Project Manager – Caritas
Rita has been on assignment as a Project Manager at Caritas Kampala in Uganda since 2015 – here she shares her thoughts on the past two years work:
“As Christmas approaches and the year ends, I look back and see what we have achieved so far. I see that this year has given me much more than I expected. I am able to see how much our efforts have started to enrich the lives of our beneficiaries.
In 2017, we engaged in a financial education training package delivering workshops to our cooperatives and their members. The exchanges and the feedback from the communities and beneficiaries during the activities was well received and became a huge source of motivation for the Caritas team to continue pursuing our agenda on financial literacy to encourage cooperative members to become better managers of their limited finances.
The response and incremental benefits I am beginning to see within the communities as a result of these Caritas driven activities has been tremendously satisfying for me and the Caritas team which I work closely pictured below. To see, hear and know what we have achieved together is what has made me the most proud. It shows that the work is appreciated and that encourages my expectations of what the next phase of the project will bring.
The work we are conducting is not only to give support but to put in place structures and resources that will carry on our legacy and be built upon after our departure from this project. It is above all about the potential for transformation and social change, the ability to support people to take personal responsibility for their own learning journey, both individually and collectively. We are here only to give a push and encouraging them to make things happen.
Development is seen as a process of change through time. In the next three years we will be expanding our capacity building agenda combining training; education; technical assistance; and follow-ups creating professional leaders, staff and more participative members for our 38 grass-roots cooperatives based within the parishes under the Archdiocese of Kampala, Uganda. Our challenge is to contribute to expand the value of cooperative models plays within and outside the Church structures to promote socio-economic development and inclusive growth through cooperation and solidarity among individuals and groups to come and work together so that more rights can be realized.
Although there have been some ups and downs in this journey throughout, my passion, commitment and determination that have worked in my favour, and following the calling from my heart I knew that I could turn things around and make the most of this assignment.
The biggest factor that leads any of us to work in developing areas, which is our unifying trait is compassion. Though we are sometimes shaken by experiences we must always have the passion to keep focusing our work to enrich the lives of those around us. Whether that is in Africa or in Ireland.
I will be always grateful for Viatores Christi for this opportunity that was given to me to engage meaningfully with people here and hopefully share the best of what I have to offer whilst also learning from them. I am certain that Africa will never leave me.”