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Blog

The Gratitude Series: Uganda

Lindsey Malcolm

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Not too long ago, in Spring 2017, we welcomed our first cohort into the Kampala, Uganda Sanctuary. A culture of support, perseverance, and joy must be established for long-term success and, over the last few weeks and months, we’ve seen proof that these seeds have taken root.

Each week, we receive an update from our Program Coordinator in Kampala and with every email, we are overwhelmed with gratitude. Here are some of the excerpts and reasons we give thanks for what is happening in Uganda:

“I wanted to stop, but, Mary, she believed in me. She kept working until I succeeded.” -a participant who struggled making the Mira Cuff and was encouraged and coached by her fellow participant, Mary, for hours under the mango tree

“During the last storm, the power went out and we were all huddled around two small desks with a couple of flashlights; the participants seemed to feel a lot more comfortable with us in such close quarters. They spent the day asking us all kinds of questions: Does it snow in the U.S.? Have we ever seen a bear? Do bears eat people? What do animals eat when everything is covered in snow? They’ve heard that in Alaska, there are sometimes days without night. Is it true? How do people know when to sleep, when to go to work? It was a pretty fun day!” -Emily, our program coordinator

“When we first started making Olivia earrings, everyone was terrible at them and got really frustrated. I saved everyone's first attempt in a little bag with their names attached. After we'd been making them successfully for several days, I handed the first attempts back and everyone had a good laugh at how bad they were. At the end of the day, we asked what they learned and a few of them drew lessons about how it's important to keep with something, even when it’s difficult.” -Emily, our program coordinator

“I enjoy it when things are easy, and when they're hard. When they're hard, I learn and improve my skills; when they're easy, I feel good about how quickly I finished something.” -a woman rebuilding her life in the Kampala, Uganda Sanctuary

“My birthday was yesterday. Several of the participants surprised me with cards, which was sweet and totally unexpected. After lunch, a bunch of them disappeared. We started to wonder if we were going to have give a lecture about attendance, when suddenly they came in singing Happy Birthday, dancing, and showering my head with flower petals.”
-Emily, our program coordinator

During this season of gratitude, we hope you’ll join us in giving thanks that support, perseverance, and joy are alive and well in the Uganda Sanctuary.

If you’re interested in keeping up with the goings on in the Uganda Sanctuary, email ashleymccully@isanctuary.org and she will add you to our Uganda email list.

The Power of Volunteering

Lindsey Malcolm

We are actively seeking volunteers this holiday season, so if you and your friends are looking for a place to serve, International Sanctuary has a meaningful opportunity for you! Whether you are local to Orange County and can volunteer time to come into the Sanctuary Support Center or if you’re willing to open your Facebook page to host a virtual trunk show, when you come away from your experience, you will have made a tremendous impact in the fight against human trafficking. That is how powerful our volunteers are!

It could not be easier to take a stand against human trafficking - International Sanctuary will provide you with everything you need to be successful, such as hands-on training at our office or emailing you everything needed to showcase PURPOSE Jewelry to your network on Instagram. All you need to do to make a difference in the life of girls escaping human trafficking is show up!

If you, your friends, or social group would like to spend some time with International Sanctuary, signing up is easy - just click here!

International Sanctuary was happy to welcome a team of volunteers through CarMax Cares, the charitable foundation of the used car retailer giant. Sara, a CarMax employee and International Sanctuary volunteer, shared her thoughts about her most recent volunteer experience:

I choose to volunteer with International Sanctuary not only for the great cause they support, but because you can truly feel the sincerity from all of the people involved in the program. Even though I’ve never met a girl enrolled in the program, I feel a connection with all of them by seeing their hand made jewelry and signed tags and I know that I am directly involved in someone else’s life, thousands of miles away. Being a part of an organization that is so dedicated to changing the world and helping women is a great feeling.

While volunteering, my coworkers and I organized, counted, and inspected jewelry for quality.  It was a great experience bonding with coworkers while supporting PURPOSE Jewelry and International Sanctuary. After we finished up our volunteer time at the office, my coworkers all said how they would love to volunteer again and most of them had already started a wish list of the jewelry they wanted to purchase.

Volunteering with International Sanctuary has always been a fun experience, from helping around the office to going out and actually selling the jewelry at different events, it has given me the opportunity to connect with other great causes and people. This program opened my eyes to the world of human trafficking and I have been able to share my knowledge with friends and family.

If you’d like to host a trunk show (online or in your home), email events@isanctuary.org.

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