I’m so excited to be part of the Noonday “Blog Train” this morning! What’s the blog train, you ask? Well, to celebrate our awesome Fall line coming out, a bunch of us Noonday ambassadors have been sharing how Noonday has made a difference in our lives. I’ll also be offering a great giveaway at the end of this post, so take a seat, grab your coffee and read on.
When I became a Noonday Ambassador last Spring I had no idea the profound impact it would make on my life. Actually I think it took being in Ethiopia and meeting our artisans face to face to really sink in. So often, I feel like we look for ways we can help people in poverty that we forget of the many ways that they help us.
I know for a fact that Noonday helps people. I know this because I’ve seen first-hand the joy on people’s faces over having a job that helps pay for important things that we often take for granted, like education and health care. I’ve heard amazing stories of lives changed, marriages restored and children getting to go to school for the first time. That’s incredible and it makes it feel proud to be associated with such an organization that focuses on job creation as a sustainable approach to help fight poverty.
However, I want to talk for a second on how Noonday has helped me. More than anything, it’s helped me not take anything I have for granted and to live with more joy in my day to day life. Simple things we have like clean drinking water, an abundance of fresh fruits and veggies and a comfy bed to sleep on every night is not something that the majority of the world gets to share. I don’t want to be a person that just gets comfortable in my own little safe bubble — I want to live and love more fully, being thankful every day for the blessings I have.
I want to share this letter with you guys from Jalia, our lead artisan who heads up the African Style group in Uganda. I was so happy that she gave me permission to share it with all of you. It makes me cry every time so warning: have Kleenex handy.
Please send our love to all of the ambassadors. Tell them we really appreciate the work they do for us. Every one of us would love to share how noonday orders have changed our lives. Right now we give work to more than 60 women in the Acholi quarters of Banda. These are the women who were displaced by the war in northern Uganda. We have a group of 30 women in the lweza village, 20 women in Sseguku and another 20 in Kitende. All these women did not have any other source of income, and now they are able to support their families from the money they earn by rolling beads for us.
Apart from these 130 women, we have 40 people at the workshop, whose lives have been transformed tremendously. Nemma came to us after her husband abandoned her and her 3 children. They were left with no food, shelter or clothes; we gave her a job, and some home items. Today Nemma can afford to feed her children, pay her rent and clothe them. School fees are still difficult but there is a smile back on her face. We have never seen her smile like we do now.
Maama muzei is a poor widow who had lost all hope after her husband’s death. But now she has found love, hope, and comfort in our workshop. She works hard on Noonday orders and right now she is one of our highest earning employees. Her children are happier now than ever.
Raymond is a young man who never knew the love of his father. His step father managed to help him attend high school, but could not fulfill his dreams of going to university. He has worked for us for two years now, cutting paper, and helping us with our accounting. Through his savings and African Style’s contribution, Raymond started university two weeks ago. He now cuts paper from morning to 4:00pm and then goes to school in the evening. He is a very happy young man, thanks to your orders.
Bukenya and Coral are doing well! Bukenya is now one of our best earners, he has saved enough money to buy land and he is now buying materials to start building his house. He used to live on the street as a homeless man and now he is building his own house!
As for us, you guys have changed our lives. We not only have all of our basic needs met, but we have experienced the joy of sharing with the needy, and that has been very fulfilling. We have grown so much in such a short time. We offer medical help to all our artisans, we provide clean drinking water, and we give micro loans to our workers, which helps them to start their own projects to supplement their income. We also celebrate birthdays for all our workers with cake and soda. Many of our artisans say this is the first birthday they have ever celebrated. We provide accommodation to some of our workers, break tea and even lunch sometimes. We also do a daily bible study and counseling once a week. All these are the joys that you guys have given us. This ministry in business has always been our dream, thank you for helping us to realize it.
May God bless you, thank you for partnering with us in changing lives in Uganda! Blessings!!!