Site visits are a key way WE stays connected with each of its funded partners. Over the years, we have visited many of them, including those in San Diego County (of course!), Uganda, Honduras, and Mexico. While we haven’t been able to travel to any of our partners over the past two years, we look forward to an upcoming trip this month to our partner Via International in Tijuana, Mexico.
Site visits have made a lasting impression on our donors and volunteers through the unique opportunity to not only talk with partner staff, but visit many of the women supported by WE funding. Volunteer Partner Liaisons, Jeannette De Wyze and Steve Wolf, helped to coordinate a memorable visit to WE Partner, Nyaka, in Uganda. Jeannette documented the experience in her personal travel blog with beautiful photos from the trip.
Here is a short snippet from their blog post:
Progress that was already starting to be evident three years ago has continued and seems to be accelerating.
For example, the first one-year loan ever granted (back around 2007) to one of the two groups we visited Saturday was for 200,000 Ugandan shillings — about $75. The group then made tiny loans — the equivalent of $5 to $10 — to individual members. Each woman would have the money for three months, then she would have to pay it back, along with about 15% interest. With so little money, a granny might only be able to buy a chicken or two. But she could hatch some of the eggs, sell others, and come away with a bit of extra cash — money that more often than not she would use to pay her grandkids’ school fees.
Over the last six years, as WE has donated money raised in San Diego, the Nyakans’ central revolving fund has grown from just $7,000 to almost $250,000 (including profits from the interest on the group loans and about $175,000 from WE). That’s meant granny groups have been able to receive bigger and bigger annual loans. The group that began with a $75 loan now has a loan of more than $4000.”
To read about their full experience and to view more photos check out their full blog post here: