CROSO Founder and Executive Director, Molly MacCready shares a reflection as she and Sally, a long time CROSO Board Member embark on their trip to Uganda.
Sally and I have started our journey from Chicago to Uganda tonight and have completed the first of three flights! In the midst of preparing all the logistics of this trip, I realized I have not taken the time to share with all of you (our donors and supporters) what we’re going to do there and why we think this is so important. This trip is far more than a personal excursion for the two of us to see a different part of the globe or have a fun adventure. This trip is an opportunity for CROSO to continue building our support for a growing group of young Scholars and graduates in Uganda.
Starting on Monday, Sally and I will spend a week in Mbale, Uganda which is located in eastern Uganda, near the border with Kenya. We’ll spend time at the Mbale center for Child Restoration Outreach (our partner organization) and will talk with the staff there. We’ll spend time with our current CROSO scholars—learning about their lives now, visiting some of their schools, seeing the different accommodations where they live and hopefully seeing some of them in action at their internship sites. We also hope to meet with some of our graduates and learn more about the impact of the CROSO scholarship. Meeting with our scholars and the C.R.O. staff will serve as an accountability measure, but will also be a valuable chance for us to learn about ways we can be even more effective in our support.
The following Monday, we’ll leave Mbale and head west to Jinja. C.R.O. has another site there and we’ll meet with their Project Manager to start laying the foundation for a future relationship with them. As we envision CROSO’s growth, we know that eventually we want more young people in Uganda to have access to these opportunities, but before any growth can happen, it’s so important to ensure we have strong relationships with the people on the ground in Uganda. After meeting with the Jinja staff, we’ll continue west to Kampala where we hope to meet with a few of our current Scholars before leaving the country.
Before leaving today, I printed a comprehensive list of all the scholarships that CROSO has awarded over the past 8.5 years. In total, it was 34 scholarships! It is easy for me to get caught up in each individual story, to fixate on the struggles that each scholar faces and the frustration of not being able to accept all the qualified students each year due to lack of resources. So for me, seeing this list really gave me an opportunity to step back and see the bigger picture.
This will be a very full visit and we hope to share stories, photos and videos along the way, but know that there is more to this story than we will be able to post on our website or through social media (Facebook and Instagram). If you would like to hear more about the story, consider inviting one or both of us to share a meal with you when we get back or to speak to your business or a school with whom you’re affiliated. We would be honored to share the stories of our incredible scholars and to give you a more intimate insight into the important work that CROSO is doing to give these scholars the opportunities to succeed.