When you give, you’re not just changing one life, you’re changing generations. My life was completely changed by one person who believed in me and invested in my future. Imagine that one person has touched me, but through me, they have touched my whole family and others. Because of what I was given and the education I received, For generations to come, our family will never be the same. It’s a generational transformation. When you touch a life, you’re changing generations. For those who are touched, we have to remember to pay it forward. We have to continue the change. If we make it stop with us, we’re breaking that cycle. As you receive, remember to pay it forward to you create that ripple effect.
If it were not for people giving to my cause and the helping hands of individuals, I may never be who I am today. But because those people supported me, believed in me, and held me up in my moments of hardship, I’m a better person. There’s joy when you see someone become a better version of themselves because you helped them. There’s joy in giving back to the community that helped build you. That’s is what shapes society and has helped communities reach great heights. There are people along our path who believe in us. If we could just recognize that and do one good thing per day, our world would be a better place.
Where you’re born and the circumstances under which you were born do not have to define who you are. We are all a work in progress, and every household I work with at Village Enterprise is on their own path. Realizing that those situations don’t have to define who you are and that shaping your destiny is within your hand is empowering. The right resources and opportunities can change the trajectory of someone’s life and family. It’s a principle I try to live by every day. No matter what, this principle is a stepping stone to make the next move, the next big decision in my life.
Every day of our lives, opportunities come our way, but we have to be prepared to tap these opportunities, to challenge ourselves every day, to learn or experience something new, and be willing to dive into deeper waters. That takes hard work and sacrifices; that takes living within your needs and considering the needs of others along the way. If everyone prepared diligently every day, we would all be ready to tap these opportunities. There’s needs to be a lot of investment to prepare the young generations for the path ahead of them. I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for those people who helped me along my path.
When people think about the giving season, people tend to think about giving in terms of something that’s tangible. People tend to think about money, clothing, or toys, but I think that giving goes beyond that. Giving means putting your energy, effort, and mind into shaping society by organizing meetings within your community, being part of policy reform, visiting the sick, going to clean roads or parks within your city, going to a school and inspiring children or just bringing your best effort every day to work that you know contributes to the greater good of humanity. There’s greater good in giving your time and effort in helping shape society and its people. It has to go beyond just material things. This giving and holiday season, if you have material wealth, give that. But if you don’t, please go and be an inspiration to someone, go spread love, kindness, give your time and give your expertise to a course that is bigger than you. Let’s all go and be a part of creating a people, a community, a society, and a world that we all desire.
– Winnie Auma
Winnie Auma is the Uganda Country Director of Village Enterprise. She has been a part of Village Enterprise since 2010 and held numerous positions within the organization. She holds degrees in Education and in Business Administration and Management, and was selected by the Harvard Kennedy School in May 2019 to participate in their Emerging Leaders Program for rising U.S. and international leaders. Winnie narrates an audiobook chapter of Peter Singer’s 10th-anniversary edition of his landmark book on reducing extreme poverty, The Life You Can Save, alongside celebrities Kristen Bell, Stephan Fry, and Paul Simon.
Peter Singer published his landmark book The Life You Can Save in 2009 to demonstrate why we must help those living in extreme poverty and illustrate the many ways to save lives by giving effectively. In the decade since, the book has created massive change reducing global extreme poverty, founded a nonprofit organization of the same name to promote the idea of effective giving, raised millions of dollars for effective charities, and improved countless lives.
The 10th Anniversary Edition of The Life You Can Save addresses the continuing need for change and aims to inform, inspire, and empower all to help those in need. Village Enterprise’s Uganda Country Director, Winnie Auma narrates a chapter of the audiobook version alongside celebrities Kristen Bell, Stephan Fry, Paul Simon, and more, and Village Enterprise is prominently featured in the section “Better than Aid” of the book. Download the ebook and audiobook here for FREE today.