In my first blog I explained my main reasons for setting up the charity, now this post is to show a few of my motivations that help to keep me going.
Firstly, every quarter we get a detailed written report (along with extensive quantitative data), highlighting all the key things that have happened during the quarter with our projects. The report shows the number of group members, how much all the groups have saved and loaned, how many loans have been handed out and so on.
Within the report we also get three or four stories from individual group members and information about any difficulties that were faced. It fills me with so much joy to read the reports and see how well the groups are working, as well as to read the individuals’ stories about how their lives are better off since becoming part of one of the groups. Each quarterly report is a massive motivational boost.
There are two other main motivators (apart from my family). The motivators below are something that I can call upon when I feel like the challenge of helping people overcome poverty is too much to take on.
The little girl in the red dress
This little one broke my heart. If I could have brought her home I would have done. I met her when I was with the previous charity I worked for and I have carried her in my heart for many years. I met her at a school that was started up by three ladies, using their own savings to establish it and help the children. One lady had 20 orphans living with her; another 10 and the last woman had 3 orphans. They started up the school to help take these children off the streets. This little girl was one of them.
The school was so incredibly poor; they had a few basic rooms and a kitchen with some big black cooking pots in it. This little girl held my hand from the moment I got there until the moment I left. Most of the children were smiling and laughing (even if they were really very sad), but this little girl didn’t. She didn’t smile, she didn’t laugh, she just held my hand. She was sad. I think she must have been about three years old. She was wearing an old red dress with some buttons missing.
I was shown around the school and into the room where 25 of the youngest children sleep (including this little girl); there were about 15 foam mattresses on the ground and the headmistress would also sleep in there. At the time of the visit Barnabas was about nine months old, so I knew what it felt like to be a mother.
It broke my heart to think that the little girl in the red dress did not have a mummy or daddy to kiss her goodnight and tell her that they love her. It broke my heart. I have tears in my eyes thinking about her now.
If what we are doing can help mothers to be able to provide for their families then that is a massive motivator. The little girl in the red dress, she has my heart.
This little dude
This little dude stole my heart for different reasons. He was so cute and fun. He has a mother to look after him, but when I think about his face and eyes it brings me joy to think that we can help individuals like his mother to look after him.
There are a lot more children whom I have met who motivate me to want to do more for This Is EPIC.
Besides these two children, I am also motivated by:
The Mothers and Fathers
I have met some wonderful people who are so proud of what they have achieved by saving their own money and building their own sustainable incomes. They have so little yet they are so happy and content; they have big aspirations for their future. With a bit of empowerment, watch them fly!
Our partners in Uganda and the DRC are amazing! They work tirelessly and in some circumstances they give all that they have to the project and the people.
Adrine, Joseph and the team at READ in Uganda are people that we respect, honour and count as friends. I feel blessed to be working with them.
Bercky in the DRC is the most incredible man. In his heart is a desire to do so much good in the face of many difficulties, yet even when things are hard he always has a positive, can-do attitude. We are lucky to be working with him.