In June, Heather and I visited MPA’s partner programs in Uganda and Tanzania.
It was my first trip to Africa and I was struck by the genuinely kind and welcoming nature of everyone we met. Reactions to our visit were consistent, no matter where we went – the people who had received a cow or piglet or small loan through one of our projects immediately expressed their gratitude and appreciation for the support they had received from MPA and its donors. But what came next told me more about the character and spirit of the people.
No one said ‘this cow is great but can you also give me some money to fix my house’.
No one said ‘thanks for the piglet, now can I have a water collection system’.
Instead, the beneficiaries of our projects consistently told us how the cow or the piglet or the small loan was the start of positive change in their lives.
They told us how they had worked hard since receiving their loans and how they were improving their lives. They didn’t expect or ask for anything more for themselves, they wanted to do the rest on their own.
Just give us the hand up and we will climb the ladder ourselves.
And several of them had one more message for us: in all their poverty and need, with all the things they could have wanted for themselves, they told us to keep the projects going because their friends and neighbors were also needy and could benefit from the same hand up that they had received.
These are grateful, industrious, and selfless individuals. It makes supporting them so much easier knowing that they turn what we provide into so much more.
– Mark Cammarata