Fellow Lariza Galindo: 5 Months In, and Continually Feeling Blessed

by Lariza Galindo, 2016 Grameen Foundation Fellow.

An amazing mixture of green and blue. That’s one of the things I perfectly remember from my first field trip to Kamuli (Eastern Region of Uganda) with the amazing Mobile Financial Services team. Sitting on the back of a truck, looking through the window, admiring this gorgeous landscape, laughing with my team colleagues, I felt so blessed and lucky that I hardly registered the temperature of 30ºC or the 4-hour road trip that I had in front of me to visit one of the Village Savings Loan Associations (VSLA).

The dances and chants did not wait for us to step out of the truck. Women dancing with the beat of drums, kids running everywhere, men singing and clapping with an background of houses built of mud and thatch roof. The special performance started. A special song about how the products of this project have changed their lives, tackling issues like security or distance. And I just keep thinking how lucky I am to be part of this wonderful project.

We left the village with the promise that we will continue working for them, creating products that fit their needs and that can connect them and make them visible to the banks. As they say, the savings in the box are not enough for everyone, so how do we decide what member’s needs are more important than others without breaching the principle of equality?

Five months have passed since that wonderful day when I could see the real people that are impacted by our work. Five months in which my colleagues and I have not stopped striving to improve and strengthen the bank's offerings to these groups. Definitely, five months in which I have not ceased to feel blessed and lucky for being part of this fellowship.

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