What a year. I’d leave it at that, but in looking back, we need to take a moment to express gratitude for the importance of human connections.
This has been especially evident in 2020. We have worked very hard to reinforce the human connectedness between our partners, our donors, our volunteers, our board, and our staff. With relationship/partnership as the priority, we are united in our commitment to offer a hand up from poverty to possibility, to help those struggling in extreme poverty rediscover their innate dignity, to share with each other the joys, sorrows, and determination involved in rising together.
In 2020, we heard of mothers without access to transportation walking long distances to reach a clinic to give birth but not making it. We heard of teachers without work taking their lives in desperation. We heard of girls, sent home when schools closed, being assaulted. We heard of families, prevented from working their market projects in the slums, suffering from starvation. The pandemic already has had harrowing impacts on those with few resources.
In 2020, though, donors like you put MPA in a position to make a difference.
- Together, we have sent over $150,000 in emergency funding to our partners. Some are using this as forgivable loans for food. Some are employing qualified taxis to transport at-risk pregnant women. Some are educating their members about social distancing, handwashing, the importance of masks, and as many ways to stay safe and well as possible. We are grateful to our partners in Africa for showing the leadership and hope that will certainly lift their members and strengthen their communities.
- MPA welcomed four new partner organizations which expands our microfinancing in Uganda and Kenya. We now have partnered with 14 grassroots organizations.
- MPA, through an existing partner, expanded loan programs into two new countries. We are now in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
- MPA launched a newly defined MPA Scholarship Program with an emphasis on working with our current partners who have schools to increase their capacity to provide an education to those in need as well as increase microfinancing education. To feel the impact that this program will have, please read this message from one of our new partners working with refugee families: I wish you were present to witness the tears of joy on the faces of the recipients and guardians, as it was the first time these children got support, it shocked people and many were in tears of joy. –Sr. Christine John, SHS, working with refugees from Sudan in northern Uganda
- MPA re-assessed and re-launched our reporting expectations from partners to align even more closely with the change we want to see in the world.
- MPA welcomed our first full-time staff member. Prim Mungwari is MPA’s Program and Grant Manager and already is emerging as a thoughtful, results-oriented leader.
Despite limitations on gathering in person, MPA has endeavored to communicate with donors, and donors have responded. THANK YOU. Your connection to MPA’s mission truly is what makes it possible to support our partners through the pandemic and to help them reach more people faster with the good work they do in providing big change through small loan programs.
Looking ahead to 2021, MPA celebrates FIFTEEN YEARS of connectedness, relationship, and partnership in helping those in need make the climb from poverty to possibility. We have much to celebrate, starting with YOU. You will hear more from us in 2021 as we share our joy and reflect on the milestones of this journey of fifteen years.
Stay safe and well,