The beauty of life in Uganda is there are only two seasons – rainy and dry. Everywhere you look you’ll find fertile soil, thriving plants, and delicious food straight from the garden. It is a continual season of planting and harvesting and the same is true for what is occurring at The Zoe House. We are planting skills in the minds of young mothers with the hope of seeing an abundant harvest from the season of planting.
Before we took a holiday break at The Zoe House, we hosted our first Christmas party complete with guest speakers, local community chairmen, loads of food, gifts, decorations, and music. In Uganda, we love to dress to impress for special occasions and the moms arrived at the Christmas party in their best dresses to celebrate. When someone is dressed nicely in Uganda, you will often hear, “You look smart!” We couldn’t stop saying this as every mom walked through the door.
This was the first time both of our classes (baking and hairdressing) came together and the excitement was electric. Our program coordinator emceed the event and had everybody take turns dancing and playing games. When we first began our Made For More program, the classes voted on presidents and different leadership positions because we wanted each mom to have the chance to grow in their confidence in being able to lead. Four months ago, our class presidents feared public speaking and now our class presidents worked together to welcome everybody to the Christmas party and give a short speech.
The LC1 Comes to Celebrate
Our local community leader (LC1) blessed our party by bringing a crate of soda to celebrate and sharing with the moms words of wisdom about hard work, not putting the skills they have learned to waste, and to always do the right thing at the right time with the right people. We ended the party with cake cutting, gift-giving, and singing songs.
Mamma G’s Story
One of our girls could not make the Christmas party and came to our home to grab her gift later. She was shocked and excited to be given a gift as it was the first Christmas gift she had ever received in her entire life. You never know the impact a small act of kindness will have on another person. Hearing Mamma G share this with us, sent a powerful reminder to always send that encouraging text, buy a stranger’s coffee, or give a long hug. Even Mamma G’s boyfriend recently wanted her to leave the program and stay home to watch the house because thieves broke in and he didn’t understand why she was spending her time learning a skill. After she brought home the gift, he changed his mind and told her to continue the course instead. He was completely shocked that someone could care about them on such a personal level.
At The Zoe House, we live by the quote, “The best way to make your day, is to make someone else’s.”
We are always looking for opportunities to spread joy, hope, and kindness to those around us. Many of our mothers are facing battles that we may never be fully aware of. As they increasingly open up to us, we learn more about what their home life is like and are moved to continue to advocate for skill training and empowerment, giving them the ability to move away from bondage and into freedom.
To see more pictures and learn more, read the official newsletter.