As Thanksgiving approaches, I can’t get these holiday carol lyrics out of my head. Working on the project team at GlobalGiving, I have the privilege to work with the amazing project leaders and innovative organizations that list their work for funding on our website. This also means I get an up close and personal look at the challenges our partners face on a daily basis. Here is one description of the journey to send an e-mail in Malawi:
“Well, first I leave the school and hop on my bicycle. After riding my bike for two hours over dusty, bumpy roads, I arrive at the internet café. Then I write out my e-mail carefully by hand and give it to the owner. Assuming the internet isn’t broken that day, he logs on to the only computer in the village and sends the e-mail for me.”
Rather than braving the river and woods to get to grandmother’s house, each day our project partners face challenges ranging from lack of electricity or internet connectivity, natural disasters like floods and earthquakes, health crises including malaria and HIV/AIDS, non-existent transportation infrastructure, or unstable political environments. Tasks that seem like no big deal to those of us in the U.S.—sending an email, turning on the lights, making a phone call—can be time consuming and difficult.
With all of these challenging circumstances it’s a wonder that anything gets done at all! But the most exciting part of my job is that not only is stuff getting done, our partners are tackling the most difficult challenges our world faces right now and achieving great results. It’s a testament to the determination, creativity, passion, and insight of the projects listed on GlobalGiving that each day I get to read updates from the field like this:
“The Roteang Village children have nearly completed the immunizations…” from "Provide 570 Children with Lifesaving Vaccines" in Cambodia.
“One of our a pioneer teachers at Nyaka told me last year that because of his job at Nyaka, he has been able to buy land, take care of his twin sons and daughter, and take care of his aging mom and dad…” from "Nyaka School for Children Orphaned due to HIV/AIDS" in Uganda.
“Through these two projects, we secure transportation and safe passage for women who are fleeing their homes to reach the shelters or other refuge…” from "Safe Houses for Iraqi Women" in Iraq.
Whether arriving via the back of a bicycle, the dusty Indian mail service, carrier pigeon, or solar-powered dial-up email, project updates keep donors informed about all things (good and bad) going on with the project on the ground. Clicking “submit” isn’t the end of a donation to a GlobalGiving project—it’s the beginning of an adventure!