After spending the last three days in Nairobi, our final destination before we fly home, we have begun to mull over the question we know we’ll hear hundreds of times: “How was your trip?” Having visited 18 projects, criss-crossed East Africa, risked our lives more times than we care to tell our parents about, and met thousands of incredible people (literally), we know that it would be impossible to condense the experience into a few words. We have raftedthe Nile, rapelled down Uganda’s tallest waterfall, we’ve hung out in the world’s largest thatched hut, we’ve stood in no-man’s-land between Rwanda and DR Congo (without passports), and camped on the white sandy beaches of Dar es Salaam. We’ve also come face to face with AIDS, poverty, disability, and many other struggles. Through this, we found, time and time again, that the money contributed through GlobalGiving is helping organizations, communities, and individuals to overcome these struggles and better their lives in tangible ways. While each project responded to unique problems experienced by the communities it served, they all exhibited strength, creativity, unity, and gratitude.
In the face of constant adversity, when every day is a struggle, the communities we met with had the strength and endurance to rise to the challenge day after day. While navigating the rocky slopes of Kilimanjaro and living in a community that doesn’t understand them or their needs, KASI members exemplify this strenght by thriving and even changing policiy and public opinion, all from their wheelchairs.
By thinking outside the box, these projects have found creative solutions to local problems. Who would have ever thought that rats, a common pest, could save lives. Because of the work of HeroRATS, this unusual solution is saving lives every day.
By bringing together all segments of a community and finding the advantages of diversity, projects have encouraged neighborhoods, towns, cities, and even nations to unite. In a small rural town in Eastern Uganda, RARUDO has brought together orphans, widows, grandparents, and even goats to fight AIDS and poverty as one.
At every project we visited, we heard how lives have been radically changed because of GlobalGiving. We have seen tears and dances, we’ve received hugs, kisses, fruits and flowers, all in effort to show the gratitude people feel towards GlobalGiving donors. The members of Women’s Microfinance Innitiative even paraded us throughthe streets of their town, complete with 200 singing women!
Through these experiences, we have learned and grown more than we thought possible. Most of all, we have been humbled by the amazing things we’ve seen and the inspiring people we’ve met along the way. We would like to thank all of those people who made this trip possible, and supported us along this journey!3 years ago