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Happy Birthday, Subi Foundation!

Birthdays are a big deal in the Mukabire home. We don't just do a birth DAY--we do birthday WEEK! Birthday weeks are filled with activities that are specific to the birthday person. I work hard to find just the right family outings that will fill the birthday person with joy. And when it comes to the birthday party . . . well, we go all out! Upon marrying a Ugandan, I learned that just cake and ice cream would not do. We must have ALL the food! So my husband makes a bri (what Americans call a bar-b-q); we have as many Ugandan fruits as we can find: avocadoes, mangoes, pineapple, and jackfruit; if we get really ambitious, there are also samosas; and yes, we have cake and ice cream. In fact, I generally make 2 cakes for the birthday party--THAT'S how much I love to celebrate!

Why do I do all of this for birthdays? It's simple. I love my kids so much, and I am so thrilled that they are part of my life and world! So, of course I'm going to celebrate their existence!

Well, a year ago, I gave birth to something else. Not a human, but something that I am also thrilled to have in my life . . . SUBI FOUNDATION!

A year ago, I could not imagine being the founder/president of a non-profit organization. "Non-profit organization" sounds so official, so big and important. Rich people do that kind of stuff! Big, influential people do that kind of stuff!



I don't think I am alone in my misconceptions of "change-makers". When I think of a "change-maker", I think of Nelson Mandela, Ghandi, Susan B. Anthony, and whole lot of other big names. It's daunting to even think of myself in that same category.

But guess what? EVERYONE can be a "change-maker"! Ghandi told us to be the change we want to see. That can be as simple as smiling at people on the street or it can be as involved as building a school in Uganda (and everything in between). Ghandi's point was: if there is something that you think should be different in this world, you need to be the one that starts doing it! We can't sit around and wait for someone else to fix what we see as a problem. If we see a problem, we need to be the ones who fix it! And when we fix a problem (no matter how big or small), we are changing the world. We are being "change-makers". And we can ALL do it!

So, when I really embraced that idea, I realized that I could do something about education in Uganda. (Or at least one part of Uganda...) My husband already owned the needed land--a HUGE accomplishment in Uganda! (And, in fact, most of Africa...) I had the knowledge about curriculum development and how to run a school. All we needed was money. I know, I know! All we needed was money! That's no small thing, right? But it's doable. I think there are lots of people in this world who have money and want to do something good with their money, but they don't know how or what to do. So I realized that if I could get in touch with those people, then together we could be "change-makers" and make the world a better place.

Is it daunting? Sure. Is it sometimes completely overwhelming? Sure. Is it often disappointing? Absolutely. This has been QUITE the year! I dream big, folks. I dream BIG! And I get EXCITED about things. Like, 4-year-old-going-to-Disneyland excited! And things don't always (ok, almost never) live up to my dreams. And that's super-disappointing. But I learn a lot. I remind myself of what Nelson Mandela once said: "I never lose. I either win or learn." And then I try again.

Quite honestly, it's been a lot like a rollercoaster this year. There have been highs. There have been lows. There have even been a few loopedy-loops! But unlike a rollercoaster, I am not ending the year in the same place where I began. Subi Foundation has made A LOT of forward motion this year! The board of directors has grown and learned. People are starting to figure out who we are and what we are about. And people in Uganda have received some help. You know how at the end of a rollercoaster you get to the nice, flat, straight ending where you finally feel secure and relieved that you made it through the ride? Well, we aren't there yet. Subi Foundation is still definitely in the middle of the ride. We still have many highs, lows, and loopedy-loops ahead of us. But that's ok. Because the important part is that we are still moving forward. And that is definitely something to CELEBRATE!

So am I baking 2 cakes today? Not exactly. But in true Mukabire-fashion, we are celebrating Subi Foundation with BIRTHDAY WEEK! (I totally can't take credit for this idea. One thing I have learned this year is to surround myself with amazing people on my board of directors. I knew I wanted to celebrate; I just didn't know how. So Subi's Social Media Specialist, Anne Zweifel, came up with a phenomenal idea!)

We are still working on Phase 1 of our project: drill a borehole for clean water in Ivuukula. Currently, the women of the village have to walk for almost 3 miles to get to a clean water source. We want to change that. Plus, we're going to need clean water for the school to have running water, flushing toilets, etc.

So this week (Feb. 21-27), we are doing #1year1week1k! That's right, we are trying to raise $1k in 1 week to celebrate our 1 year anniversary. All the money raised will go toward drilling a borehole on our property in Ivuukula and providing clean water to the families in the surrounding area. You can get involved by simply donating to our fundraiser. All you have to do is click here and make a quick donation via Venmo or PayPal. And it doesn't have to be huge! That's the amazing part of being a "change-maker"--ANYTHING you do, big or small, toward fixing a problem is changing the world! So if all you have is $10, then donate $10. If you have more, then donate more. You can also click here to learn 14 ways that you can get involved and support Subi Foundation TODAY!

And then share the #1year1week1k fundraiser with your friends, eat a slice of cake, and celebrate the fact that you just helped make the world a better place! Thanks for being a "change-maker"! YOU are awesome!

Happy birthday, Subi Foundation! Here's to another 365 opportunities to build HOPE!

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