Our first university graduate

I think most people who read this blog know that I am part of a small group of volunteers who run a project for “orphaned and vulnerable” children in Uganda. Part of our vision is not just to “house and school” this group of 52 kids and young adults, but to ensure that they have the development and skills they need to have meaningful lives and contribute to their own communities as adults.

This includes, for some, university. And we have our first graduate.

Elinah is an astonishingly resilient, wise, funny and loving young woman. She found a place at a Muslim university, though she isn’t Muslim, and resolutely donned hijab to get her education. And she sent this note earlier this week:

Hi everyone it’s yesterday that i did my final paper at the university.my sincere gratitude goes to all those who put in their effort that is time,money and advice for this to happen.i had lost hope and you came and you gave me hope.

when i was young and in primary one i was asked what i wanted to be and i told them that i want a degree.since then it has been my dream,after my senior four things did not go on well i sat for good years but kept on thinking on how to get a degree,GOD answered my prayers through you.may the LORD bless you all for the good work and may you live forever.i love you and very greatful for having you you are so kind wonderful and loving.

Graduation is next year February.hugs!!!!!!!

It’s hard to articulate what this means to me — how powerful it is to have this connection with this woman as a type of daughter, who teaches me so much strength and resilience. She is reflective and smart and makes me laugh, and I have no doubt that she will change her world. I feel so lucky to have her in my life.

(BTW, I didn’t start out making this post to ask for money — just to be grateful. But it occurs to me that I haven’t done any of my fundraising for our major fundraiser this year, and it’s a month away, and it is the source of ALL the dollars to keep this project alive. Everyone in Canada is a volunteer — all of our money except the 10% we give our umbrella charity goes straight to the project. If you could sponsor me, I would be really grateful. You’ll get a tax receipt for anything over $20 if you’re in Canada. Thank you so much!



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