My name is Shelby Latterman. I designed this website before I first traveled to Uganda with my family in Summer 2014. The visit was an extraordinary experience. I was lucky to meet wonderful people, listen to their life stories, spend time with their friends and families, and build long-lasting friendships. I had no idea that living in a rural Ugandan village would have such a large impact on my life, but whenever I think back to that first summer, it becomes clear just how much I miss my home away from home. Once I returned, I was more inspired than ever to help the villagers of Uganda to become more independent, self-sustaining individuals.
In 2015, I was given a life-changing opportunity. The head of Global Village Connect, a non-profit organization that works to implement sustainable projects in the developing world, asked me to return to Uganda with her to work on various service projects. This was the perfect chance to examine and record the success of the Give a Goat Project after its first year of implementation. To me, this is every bit an experiment as it is a community development project. In order to build an entire self-sustaining community in rural Uganda, I need to test simple solutions to common problems. For example, we soon realized that giving the first female offspring of the goat to another child in need did not provide the original beneficiary with enough time to efficiently grow a goat farm. We have revised the contracts to give the beneficiaries ample time to start up their businesses before giving a female offspring to another child or family in need.
The founder of Global Village Connect, Joanne Trangle, had also wanted to film a documentary about service work in Uganda, and asked me to be the spokesperson of the film given that I had been working on a project of my own. In addition, I was given many teaching opportunities, including the chance to work with the driven, charismatic students of Buppala Primary School. My work with Global Village Connect continues today as I have been asked to become a GVC Student Ambassador. I will be traveling to a series of schools in Pennsylvania, giving presentations, and spreading awareness about small ways to give back to the villages of rural Uganda.
The most important take away is what this project promotes. The project is green, expandable, sustainable, and fosters economic growth throughout rural Uganda. Working on the Give a Goat Project has taught me how to become a young social entrepeneur and has taught orphans and struggling Ugandan families to run a business of their own.
Please watch this short video below and check out the slideshow photos for more information. Press the button to donate now!