Eight Canadian co-operators are visiting Uganda to learn about CCA’s Integrated Finance and Agricultural Production Initiative (IFAPI) model. CCA and the Uganda Co-operative Alliance have developed an innovative approach to rural development by linking agricultural co-operatives, marketing co-ops and savings and credit co-operatives.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Most Commonly Asked Question in Uganda...

It has been a week since I unzipped my suit case, pulled out my sandals and began walking through the red dirt of Uganda with the locals.

Yesterday afternoon after a slow stroll through the village we sat under a shade tree and it wasn't long before the usual entourage of children gathered around. Two women came out of a grass thatched hut carrying two silver platters draped with a decorative doilies. Yes, silver platters. As I looked around at the kids who had no shoes on I wasn't exactly surprised that we were being served something sweet but the Canadian in me did feel a bit of guilt.

 Many times since we arrived the locals who appear to have so little, have offered us so much. These women presented us with coca-cola sodas and cookies and then I heard the echo. The most commonly asked question. "When are you going to come back to Uganda?"

Every time I'm asked I think to myself, I never want to leave, therefore I'll never have to 'come back.' Of course that isn't an appropriate or accurate response so I laugh and say "not soon enough my friend." 

As blessed as my Ugandan friends may feel to have me here, the truth is Uganda will be with me wherever I go. It is the cooperative way to want to help others so they can help themselves. As a cooperator and Canadian I wonder, do they realize how much their stories have helped me?

Lacey Chyz

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