After a life-changing off-road motorbike trip through beautiful Uganda, I fell in love with the ‘Pearl of Africa’. Not only with its nature, but also with its people.
One of these amazing people is George. He guided us during our trip. Over a campfire he told me about his life as a teenager during darker times in Uganda and the choices he made afterwards.
He decided for himself that women are the key to deal with poverty in Africa. So, he founded Toto Africa, a real Ugandese NGO, one of the very few.
Toto Africa empowers women, especially (single) mothers, with sustainable income generating opportunities while protecting the environment.
Its vision is that no woman is living below the poverty line.
During that same campfire, I asked him: ‘How can I help?’.
The obvious answer was through funding. Via George I bought 30 sheep for women to become entrepreneurs in sheep rearing. That was a first tiny little step.
Then I decided to visit these women in the Ngora region in November, and I invited my wife, my mom and my son to come with me and to experience Uganda in real. It was an amazing trip where we met many strong women. Sometimes they face difficult and challenging life situations but despite these challenges, these women are incredibly friendly, welcoming and giving.
Next to helping women to become entrepreneurs, George also wants to start a demo farm. And since this is one of the things I am focusing on currently, we had a lot to discuss and to innovate – although our contexts are obviously very different.
Next to brainstorming I was able to connect George to my contacts at the Rainforest Alliance. They are running a somewhat similar demo farm in Kenya. Lots to be learnt from them!
Some of my family members joined in funding Toto Africa, after me telling them enthusiastically about Toto Africa as a small scale, but high impact cause.
And last but not least, I had the honor to be invited to join Toto Africa’s board!
Apart from my continuous support from The Netherlands, it als means one other thing… I will be revisiting Uganda sooner than later! One cannot have only board meetings via Teams ;-).