Teaching School Children is Blissfully Rewarding!

In many ways, Child of Mine aka COM reminds me a lot about myself. He is a very popular kid, just like his mother was back in her young days. Well, she still is, for a fact [smile]. Except, my child is not the “naughty childish-type” I was. Shhh, don’t tell anyone that I used to skip compulsory school meals and church services, just because I did not want to!

My child is loved! And for that, I am so grateful.

It’s a pleasure watching a kids’ stampede, just to touch, speak, or sit next to COM. Even in his absence, kids tell me how he is the best thing ever invented! Not even sliced bread [or should we say, pizza] comes close. He’s everyone’s favorite, super nicest person, ever! “He does nothing wrong, never” as I was told by one of his former classmate.

At his elementary school, I am now known as “Biko’s Mom” —“because I do not have a name of my own,” or “Mrs. Henderson” —“because I derive my relationship from my child!”

Please believe that I had no influence in getting renamed by these child friends of COM. It is just because, most kids I now know are through my child —at his elementary school, on the school bus, martial arts school, library, birthday parties, community activities or play parks.

These are kids who know COM from the same Kindergarten, First or Second Grade class, belong to the same school Recycling Club, met him at birthday parties of their relatives and friends, through Cub Scout, Tae-Kwon-Do or Tang Soo Do. Some even recognize me from dropping him off at the school bus! They all rave to me, how amazing he is, and spoil me with outpouring attention, and free hugs!

These past couple of days, I’ve been with a Second Grade class where literally, everybody knows my child! One of the kids decided to call me, “Mommy.”

“She’s Biko’s mother!” said another.

Then, they had a change of heart, “Can we all call you Mommy?”

And just like that, I was no longer, “Ms. Lawenger,” but “Mommy!”

The change of name came with showers of favors: ushering me to comfortable sitting, “rest while we complete our work.”

They covered me with my coat to keep me warm; I became the class pet.

Two girls offered to bring him to me from his class at the end of the both school days. I completely forgot he had Recycling Club on Day Two, when I gave them a go-ahead to bring him to me. He came in, confused that I had called him, and went back in haste, “Mommy, I have Recycling Club!”

My day ended with smiles, hugs, spontaneous “Thank You cards,” colored pictures, and unwavering attention throughout the day. One brought a gift bag from home containing an assortment of candy, with a “Thank you for helping us learn and play” note.

 

At the end of day, I told COM about all the love I got, thanks to him, and the many “children I am now mommy to”. He was overjoyed to partake of his celebrity moment! No surprises, his dreams  in the night were loud and filled with laughters, which he told me was because he heard “choruses of mommy,” from the kids my class in his dreams.

 

Ready for more surprises? The next day, as Art Teacher, my first morning class was, “my kids” from the last two days! They all engulfed me in a big family hug, as their teacher looked on in astonishment. She, too, thanked me for a wonderful job! Honored, is an understatement; had to fight back teary eyes!

I love kids, and I love teaching. I am so grateful that I allowed myself to step out of my comfort zone of teaching college and graduated school level, demystifying to myself “Teaching in K-12.” Day by day, I become more comfortable in the classroom, more savvy with teaching aides, more technical following lesson plans, incorporating, or developing my own whenever need arises. I am more energized by the students in my classrooms, and more strategic navigating tough classrooms.

I now know how to command a classroom, dealing with badly behaving students, extending incentives for good behavior, and “putting the shine” on those students making great choices. My students, naughty or nice are as memorable to me, as I am to them.

I meet them at the grocery store or community events, at our local library or COM’s after-school events. Some tell me when they see me running along the streets, during morning or afternoon “bus duty,” or walking in the hallway.

As a friend once told me, “Children Bring you blessings.” Thus, my commitment to share of the blessings of education to children everywhere in the world, by mobilizing as many people to join me in giving a part of ourselves, to promote access to education.

Every change you give can make a change. To you it might be a roundtrip bus or train fare to work; to children somewhere in rural Uganda, it is a dozen of school books and writing materials.

Please join me in giving to the Fishing Communities of Ssi Bukunja in rural Uganda, through the African Social Development & Health Initiative, an organization founded and run by native-born of the area. This is my Birthday Wish and commitment 2016

https://www.crowdrise.com/celebrate-d-lwangas-b-day-with-uganda-fishing-communities

Children bring you blessing. Be Blessed!

Where has all the time Gone?

Boston StrongI do not know about yours, but right here I wonder, where has all the time gone? Days seem to run pretty fast here. The other day, it was Monday, now it is Saturday, going on to Sunday!

Dear Calendar, Please allow me to catch my breath!

This is the second weekend of May 2015, and the second week, since I did the Boston Marathon. I am in “recovery mode”; I think I am doing pretty good. Doing nothing crazy, with my body. A couple of runs here and there, not going for mileage, yet. Just happy to go out, when I can.

My legs are doing quite great, back to pounding the tarmac. No 40+ miles per week runs at present, just enough to keep me excited that I went out and did it. A week ago, I ran only 10 miles, this week I have already done 13.9 miles. And it is it not even the end of the week. I still wake up on a couple of weekends, and just do it.

Don’t get it twisted; I am not down and out just yet. You’re probably wondering how I can fall that far from grace! I know, it can be a little haunting and taunting not to do 40+ miles per week. Though, I am not freaking out at all. I know I need a little break.

Good news, my fundraising efforts seem to be styling up; I have two new donors to my CrowdRise account, with $100.00 each, thanks to my stellar performance in the marathon. I am still hoping for more! If you would like to support, please click here to support.

Judging by the number of likes my marathon picture got, I trust the same support will come through. I have no doubt the folks who liked the picture, will also like giving $5.00, $10, $50 or $20 to my cause. supporting Tufts Medical.

For now, I am looking forward to my next big challenge, perhaps Steamtown Marathon this October, if all goes as planned. I will train smart and strategic. I want to do the downhills and uphills, per run course. I should have a PR, right? That’s if I get a mastery of “Downhill-Uphill Running

Running never stops. I strongly believe that, if I can conquer running, then I can conquer back my weight, pre-Bartonsville. That battles seems more uphill than “Heartbreak Hill” along Boston Marathon course.

Nothing is unattainable. We just have to dust ourselves and try again!

Running also opens up other great joys, achievements and awards. I am still thankful for those who stake their time and efforts to watch me grown and achieve big, and participate in my actualizing and celebrating my happiness. Family and friends helping out in many ways – chauffer-ing, sharing a pie of their possession with my Child, Super grateful!

Hoping that my zeal to run and accomplishments, will translate into other areas I sick success, family finances, ownership, career and adventure.

April is All the Kool Kids Month! Let’s….!

It is here….and….It is Official! Sun over the First Spring Lake

April is All the Kool Kids Month! Go Figure!

Sorry y’all who don’t fit the profile! I know the, “Damn! Why was I born on March 31? I don’t blame you, I would too…If I happened to fall off the “Kool Kids Train”…oops 🙂

I love April! Nor more ‘smell’ of Spring; it is upon us…in all the realness! The rain, the sun, the pollen, the cooler temperatures, and the flower blossoms! I love April, because I share this coolness with my other most important person in this world…the one who gave me a life —Sweet dear Mother (April 6)! My very beautiful niece too, is also a Kool Kid (April 6).

I love April because it is National Families and Reading Month. Who does not love reading? Thankfully, I gave birth to a reader; we know how to turn the pages, one after another. Often sharing our “pages” with the “paws”,who surely enjoy the magic of our reading! This April, we are both reading to Child’s class: child is reading on April 22, and I will be Guest Reading on April 28 – which also happens to be my Birthday!

What else will I do for my birthday? Not sure yet, but traditionally since childhood, I celebrate and make merry! At the very least, we celebrated with popcorn and tea, which were very big features of birthday celebrations in my family household. Last year, Child treated me to a special birthday, when he won the Student of April Month, with a coupon for a free meal at Friendly’s. So, we decided to dine out on my Birthday! I am sure we’ll be doing something funky and blinged this year as well, including receiving lots of love with y’all! Right?Spring Tree Climber

What I am sure about this April, I will be running my maiden Big City Marathon, the oldest and most prestigious City Marathon born in 1897. It is The Big City Marathon, the rest are races, so they say. I have butterflies, self-doubts, thrills that a bride gets the morning of her wedding night. I am thinking, since I have never been one. Yet, I am super determined to do it. It is not my first time, but this is a Big Deal, Big City Deal! Lets…

Glad to be sharing April with some of the Koolest Kids on planet earth, especially since I am getting cooler myself! Now I know about Star Wars, Super Sonic, Beyblade and Wonder Woman. Now I know all about the solar system, and learning lots of astronomy, thanks to the Child. Plus, my birthday also happens to be International Astronomy Day.

Yeah! There are a couple of more Kool days you too would know about, if you were an April Kool Kid! I plan to enjoy a fair share of those, starting with Fooling Around (April 1); Read a Book with Children (April 2); Skip Work (April 3)Hug A Newman (April 4); Say no to Housework (April 7); Go Patriot [on the Boston Marathon trail] (April 20); pay homage to Earth Planet (April 22); Take a Chance (April 23); and Hug an Australian (April 26) who would become My Mate to Kiss (April 28), very appropriately on my Birthday! How Kool is That!

Oh! Before I go, CrowdRise asked me to tell you that I should ‘give up my birthday to raise money for my favorite cause. I think this is awesome! Wait, how did CrowdRise know that I was already raising $$$ for my favorite charity of the year? Y’all know that I am running Boston Marathon 2015 with the Tufts Marathon Team (TMT); yeah, that’s what’s up!

All proceeds from my fundraising are going directly toward the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition toward support for research on nutrition, obesity, hunger and famine, and to sustain programs that promote health and wellness across the university and within our host communities of Medford, Somerville and Boston’s Chinatown.  Here is the link to my fundraiser; your gift is big to me, and will mean a lot to me and everyone who benefits from Tufts University Medical Services! Please support, and make me the Koolest Kid, ever!

Happy Koolest Kids Month! Bring on April!

Geese on the LakeOnly one Big City Marathon

56.7 miles in a Week averaging – F Weather!

Last week, I run a total of 56.7 miles, over six days, in an average of single digit weather. The weather last week was terrible with snow, ice and wind, all moving at high velocity. I had to suck it up and do what I have to do, run it. Success does not wait, nor does marathon training.

That is why we invest in YakTrax, to providing traction and run smoothly over snow. Proper running shoes, a warm jacket – there is nothing better than Free Country, a warm cozy pair of running socks – shout out to Cabot & Sons, plus head, neck and mouth gear smitten in Buff’s multifunctional wear. You should see me out on the road. I am all good to go. My mittens are with me, supplementing my Columbia gloves. Which reminds me that I lost one of them, and need a replacement, as well as a replacement of the running shoes.

I am proud of myself for 56.7 miles. I hope to replicate that, going forward. The first step is always a challenge, especially thinking of the gush of the wind awaiting my body once I step out of the door. I am grateful I am able to overcome that. Add to that, treading carefully the first 0.4miles of my route, to avoid slipping on icy roads. Sometimes I forget my YakTrak when I step out of the door, and have to walk carefully on the snowy sides. But even when I have them, some of the roads are too icy to take chances of falling, so I walk and my pace suffers. And Yes! I need to replace the YakTrax – wow! more money going out!

Did I say that the pace is also affected by wearing gloves? That’s right! Since I have to double glove – I am yet to find one pair of gloves that keeps me fully comfortable, I have to start the running Apps before starting the run, and that counts against me. The least of my worries, it should be. As long as I go out and do it!

Now I need to really go out and get some money, fundraising on the road for my charity. My ideas it to myself a mobile billboard, and collect any donations possible. Please help me raise money as part of the Tufts Marathon Team (TMT) to the Boston Marathon 2015, to support research on nutrition, obesity, hunger and famine, and to sustain programs that promote health and wellness across the university and within our host communities of Medford, Somerville and Boston’s Chinatown. Here is the Link to my Tufts Fundraiser. You can also support me personally, as I train for the marathon

The Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition offers a very specialized program designed to study adolescent obesity. Dr. Christine Economos is the chairperson of the study, and is also the Director of Child Obesity 180 at the Friedman School. She is currently a committee member for the Institute of Medicine report, “Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation.”

According to our coach, Don Megerle, additional funds are also raised and donated to the Tufts Personalized Performance Program. This program was actually an offshoot of the original Tufts Marathon Team concept. The program educates and trains seniors at Tufts to become Life-Coaches in the fields of health, nutrition, and personal fitness. There are 15 seniors enrolled in the program, and they assist me during the year with various projects related to the marathon. Marten Vandervelde, Director of the PPP, ran the Boston Marathon with the TMT three years ago.

Fundraising takes the same zeal as training to run a marathon

As someone who has tried my hands at both, I must admit that fundraising takes the same zeal as training to run a marathon. When you are doing both at the same time, one partly to benefit the other, it gets more complicated. In training for my first Boston Marathon (2015) with the Tufts Marathon Team (TMT) I am also trying to fundraise for the Tufts nutrition, health and fitness programs at the Tufts Medical Center.runtheworld

Sometimes I get overrun by training for the impending marathon that I forget to keep the fundraiser as active. Yet, the former requires as much dedication and consistency as the latter. The consequences for falling off either one, are detrimental, haunting, and costly in financial dreams and ego.

Yet, both involve a wider public audience of friends, family and strangers, who will come through to support your cause. A public fundraiser banks on the assumption that it would not be hard to get as little as ten kind souls to donate at least five dollars each. That makes it $50.00, in an instant! For my personal fundraiser, I would be US$755.00 away from achieving my humble fundraising goal to afford me a much needed pair of running shoes, training gear and a few hours in the gym for strength training. I should say that my initial fundraising goal was US$1130. Thanks to a kind soul who paid my hefty Boston marathon registration fee of US$325, reducing the goal to US$805.00, of which I have thus far collected two donations!

I also have a major and much bigger fundraiser of US$5,000, as a requirement for running with TMT.  All proceeds go directly to support the Tufts Medical Center. So far, I have not even raised a single penny of it, through my social networks that I am using. Never mind that sometimes weeks I sent out at least two emails.  I am a little taken back by my abysmal performance thus far, considering I have  outstanding expertise in social networking and fundraising, from cold calls to emails, door-to-door, telephone, grant writing and crowd sourcing.

All hope is not lost, I am still giving it my all, as much as I am trying to keep focused on my marathon training plan. The gist of training for a marathon is to set your goal, aim a great finish and come out strong and accomplished. Similarly, the aim of fundraising is to have a strong rewarding finish with the goal netted in the bag (and over) and satisfaction attained. The proof of training for the marathon is in the time covered in 26.2 miles; the proof of fundraising is in the money raised. How much public clout one is able to attract, is a satisfying measure of one’s accomplishments. Ten or twenty cheerleaders could be as resourceful (or even more than) as 100, if their love and support helps one successfully accomplish set goal.

Which explains why I believe running provides a great opportunity for soul searching and reflection on goals, accomplishments, strategies and ultimate product. I run at least five days per week, aiming for at least 42 miles per week. I fall short sometimes, due to the inclement weather or family obligations. I live in an area of steep climbs, mountains and heavily snowed-up winters. The back roads are narrow with hardly any sidewalks. The main roads are all concrete, without much defined sidewalks. When it snows, the roads are not cleared immediately, which starves me of running space.

I am not really scared of running under a snowfall, I have done it several times – rain, sleet, wind or scorching sun. I am more concerned for motorists during snowfall or immediately thereafter, who have to navigate the slippery roads and keep away from barely-there sidewalks to create leg/running room for me. Often under better weather conditions, many move into the middle of the road to share the road with me, though it is more complicated when the roads are still covered with snow or low visibility.

But that does not stop me from going out to put in the mileage or show face in the public. With my YakTrax strapped to my running soles, I go out and run in the snow, providing enough room for motorist to drive safely, while also keeping myself far away from the main road. Or I go out off-peak hours, when road traffic is low, mostly after the morning work commute, before lunch hour. I schedule all my runs during the day before dark, to avoid getting hit by a speeding motorist or attack from bad people. Makes perfect sense, since my color is not as reflective in the dark as my running gear (smile). Thanks to my currently flexible schedule of [unintentional] underemployment, I have more flexible hours during the day, when child is at school.

Why don’t you join me and support my cause(s), to make me a happy runner of my first Boston Marathon 2015, and a proud accomplished fundraiser for more health, fitness and nutritional programs at Tufts.

To support my person fundraising goal of US$805.00 toward the purchase of a new pair of shoes (Zappos tells me it is time to replace both pairs I have used for the last one year), running gear, and a few gym hours of strength training, please click on this link http://fnd.us/c/9vY4b

To support my fundraiser for the Tufts Medical Team of US#5,000, please follow this link https://www.crowdrise.com/tuftsboston2015/fundraiser/doreenlwanga to my personal profile on crowdwise.

And, feel free to donate to both, as much or as little as you can.

Come Run With me!

Thank you!

I would like paid work that works with me

They say, “Beggars have no choice”. So, I guess I am not part of that lot!

 

Why should anyone define themselves as beggars, anyway? Just because one is looking for paid work, does not make you a beggar. In any case, I think it is of strategic importance for “beggars” to have choice, lest they accept any and all toxic addition to their lives. Which seems true for many beggars: they pick their target audience carefully, typically around a busy intersection or subway; they  hold well-written placards asking for donations visible to even motorists inside their AC SUVs, and advanced beggars know to offer something in return – “food in exchange for any kind of work” or “god bless you for helping feed me and my children”. 

 
In my case, I want paid work that works with me, in terms of my schedule, my life and my responsibilities. In fact, I have achieved most of my career success taking this stand -of job, academics, personal choices that work with me.  It might not have come without pain, agony, sweat, disappointments and endurance, but what else doesn’t? No one wakes up to run a marathon (although I have kind of done that a few times); everything requires dedicated training and commitment. 
 
Similarly to most of my career advancements based on taking unconventional risks and making unpopular decisions, that have amazingly served me well! I have travelled the world, learned new subjects over and beyond my formal and informal classroom experience, made new friends, influenced plenty of people and mentored generations. I am fortunate to say that my previous employers have outstanding memories of me, however short-lived my work experience with them was. They will tell you that I am the most indefatigable, creative, imaginative, wittiest and personable colleague they have had the privilege of working with. I, too have fond memories of my employers, my professors and my colleagues. They taught me so much about professional commitment, they allowed me to venture out into new territories and trusted me with their work; they allowed me unfettered time for career and personal growth, on their clock, and mentored my writing, research, advocacy and activism. Beside, they supported me with time, money and personal resources, opening up their “binders of VIPs”, from which I tapped in advancing my professional, scholarly and academic careers. I think I have returned the gratitude by mentoring others, giving and dedicating myself to committing to unconventional work.
 
Among my most memorable employer is the women who introduced me to the world of refugees, to which I was oblivious hitherto. Although, I was born in a country that hosted generations of refugees from before I was born, most of us grew up not making much of ‘foreigners’, unless they were white or Indian. True, she paid me peanuts, but allowed me to travel the world and attend seminars for my career advancement, all on her time, and still paid me a monthly salary and sometimes gave me a travel allowance. As her personal assistant, she positioned me in places with high-level international dignitaries, who later secured me scholarships for international training. She taught me to write for public audiences, using the print press, and fundraising proposals to donors. She sowed the seed in me as a grantseeker, by taking me to fundraising meetings with international funders. She gave me the tools to become an institutional memory for establishment and sustainability of organizations, when she made me co-creator of a successor body to our  project on refugee rights. She made me feel very special, when she said I was the first Ugandan woman (then I was still a young girl) she had met who was not shy, who knew and perfectly stood for what she wanted, because I walked into her office and asked for a joy even though there was no job advertisement posted. When she asked me if I could bring my resume in two weeks when she was back from Oxford, to her shock I had my cv on a floppy disk in my bag, that I handed over to her to print out immediately! Just like that, I got my first ‘higher and long-term’ paying job while still a university student. Not only that, I successfully negotiated with her to work part-time and allow me use her office space and equipment to type up individual cases of prison inmates from a student volunteer project I headed, and in exchange investigate if there were any refugees on our visits to detention facilities!
 
Prior to that, I had had the privilege of being mentored by a distinguished law professor and scholarly activist, who stated a human rights center at the university with a component of practical training of student human rights activists. I was paid for three months as a student intern and sent to an NGO to learn practical skills of human rights activism and office work. The rest is history! Soon, I volunteered to coordinate student interns and the center staff, then I mooted and effected the idea of founding a prisoners’ human rights project, which I headed until I left the country. I convinced professors at the law school to donate pro bono time teaching human rights activism to university students beyond the law school, recruited student interns and volunteers to take visit places of detention, interview inmates and staff, and document conditions in prisons and prisoners’ human rights abuses, and partnered with legal aid and human rights organizations to take up court cases of incarcerated persons pro bono or help in family tracing, petitioned the government human rights agency to release persons on undue detention indefinitely or automatic bond, and ran radio and TV talk shows discussing conditions in prisons. At a time when human rights activism and student internships and volunteering were literally unheard of within universities, i grew the prisons project into the most popular student initiative on the university campus and among organizations and government human rights bodies. I was the “energizer bunny” back then, in all things voluntary service to the community, including spending December school-break fundraising and building a primary school for children in rural Uganda. The rewards were hefty, including fully-funded international travels and training, unlimited access to glowing letters of recommendation, unsolicited nomination to roundtables on national, regional and international human rights concerns, respect and admiration among my peers, and everlasting mentorship and friendships that I enjoy to date. 
 
Due to the strong foundation and mentorship never to be afraid of engaging on unconventional wisdom, I have been able to venture into terrain that I might never have chosen in the first place. For instance, while motherhood was nowhere on my “to-do list”, I took up it up, and challenged myself to have my baby all natural without any pain-relief medication or epidural during labor. I achieved my wishes due to disciplined pre-natal preparation using the tested “Bradley Method of Natural Child Birth”, and delivered a health baby. I stuck to the same kind of discipline, post-delivery, making sure that baby comes first alongside work, good health, proper feeding and all social engagements. Although I “played-pause” on “formal employment”, l re-enter a career later on that facilitated being a single traveling mother/scholarly researcher/community mobilizer.
 
I have not had a typical 9-5 job since having my son, yet I have been able to deliver above and beyond to all my professional employers and colleagues, and left everlasting memories. In any case, I have always worked beyond the usual eight-hour day shift, putting in late nights, very early mornings and weekends not because I do not have ‘a life’ – after all, I have traveled on vacation with child, run everyday, joined my social groups to weekend runs and out-of-town get-aways, and fundraised as a resource mobilizer and donated to worthy communities and individuals, and trained rural communities to monitor and demand accountability for public service delivery, especially in areas of child health, education and social infrastructure, and challenged communities and my social networks to mobilize and donate own physical, monetary and in-kind resources to re-build our communities instead of waiting for perpetual empty promises from central government or handouts from international groups. 
 
Now that I am back to my other geographical space in America, and I am sinking my hands, faith and hard work in “finding paid work that works from me”. That is, accepting of my status as a single mother, raising a toddler, and committed to being in his life. My plans for my child and career ambitions do not allow me the luxury of being in the same space with his daddy nor the support of my larger family. I know I have to make it work, like all single mothers do – working two or three jobs while striving to put food on the table for their kids, clothes on their backs and books and educational materials. Yet, I know one-size does not fit all. On my part, I am good at selling my services to achieve professional satisfaction and fulfillment, which is the approach I seek to pursue in order to earn an income, while allowing me time to raise and grow with my son. I would like to afford the opportunity to attend my son’s school activities, take him to weekend sports activities, education trips and holidays, make him meals at home and prepare him for school while at the same time not sacrificing financial and professional accomplishment. Observing children raised by maids with an age disconnect from the children or goal disconnect from their parents, makes me shudder, when they spend most time raising children on TV and indoors, as opposed to allowing children to create their own play through imagination and outdoors activities. Since my son has a restrictive diet, which is not very compatible with mainstreamed feeding and eating habits of ‘fast foods and snacks”, taking over most children’s diets in our society. 
 
These might seem trivial issues to plenty out there, but I strongly believe that they are central to a child’s upbringing. I observe in my geographical space, many couples have chosen to dedicate one parent as a “stay-at-home” or “work-from-home”, especially the mother, while the other [especially father] goes off to formal office 9-5 career. This affords their child[ren] a stable presence and full engagement of a family member. I am already talking to several colleges and university, who might be interested in developing partnerships for student international training and study abroad. I also have my eyes on international fundraising for grassroots community development, a field so dear to my heart and central to my professional and scholarly experiences.  

What if you find someone who believes in your dream, but not as fast as you want to move it?

I am going through the moments. I celebrate the fact that I found somebody not hard to convince to believe in my dream. In fact, so readily, was the offer to carry my dream along. Perhaps there is a professional investment there, but this person is also humanitarian.

But that is one-and-a-half weeks ago, when I thought my dream was gonna fade away into “just another dream”. My dream co-catcher is a very credible face and profile on the “who is who” of Kampala, and the entire Uganda. Can bring in contacts both local and foreign, and has a profile of humanitarian work in the servicing of Uganda, as well as medical treatment of urban and rural Ugandans, emergency situations, dire need and where there is absence of public medical services.

The problem I am experience now is fitting into the schedule. OK, let’s cut the chase. It’s a HE! He’s a very busy man with many hats and locations –politician, humanitarian, doctor, father, husband, guardian and writer. All those he has to fulfill, alongside trying to fit in mine. He was so enthusiastic when I broke my idea to him. In fact, he did not wait for me to ask, if he would partner with me. (I actually my plan was not to ask him “if he could” but instead “how he carries out his”), Readily, he offered to give a face to my dream of launching a fundraising initiative among Ugandans.

Now, I am beginning to wonder whether he is ready to move my dream as fast as I want it? True, we met the day after he agreed to dream with me just after I thought I had hit a stalemate, when my first potential donor said –I needed “street cred” that I thought I had! To my amazement and excitement, he jumped onto my idea and when we met the next day, I found him in the company of four other potential volunteers to see through this initiative.

I had all the paperwork already drafted out that I had emailed him to look at and give feedback. Alas! He had not read it. But it was not hard for me to explain to him what the idea was, my progress thus far, and the “to do list”. The six of us brainstormed on how to proceed, the people we need to meet, the permissions we need to secure, and the activities that would work to boost this fundraising initiative.  So, I went back home and continued with my homework, of amending the initial documents I had drafted for our initial partner to reflect our new partner. Two days of no power cut at home threw us back to nothing done. Although, there are things we could do without the documents, like, meeting some people with expertise on the kind of activities we wanted to do.

I did my part and met up with two of such people who have both worked in Somalia but also donated aid to the Uganda –AMISOM contingent, and therefore know the terrain and the nature of relationships we need to build. The challenge right now is, we cannot proceed with official fundraising, until he approves the fundraising letter, we agree on MoA and terms of operations and secure those initial donors that we need. All this need his face, but most importantly, need his approve of the guiding documents for this activity –the fundraising package is ready…but waiting for his big-self to make it happen. Mr. DREAM MAKER, PLEASE TURN MY DREAM WHEELS ROLLING!