Beverly Taylor was Girl Up Initiative Uganda’s first ever donor and supporter when the organization started fundraising in January 2013. She believed in our mission when we were still unsure of our footing and exactly how to move forward. With Beverly’s constant encouragement, support, and monthly donations, we were able to grow the organization from strength to strength. We invite you to learn more about our amazingly generous and warm hearted donor, Beverly, in the interview below!
1. Can you tell me a little about yourself? Where are you from? What are some of your hobbies, passions, interests?
My name is Beverly Taylor. I am a wife, auntie, and retired Chief Probation Officer. I enjoy the outdoors, walking, riding my bike, going to the gym, sewing and reading; I treasure time with friends and family, and I am passionate about teaching children’s Sunday School class. As I am getting older, I am more aware of the importance of time and how quickly it passes. I am grateful for each day and I don’t want to waste even one day.
We each have a purpose in life and are each given specific skills and talents to be honed, activated, and shared so that we can make positive and lasting impacts on the next generation.
2. How long have you known about Girl Up Initiative Uganda and how did you find out about us?
A friend and colleague of mine introduced me to GUIU in December 2012. My husband, Peter, and I have been enthusiastic supporters ever since. In early 2013, I had the honor of meeting the Co-Founder, Kim Wolf. She shared the story of how GUIU was birthed. I witnessed her passion and love for the girls in Kampala, Uganda, specifically she was drawn to educational opportunities for females. She explained the inequities between boys and girls, and shared GUIU’s vision for tackling this broad-scoped issue.
This was no small endeavor as they would literally be working to change a cultural mindset of how girls are viewed and treated. The vision and the contagious enthusiasm of this grassroots work resonated with me and our one-time gift of support has continued.
3. What impresses you most about GUIU?
There are many things that impress me about GUIU!
The leadership of Kim and Monica, a real life “dynamic-duo”! They are fearless, courageous, and changing their world.
The GUIU team. Many started out as volunteers with GUIU. They serve the youth, families, and their community with unwavering dedication. During the perilous times we are living in with Covid 19, this team is selflessly serving their community. They are providing essential services to the young girls, boys and their families within the program, assisting the community as needed, and looking out for one another. They are contacting GUIU participants by phone, they have helped prepare and distribute food boxes to approximately 2,000 participant and community families and they remain on call as needed.
Collaboration, Training, and Learning opportunities. GUIU offers training opportunities for staff, partners and the community. They participate in community wide forums, meet and collaborate with city leaders, businesses, government officials, media, and faith-based groups to name a few. GUIU recognizes that there is strength in numbers, and that they need the larger community to make change that lasts; GUIU embraces continuing education and learning opportunities to better guarantee success in program outcomes and personal development.
Local and international recognition. The commendations and recognition given to GUIU is remarkable: meeting with former First Lady Michelle Obama and icon Oprah Winfrey.
Program development. GUIU wisely adds, modifies and enhances programs based on best practices, data, and input from community, staff, and participants. Their self-assessment and evaluation help keep their work relevant and true to their mission.
The proof is in the pudding. Over the past seven years GUIU has demonstrated a level of dedication that is second to none. Dedication that skyrocketed them from being unknown to national and international recognition. From a staff of two at its inception and one program to today having a staff of approximately 20 and overseeing several new, innovative and life changing programs. The growth and advancement required planning and development, collaboration, self-sacrifice, risk-taking, execution of ideas, and faith in the mission. GUIU are using the skills and talents within each staff, growing, improving, and sharing them and as a result are producing remarkable outcomes that are detailed in their annual reports. GUIU is positively impacting and changing the lives of thousands of youth, teens and adults in Kampala.
In summary, I am honored to be included in the GUIU family and to have been given the opportunity to plant seeds in such good soil. Each time I get an email, or open a GUIU post on Facebook and see the smiling faces of the GUIU participants, in their lovely bright blue shirts, it makes me smile, it makes me pray for their success, and it makes the world a bit smaller enabling us to roll up our sleeves, link arms and walk the road of life together.
We are so grateful for our supporters like Beverly, and are excited to share with you more bit about the people that help make our movement....MOVE! Stay tuned for more donor spotlights.