I’m writing to share with you why we chose to donate to Girl Up Initiative Uganda (GUIU) and why after 3 ½ years we are as committed as the first day. In 32 years of marriage, my husband, Pete, and I are known to welcome opportunities to help others, especially when we can be a part of assisting them to fulfill their calling or destiny in life. So when a former colleague shared with me the exciting work being done in Uganda under the leadership of two amazing women (Kim and Monica), I was immediately drawn to their mission and passion to help girls and young women in Uganda improve their lives through continued education, building healthy relationships and accessing entrepreneurial opportunities- I knew this was work we were to join and donate to.
(Photo: Beverly with Kim, co-founder of GUIU, at the first GUIU fundraiser in December 2013 in Santa Barbara, CA)
It was incredible that with a small financial donation, countless girls and young women could realize and fulfill their potential and have an opportunity to dream for the first time. And through GUIU’s work, dreams are being fulfilled! We continue our support of this fabulous work because of the skilled team of professionals and grassroots community members who make up GUIU and their ability to accurately pinpoint the needs of this population and develop creative and proven strategies. In addition to the many workshops, classes, and activities conducted at schools for girls to promote education, GUIU also initiated a menstrual pad sewing project. Most girls miss school during their menstrual cycle for lack of pads and this simple endeavor is changing lives. It is the difference between an education with its corresponding opportunities versus a life where marriage is forced upon a teenager and her hope of a bright future is lost.
As important as GUIU’s promotion of education for girls, they also recognize the need for young women to work so they can be self-reliant and not fall victim of an abusive relationship. Consequently, GUIU established Mazuri Designs and the Sewing Our Futures Project so that young women can learn vocational skills and create employment. We have donated specifically for this project to invest in the purchase of sewing machines so that women can gain the skills needed to start a business of their own or become employed with Mazuri Designs.
(Photo: Annet, Mazuri seamstress, with a new electric sewing machine donated by Beverly and Pete)
To date the women involved are making dresses, pants, shirts and other accessories to sell. As a partner and donor, we are so happy to share this exciting path with GUIU to inspire and aspire more girls and young women.
Please join me in supporting the life changing work of Girl Up Initiative Uganda by donating.
*GUIU Special Note: Beverly and Pete were the first EVER donors to Girl Up Initiative Uganda. Without their support, we are certain that we would never be where we are today. It takes a team of supporters to make change in the world and we are forever grateful for their trust and encouragement.