financial resources for her family and most of all, empowered.
The women were surprised to learn that the amount that would be purchased yesterday was FAR more than we had originally told them – with this new information they cheered, laughed, and wept with JOY - there is nothing like hearing this ‘ugandan celebration cheer’ in person, but I’m sure you can imagine the beauty behind the dance!
Julius was presented with a hand-broom which was made with love as a token of appreciation for the project.
Today the jewellery was carefully organized, boxed and shipped to Canada where it awaits a community of volunteers ready to share its beauty and the women’s stories with our community here.
Over the last few weeks, Julius has met with each woman to gather information and record her goals. We use this information when thinking about the workshops and other support we offer the women.
Here is a little window into the lives of just a few of the 25 women from The Shanti Uganda Women’s Income Generating Group!
Namusisi Jalia 24yrs
Goals: Starting up a chicken coop
Monthly Family Income: 90,000 (about $55)
Nansubuga Rose 43yrs
9 children (2 of them HIV+)
Goals: Buying a sewing machine
Monthly Income: Only the food she grows for consumption
Nakkazi Racheal 41yrs
Goals: Improving her farming methods
Monthly Family Income: 10,000 (about $6)
Nakyanzi Agnes 44yrs
Goals: Using money for agricultural activities
Monthly Family Income: 100,000 (about $62)
Nakate Teopista 32yrs
2 children (one is HIV+, the other has not been tested)
Goals: Expanding her stock at the local market
Monthly Family Income: 60,000 (about $37)