Even before I came to Drake, I knew I wanted to take part in Sustainable Development for Sub-Saharan Africa. It’s a program that involves a three-week experience in Uganda. Every student does a project as part of the trip, and mine was to help a local artist in Kampala start a business selling his work.
His name is Godfrey Kalungi. He creates vibrantly colored batik prints and is trying to make enough money to support his four younger siblings. With the help of Shining City Foundation, an organization here in Des Moines, I arranged a $1,500 microloan for Godfrey. I also worked on a business plan for him. Now, instead of selling his pieces for $4 each to distributors, he has a small shop and sells them directly to customers for $20.
Godfrey is paying off his loan and I’m hoping that we can find someone else who can benefit from the funding next. I love doing a project that’s hands-on and applies marketing in a way that has a real impact. It feels great to know that my small contribution can help a lot.