21 August 2012

Guest blog by 28 Too Many's Regional Co-Ordinator East Africa, Kelly Denise

I recently have returned to Uganda following an 8 day trip to theUK to visit 28 Too Many. The purpose of my time there was to build relationships with the staff and volunteers as well as get a deeper idea of the vision of the charity to help me develop my role with them. Intermixed with the work with the charity was also time to meet members of the various organisational partners of 28 Too Many plus some time to relax, see friends and enjoy some British culture!

My first evening was spent at a meeting from Justice Matters in which International Justice Mission made an interesting presentation regarding sex trafficking and their mission to end it. Then over the next few days I had the opportunity to spend time just getting to know the other staff and volunteers as well as discuss roles and how we each came to know Ann-Marie and 28 Too Many. Those are some good stories and my time building relationships was wonderful! There were a couple of days also spent working in the office which gave me a view of the every day workings within the organisation, everything from Facebook posts to giving an overview opinion on grant proposals. Ann-Marie also spent some time explaining to me the 10 year strategic plan as well as making sure I understood the various roles involved in each process. After diving into that as well as basically re-mappingAfricato fit according to our little plan, I was feeling part of the team and excited about how I can help in achieving our shared goal to end FGM.

 I then had a great weekend which was spent soaking up the culture ofLondon. Everything from museums to car shows to my favourite, Starbucks! (I’m sorry all of you Costa Coffee fans but I gotta get my Starbucks!) Sunday was church at St. Barnabas Church and watching polo and carriage racing inWindsor, and then in the evening I visited the Globe theatre with a friend for Henry V. This was definitely the cultural highlight of my visit.

 Then before the end of my visit it was back to work designing the specific research designs for our country profiles and making sure I was well prepared for my return to Africa. Overall my time with Ann-Marie and 28 Too Many was a true success and built a good foundation in my mind of the vision, resources and strategic plan behind the charity. I’m back inUgandanow where the work has begun compiling research from local organizations working against FGM. I’m so thankful to have a charity such as 28 Too Many to work with inAfrica. I had searched for a long time to find a charity working across all faiths built on spiritual values, and I look forward with expectation to what the future holds!