Money matters

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There are some figures that are ingrained in my mind, from this journey. These amounts are not necessarily the highest or smallest, but it is their significance that has stayed with me.
Over the years we have raised approximately $100,000 from individuals and entities (mostly the former) Here are some special moments.

In 2012, during the very first campaign,
Opolot, whom I had gone to school with (but wasn’t close to) reached out. He wanted to know how to lighten the load. Contributions were slow and I was worried. I jokingly asked for half a million shillings. He sent it to my phone, no questions asked. That boost made things so much easier and I always remember him.
I met a little boy of about 8 years old after the Young Achievers awards in December 2013. He came over to me with his mum. He said that after hearing my speech he was compelled to contribute the money he had. He handed me Ugx 5,000 (less than $2) I hugged him really tight. I have never forgotten him.

 

In the same year, two of Ritah’s nieces saved 20,000 (a little over $5) from their pocket money. They handed it over because they had met the children we were working with and were touched by their plight.

There are two Ugandans in the diaspora, Tom and Tim; they send through a contribution for pretty much every 4040 campaign. I have never met Tim personally and I only met Tom because of his support for our causes. These gentlemen humble me.

I barely knew Lucy when I opened up to her. We had been running campaigns to raise money for the dormitory we were building in Luweero at the time. We were out of options because a had organised events, ran campaigns and still weren’t hitting the target.
She invited me to meet her when she visited Uganda and handed me Ugx 1 million in cash. I was blown away. Lucky for us, she was present at the opening of the dorm later that year.

28 million. This was the amount we needed to raise for said dormitory. When we looked at it, we were certain we could never get it. We dillydallied,suggested we contribute half, second guesses ourselves-everything but admitted we were more capable than a have ourselves credit for. Finally, we decided to give it a try.
We organised and event and unveiled #BuyABrick. This campaign helped us raise 8 million shillings in 10 days, just on Facebook and Twitter alone>>with the help of mobile money for deposits to be made.
We succeeded, scratch that, we conquered! The dormitory is still up and running, capable of housing 210 boys and girls.
We were nobodies and people trusted us. We started with zero and somehow raised millions for a worthy cause.
These people are the unsung heroes.
As we grow, our needs increase and expectations are higher..but this 28 million was nothing short of a miracle.

All these people, their stories and their hearts, all of them are blessings without whom we’d be nothing.
I will never forget that.

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Just because..

“If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent them from growing.”

This morning a random memory crept up in my mind and I thought to share it. Yup it perturbed me all morning and I thought, perhaps someone needs a pick-me-up. Here goes.

Last year, I was invited for an interview and given several weeks of notice (that always helps) I accepted, saved the date and forgot about it. On D-day, I woke up to the reminder. That week I had decided to stay indoors to reduce on unnecessary expenditure and concentrate on some work with deadlines closing in.Amount of cash in wallet=Ugx 5,000. I contemplated backing out. I could explain that I was busy, which wasn’t entirely false.

By an hour to the do,I’d decided to go. I just made a mental calculation of what I’d need to get there and consoled myself with the thought that one listener would, perhaps, be inspired.

The interview was alright. It was for a much younger audience than I was accustomed to. I honestly couldn’t keep up with some of the slang. I remembered that when I was a teen, some of the (now) teenage listeners were not yet born and that gave me all the perspective I needed.

After the interview, I had a short meeting with the producer and tried to pitch other ideas for a broader partnership. As I was leaving, she said “Pass by the accounts office on the left and pick a small transport allowance.” Pardon? <You know when you have heard exactly what someone said but ask them to repeat because you just need to make sure,just in case? That was me> She repeated the statement.

“That was you Lord!,” I thought to myself. I walked slowly to the office, knocked at the door and asked for the person in charge. She smiled and handed me a form to sign, along with Ugx 50,000. That morning’s ‘5K’ had rapidly multiplied by 10! I thanked her and walked out of the office.

I walked for a while towards town. I did not immediately get into a taxi or a boda boda. I walked slowly as I mentally examined the gravity of what had just happened. It was less about the money and more about what it represented. I could tell that in the future, that moment would represent something on this journey to dream against all odds and withstand anything and everything life decided to serve. You just never know what awaits you in this unpredictable life but chances are, if your intentions are good, eventually you will begin to reap fruits.

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Your miracle, your moment,your breakthrough..they all await you. Now, leap!

“Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.

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