We live in an age where we are encouraged to dream big but, this is often stripped away by voices that make us feel unworthy and unimportant. Do you ever feel…not enough? Like you need to be more, do more, provide more? Do you have a grasp on just how important you actually are? We live with dreams, hopes, goals, but often it is taken away… but voices that make us feel unworthy, unimportant. Life is so, so precious no matter where you are.
In many of Love Mercy’s reports, social media posts and blogs we refer to the term “empowerment” and how your support of Love Mercy and it’s projects works to “empower” women. But what does the phrase actually mean?
Empowerment is defined in the Oxford dictionary as…
“To make stronger…more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.”
Love Mercy seeks to empower those who are experiencing poverty in Northern Uganda to create a more just world. Cents for Seeds does this through providing women an opportunity – access to a ‘hand up not a hand out’ agricultural loan than can change their future. The project relies on the beneficiaries of the seed loan to work hard to reap reward from their crop. At the end of the season, if they have been diligent (and the weather has been kind) they will harvest up to 10x the original loan amount.
With this harvest, they can take control of their life . They can decide where to spend the income they have earned through hard work. Rather than barriers preventing their success, they have been made confident in their ability to provide for their family with food, education and income. It is from their hard work and dedication that they have these options. The loan is simply the opportunity that they have grasped and sprinted forward with hope of possibility again.
Women in Northern Uganda have faced immeasurable amounts of suffering. Decades of civil war saw many of them stripped of their homes, children kidnapped and forced to become child soldiers and husbands killed The early years of their children’s lives were spent in Internally Displaced People’s camps. Those that returned from the camps returned to nothing and with nothing The civil war (hyperlink to blog) changed them forever.
“I raise up my voice – not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard… we cannot succeed when half of us are held back”
– Malala Yousafzai
After being stripped of hope, they can say “My life is important” with complete conviction. They are able to hope and dream again for their future, and for their children’s future.
Initially, the Impact Report was intended to find out just how Cents for Seeds was helping communities. What came from the surveys was incredible. One carried out in 2018 and another in 2020 show that wellbeing of Cents for Seeds improves with their time in project.
Wellbeing is improving, not just tangibles like finance and food.
Can you give $30 today? This will put a woman into Cents for Seeds, changing the course of not only her life, but her children’s too… Women are waiting to join Cents for Seeds because they have seen how it has impacted their friends and community.