Meet the new Communities for Development volunteer!

Mulembe! In Lugisu, the local language spoken around Bulambuli district, it means hello. I’m Marta the new volunteer for Communities for Development and I’ve been in Uganda now for 2 weeks. I’ll be coordinating 3 key projects which are also the pillars of the NGO: saving groups, IGAs (income generating activities) and conducting a feasibility research for a social project. I’m fairly new to development, having worked for 5 years in marketing, most recently in a British peer-to-peer lending company Funding Circle. My background and professional experiences have all contributed to my interest in the developing world and the issues it faces. I believe promoting sustainable growth, in particular micro-finance, is an important tool in helping alleviate poverty. With that in mind, I have taken 6 months off and I’m now here in Uganda!

What are my first impressions of the country? If I had to pick 2 words, it’d probably be: happiness and beauty. Uganda is green and fertile, hilly and colorful. People smile with their eyes and their happiness, despite many hardships, is truly remarkable.

I’m based in Muyembe – around 40 minutes matatu (local taxi) ride from Mbale which is one of bigger cities in Uganda. Muyembe is a small village town with one main road, a couple of restaurants, small businesses and chapatti and samosa vendors. The areas we’re working in span from the next village town – Buyaga and include Busukuya, Busabulo A and B, Buwebele and hopefully very soon a few more areas around!

[frame src=”” link=”” target=”_blank” width=”520″ height=”204″ alt=”Sandra, Pilar and Marta in the village” align=”center” prettyphoto=”false”]

I spent my first two weeks immersing myself fully into Ugandan ways of talking, doing business and conducting meetings. I spent time understanding each element of work and prioritizing tasks for the next 6 weeks. Sandra and Pilar were with me (Pilar still is), helping me with the adaptation. We’ve already kicked off creating 2 new savings groups and it looks like I’ll be quite a busy mzungu!

More posts coming soon, stay tuned! Don’t forget you can also follow us on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram.

*mzungu – white person

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