StandForMore.org
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2017 ANNUAL REPORT

We’re Just Getting Started.

 
 

What started as a simple ambition to support a small village in Uganda quickly blossomed into something more.

 

Data compiled by Greg Ux.

 

First Visit to Uganda

June 1-15, 2017

 
 

I’d always wanted to enlist and be a travel volunteer, and here I was (after watching Living on One Dollar for the 3rd time), about to spend two whole weeks volunteering with an organization called Lugacraft Uganda. 

I was under the impression that my two weeks of work, armed with the knowledge I had gained reading Jeffrey Sachs’ The End of Poverty, was going to forever change the path of the small villages I had contact with. 

I’ve come to learn that this is what we call the White Savior Complex. 

While it may come from a place of good heartedness wrapped in a sense of shared humanity, it wrongfully reinforces the idea that people need our (Western/1st World/religious, etc) saving. 

I’ve come to understand that this undermines the talents and abilities of the very people we have the desire to help and reinforces a potentially dangerous bias:  we overestimate the affect our effort has on our success, and grossly underestimate (or even ignore) the role that the twin forces of luck and opportunity have played.

I feel very fortunate to have had my mind opened just enough to the possibility that I might not be the savior I thought I was (thanks to Leslie Weighill of The Real Uganda).

In spending two full weeks learning about the prospects of life in the absence of the quality opportunities I never even knew I had taken for granted, I quickly learned that its not a difference of intelligence, ingenuity, a sense of entrepreneurship or tenacity that separates the prosperous from the poor; its a difference in the number of chances you’re given, and the quality of those chances. 

With an amazing group of hard-working women from a region in Uganda I had never heard of, we were able to come up with a clear vision and path out of the poverty that had trapped them for generations. Our plan was based on finding the financing to secure enough land for them to farm on. 

The only question left to answer was:

Who exactly was going to give them that chance?

 
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Formation of It Takes A Village

June 29, 2017

 
 

Upon departure, I had asked Robert Dibya (Director of Lugacraft Uganda) to send me a sample business plan of what they would need to make their farm work. Less than a week after my return, I had it in my hands.

I had some experience in formulating a business plan, so I had assumed that I would just be making loose grammatical edits, and trying to find someone to pick up the project and help out, not really knowing who turn to and ask for tens of thousands of dollars. After a brief read, I had to sit down.

All that was being sought to fully finance a 5 acre farm, including land rental, seeds, equipment and storage silos was $12,041.

Granted, this isn’t pocket change for most, but you’re telling me that all that was stopping a group of 22 women and their families from being able to work themselves out of a poverty trap was the inability to get a micro loan?

Hell - I can do this.

After a few brief conversations with friends and confidants about my experience and what I was trying to do, I was asked if I only wanted to help this village create this one business? I knew we couldn’t stop at one.

This is how It Takes A Village Foundation was born. We would raise money through a variety of fundraising efforts and receive donations, and use the money to finance the creation of small businesses in communities that just needed a chance and for someone to say we think you can do it.

Declaring non-profit status, we freed ourselves from the constraints of profit, so that we’re able to focus our efforts on the success of the communities in which we work.

We lend money to communities more as friends than we do a traditional financial institution - just asking them to pay it back when they can, without interest, so that we can re-invest the money into serving other communities.

All that was left was to do it.

 
 
 

1st Annual Fall Fundraiser

November 18, 2017

 
 

November 18, 2017 will be a day forever etched into my memory as being one of the most rewarding of my life. I was able to see my dreams of coming together as a community to support people half a world away realized.

Through the combined efforts and generosity of:

  • Capo Restaurant in South Boston

  • Recycle Studio

  • Barry’s Bootcamp

  • B/spoke Studio

We were able to celebrate our shared desire for Equality and Opportunity through a day of fitness and fun.

I will forever be indebted to Emily Walsh and Alice Klochkova (Recycle Studio), Ashley Mitchell (Barry’s Bootcamp), and to Christina Muccio and Kara Lennon (B/spoke Studio) for donating their time and passion to teach on our behalf.

At Capo, attendees learned more about our Vision and Mission during a brief video outlining our goals for Buyenje and beyond.

Other sponsors that donated items for raffles included:

  • Barry’s Bootcamp

  • Recycle Studio

  • B/Spoke Studio

  • Capo Restaurant

  • Lincoln Restaurant

  • Loco Restaurant

  • Equinox Fitness Clubs

  • SLT Studio

  • Sahil Mehta Massage

  • Lev Turkewitz Massage

Before the night was even over, I was already excited for next year.

 

3

Of Boston’s best studios

6

Of Boston’s Best Instructors

 

114

Impassioned attendees

$6,609

Raised

 
 
 

Where to Next?

2018

 
 

If 2017 was the year of learning about all that connects us, 2018 is going to be the year of connecting those dots and finding a way forward.

Our ambitions are much bigger than a single project, but we want to ensure this project, and every future project, is done correctly before moving on.

We’ll be returning to visit Robert, Vivian and Lugacraft in March 2018 to see the progress the women in Buyenje have made and to conduct interviews to see how we’re doing and what we can do better.

At the end of the day, we’re all just looking to uncover another opportunity.

 
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Help us continue our work

 
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