“Some people see, think, and go…Others see, think, understand, and try to do something.”
These words were shared with myself and Markey over juice and beers at a local bar last week. We were meeting with a new friend—a soft spoken, thoughtful man who had passed by the Remera Bakery one day and was drawn in by his curiosity. As it turned out, he had previously worked with Peace Corps Volunteers in Rwanda. We immediately bonded over shared connections and visions for strengthening women and communities as he marveled at the unique, nutritious breads the women had made that morning.
We continued our conversation with him later that week at Champion Hotel, and as a mélange of live local and foreign music played in the background, I was struck once again by the way things continue to fall in place with TWB.
Here was yet another local champion—a Rwandan who had grown up in Uganda, sacrificed his own education for 6 years to allow his younger siblings to study, moved his family back to Rwanda, finally pursuing his own secondary and university education despite being years older than his classmates. He has since managed large programs throughout Rwanda, teaching youth, women and families entrepreneurship and savings skills. When he stumbled across The Women’s Bakery last week, he recognized the link between our bakery business program and the entrepreneurship/savings programs he has done before. TWB is a bridge—“They (groups) have a business mind. If you bring a practical skill, it can be a scaling up, an additional benefit to these groups.”
It is people like Amos who make TWB possible in practice. I sometimes struggle internally, wondering if we are doing the right things, moving in the right direction, putting into motion ideas and programs that will truly work and not just be another failed “foreign input.” But when I meet the Amos’ of Rwanda, I am inspired to keep moving forward—not because I am seeing, thinking, understanding and trying to do something, but because Rwandans are, too.