Thursday July 3 2014

When one door closes...


By Esther Kalenzi

Lately, I have been going through different versions of what Eminem rapped about in Lose yourself. (You know things are a little crazy when you start quoting Eminem). It is a few days to the event Croak and Rhyme and it is hectic.
On top of that, life does not allow for one phase to end before another crops up. Up till Monday, I was far from balance. I was working on an application for a grant that if got, would change the lives of so many young women in Uganda. Now that I finally clicked “send,” the anxiety of waiting for the outcome is going to follow- a feeling I didn’t think I would have to relive so soon.
As last December came to an end, a few friends encouraged me to apply for a fellowship I knew nothing about. I ignored the first two, but when four more people who don’t even know each other told me about it. I thought I would give it a shot.
I looked around for references and clicked send on the day of the deadline in late January. Fast forward, together with five other individuals, I had been selected to be a fellow for 2014.
But, around the same time in January, I received a call from a friend of a friend who was wondering about what our group 40 Days over 40 Smiles needed in terms of capacity, which skills I would need to manage the organisation better and how best to train the team. Last month she called to share some good news. Her organisation had secured funding for capacity building in our organisation.
I was thrilled but this was not all. The gift basket wasn’t quite empty and I learnt this a few weeks ago. When someone posted a link and asked us to apply for the Tumaini awards, I didn’t know what they were about.
I checked the website and found out that they are held annually to reward individuals and organisations who are impacting communities.
We filled in the forms and on June 13, I received the award in the health category. To say that this came as a surprise is an understatement. The award also came with Shs3m cash prize.
When the prize money finally comes through, I am ready with a list of the things we need. It keeps changing but I am sure it will help us greatly.
As a young organisation, all the recognition, funding and support that we receive is a great boost and gives us hope to carry on.
I wrote this so that you may be reminded; a closed door isn’t the end of the road. You never know how many more are waiting to open but you will not see them if you keep looking back at the closed one.
In related news, this Friday, we shall be opening doors (read gates) at 6pm at the Uganda Museum. For only Shs10,000, you will get entertainment from the finest Ugandan artistes and poets. Above all, it is an opportunity to change the lives of some children while having fun.
The children at Agape Children’s Home will have a better education and improved standards of living thanks to you. See you there.

The original piece was published on the writer’s blog,