In April 2016, I married my soul mate and life partner. A wedding is an incredibly symbolic day when you gather your community to stand witness to your commitment to one another. A spiritual leader holds a ceremony that bonds and blesses your love and your life journey. It was in this spirit that my partner and I decided to enter this occasion mindful of the power of giving - not only to each other, but to those around the world who do not have the privilege to access the same freedom and rights as we have.
Weddings are stressful and exciting and they are really all about you and your partner which is part of what makes them so special, but it is also very easy to get caught up in the day-to-day planning and forget that it is every person in your life that made you who you are and that there are people out there less fortunate than you are. So while fussing with my dress and my make up and all the things that pertain to my ego, it is important that I remembered that I am because of everyone else. I am also Jewish and was brought up with a central value of ‘Tzedakah”, which means charity. In the Jewish religion we are encouraged to donate 10% of our salary to charity. It is for this reason that we thought it a sacred omen to enter our new lives together by donating 10% of what we were gifted to a worthy charity. We were drawn to Girl Up Initiative Uganda because it is an incredible community-run organisation lead by a committed team of amazing leaders that empowers young women through education on the topics of social empowerment and economic self sufficiency. As a South African, I have a deep understanding of the value of the education Girl Up Uganda is imparting. Leadership, communications skills, sexual and reproductive health, human rights and violence prevention are all topics Girl Up Uganda works hard to teach in the slum communities where they work. The empowering and uplifting of women and girls in African communities is key to their overall success, development, and attainment of gender equality.
I encourage everyone reading this to enter the spiritual bond of marriage in a gifting and sharing way. By encouraging donations as wedding gifts, my husband and I widened the net of our love so that girls and women in Uganda could benefit from our special day. The same way you share a meal with your immediate community, why not spread the love further so that more people may share in the joy of your union!