I love this quote by Anita Desai who said that "wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow? So, let me ask you, where are you going and what do you want to become part of you? For me the question is easy, I have been to so many places. There was even a year I traveled to all 6 continents. I love traveling and as a global health professor, I often have projects or work in other parts of the world, so there are many places that have already become part of me.
I was born in Sweden, but actually I'm half Swedish and half Finnish. But, for most of my adult life, I have lived in the U.S. and now for the past few years also in Uganda. My dad lives in Thailand. So now, I really do consider myself a world citizen. And, I have decided that "home" is anywhere or everywhere that I'm happy and feel at peace.
But, after years of traveling the world, "home" to me can be many places. And, it's not just about the place, it's about the place and its people. That is also why I love Uganda, the people are just amazing. I realize I also have a growing urge to do more, to serve and to give back to people. To me, uplifting women in poverty has become a significant charge. And, that is why it is the mission of Tugende Design. I fell in love with Uganda many years ago and so it's now part of me.
At Tugende Design our mission is women empowerment. It is women empowerment for those facing poverty and hardship in Uganda. We do this through financial support and social entrepreneurship by facilitating jewelry making, skill building and training. But, it's also women empowerment in the U.S., by enabling women to be themselves, to be bold, to express their personality, to be free to wear colorful jewelry and to appreciate their beauty.
When I named our social enterprise, I knew I wanted "Tugende" to be part of it. It was one of the first words I learned in Luganda, a local language. Tugende means "let's go". And no matter how busy I am, I always make time for Tugende Design. Why? Because it makes me happy to know that what we do makes a difference. But, more importantly, it's who I've become.
So ask yourself, where are you going, and what would you want to become part of you? If you don't know, find out, and then just go -Tugende!