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The first Graduation!

When Love Mercy started in 2010, we could only have dreamed of reaching a time where one of the communities in our Cents for Seeds program would no longer need our support. It was our goal all along however, to not be needed by a community that had been empowered out of poverty.

10 years later, here we are. Barr village was the very first community to trial Cents for Seeds in 2010. They allowed us into their homes, their lives and into their farms. They welcomed us with open arms, and were willing to participate in the pilot project. In 2020, 417 women graduated from Cents for Seeds.

It was one woman in particular from Barr village that kept CEO Caitlin Barrett inspired after returning home to Australia following her first Uganda trip. He name was Sunta, and she had experienced some tragedy and pain no person should. It stirred Cait even more.

What the graduation of Barr says about Cents for Seeds is the project itself works. It empowers women, giving them the opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty and to support their families in ways that they have (and haven’t!) dreamed of. They are hardworking and resilient. Throughout the last 10 years this has been shown through their ability to persevere during the drought, cope with famine, handle flooding and then get back up and say “let’s try again’. They’ve taken every possible opportunity to improve their lives and now they have come to us and said “ Thanks for all your help – we’ve got it from here”.

It is remarkable to not be needed in this way. Barr will still run Cents for Seeds, but they feel they are ready to do it on their own. We will still pop in and visit, and our team will check in every now and then to see if they need anything. Mostly, we will just be returning to see old, dear friends.

Just $30 has provided a seed loan to each of these women in the project. It is incredible to think that someone’s giving over the last 10 years has empowered a woman in this village so far that she can do it on her own. That someone can have this kind of impact on another’s life on the other side of the world. This is hope.

This year, 3,000 new women will be included in Cents for Seeds. Of that 3,000, 515 women have already received a loan. They have walked home with hope for the future in the form of seeds, believing that anything is possible.

Currently in the world, there are some confronting things happening. It’s important to hold onto hope and trust that there are still beautiful things happening in the world that can inspire you. Although we don’t completely have control over things like this virus, we do have control over how we respond to our local and international communities. Over in a little village in Northern Uganda, women are receiving the first of many loans that will support them and their families for the rest of their lives. Consider contributing to these communities in times where it’s hard to know how you can support others in trying times.

Read CEO Caitlin Barrett’s full article on the graduation here: https://thelatch.com.au/love-mercy-caitlin-barrett/

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