Mama Tendo

Sometimes doing international community development work can be difficult because the progress you make can feel as if it is not enough. However, once in a while we are graced with moments that feel rewarding—small moments of sweetness—that make it all worth it.

A family of three children, Jonathan, Jovia, and Joan, have been attending activities at The Center since it has opened. They happen to live outside just outside our gate. In exchange for school fees, their mother, Mama Tendo, cooks lunch for the staff at The Center once a week. When the Center first opened, Jonathan and Jovia were incredibly shy, but last month at our Holiday Party, they both performed dance solos in front of 500 people. The two of them are almost always the last two kids to leave the Center every night after trying to get their homework done. They are also the two children that pioneered our Muganda Bracelet project. The smallest child in the family, Joann, didn’t speak a lick of English in the beginning, but now within 8 months her English has improved drastically. And this term is the first time all three children have started school on time which is a rare thing to happen in this village.

Every Friday at our Women’s to Women’s group, one of the activities is the women go around the circle and each give a positive thing that has happened the past week. On Friday, when it reached time for Mama Tendo to speak she said “I think I am the proudest mother in all of Uganda. For the first time, all my kids are in school and they aren't being chased for school fees.”

It's those small moments of sweetness that make it all worth it.

Mama Tendo and all the kids! 

Mama Tendo and all the kids!