When I talk about NITEO, I often use these 4 words: global partnership, local impact.
NITEO was birthed out of a desire to support Ugandans who were leading the charge to serve and uplift their communities.
From the beginning, we have committed to doing this through global partnership. For over 15 years our NITEO community has joined Ugandans in their work through their giving, volunteering, and more.
Our partnerships are everything. We could not do the work we have done in Uganda without out connection to so many incredible individuals, families, and organizations. And through these relationships, communities and school that many of us have never set foot in, are being impacted.
Allow me to share one example.
Ms. Deborah is an emerging NITEO partner who leads the Ask8 Centre for Skills Development. The first program that Ask8 Centre launched was a community library! In 2021 they received a donation of NITEO books from Elohim, an existing NITEO partner who has been faithfully extending our reach for many years. As a result of their collaboration Ask8 was able to open a library for the community.
When Deborah and I connected just a few months ago (over 1 year after the Ask8 library opened!) she shared a photo with me of the first two users of the library. The photo was of two young women from her community. It was such a small but significant act to give young women the first opportunity to sign out a library book.
These two women, and many others, have had access to books through NITEO partnerships. I’ll say it again: NITEO Canadian teams have never set foot in this community! While I hope we can visit Ms Deborah and her centre, I am THRILLED that our model of partnership is allowing for replication and multiplication.
A question I often ask is: how can NITEO support global partnerships and stay out of the way? Given the complexities of cross-cultural service and colonial histories, it is a question that we need to keep central. We want to live generously and to give to those who are in need (and the needs are very, very real); but, how we give is just as important as what we give.
I could share SO MANY other stories about our partners – the work Ms. Nageeba does of sharing books and running programs with countless schools and organizations, the ways that David, Peter, Okello Sam, Florence, Ray, Joan, Flora, Mary, Charles, Jessica, and Felician serve, and the rotary clubs that are distributing books to schools in need – but I’ll save those for other times 🙂
I also want to take a moment to acknowledge Mr. Sam Turya, our country manager. He serves in this role in a volunteer capacity and we are thankful.
We’re still collecting our final data, but initial reports share that NITEO partners have provided 3,500 children in Uganda with access to books in 2022.
This number fills me with hope.
There is more room at the table. We have 10 organizations waiting to be onboarded as emerging partners in 2023 and the waitlist keeps growing!
We cannot do this without you! I invite you to continue to lean in to this HOPE-full NITEO community.
Keep showing up.
Keep inviting others to join.
Keep living generously.