Thankful Thursday: Changing Perspectives After Traveling to Africa

This summer I had the privilege of going to Uganda and Kenya to witness the amazing philanthropic efforts MPA has been doing working with the communities in each country.

Before this journey occurred, I had attended many of the MPA auctions and witnessed my parents interaction with this amazing foundations for many years. I have always loved supporting the group but it had always been through the efforts of my family. The last MPA auction (GALA) I had decided to donate a pig on my own. This was a small way that I could donate and give on my own.

I was invited to go to Uganda and Kenya with Sister Toni and the rest of the group to help film promotional videos for MPA. Going I was under the impression that I would mostly just be helping my brother with the filming but was excited to see what was to come. Upon arriving in Uganda, my heart fell in love. This country was full of beautiful people, whose hearts I felt deeply connected to. Their thanks and their smiles changed my life in ways I cannot even describe.

Going from the school, Broader Vision, in Entebbe to the cow project in Masaka, I could barely contain the joy I had with being able to witness what the foundation actually supports and provides for these people.

One of the most touching points of the trip for me personally was being able to witness a pig ceremony. The pig ceremony is to help women who had successfully recovered from fistula surgery and get a second chance through MPA’s project. We arrived in a small village outside of the city center where we were greater with colorfully dressed women running to hug us and gift us with passion fruit, handwoven baskets, and endless thanks and love. This ceremony was most impactful to me because I got to give away the pig I had most recently purchased at the auction that past spring. Being able to physically see the family that the pig was impacting gave me the greatest sense of happiness. This pig, that did not cost me much, was going to change their lives and I got to be apart of that. I will never forget the bond I have with that family and continue to think and pray for their wellbeing every day.

MPA provided me with a summer like no other. This is an experience and a journey that I hope everyone can take at some point in their life, and if they cannot I would encourage them to continue to donate to this amazing foundation who has created a deep connection, relationship, and support system for the people of Uganda and Kenya.

– Maddie Cook