It's Not Business, It's Personal

Elspeth Dugdale | June 9, 2021

It's Not Business, It's Personal

‘Small is Beautiful’ wrote the economist E.F. Schumacher; that we should value life over income and profit. Bigger is not always better. Much of it applies to ServeDirect. It very much affects our approach to how we ‘operate’ in Uganda: our relationships, the local partnerships, the decisions we take and even how we fundraise.


And to be honest, that’s why many people prefer small charities.

We have had a tremendous response to the ‘Bring Them Back’ campaign, raising funds to help existing students get back to school in 2021, after the huge difficulties caused by the pandemic. We have nearly reached the £45,000 target. Thank you so much to all who have donated and contributed so far. After hesitating about how to go about this (it’s not always easy to ask for money!), we decided to use the ‘small is beautiful’ principle, hence the individual approach. Working our way through the lists of contacts has brought us back in direct contact with so many of you, which has been a real delight. And we are still sending emails out …….

Being out of Uganda for so long, since March 2020, has been a real challenge for many personal reasons. It is the longest we have been absent since we started at WTA in 2008. Of course, there are many SD work-related areas we can’t be involved with: building, training, management etc. Fortunately, WTA, The Rock and the Connect Education Centres carry on regardless, which is fundamentally important.

Missing 'these ones'!

However, we really miss all our friends and colleagues. We miss the students, the teachers, the weather, the classroom & staffroom conversations, the vibrant, bright zest for life, the relentless positivity, the fabulous fruit, the wildlife (some more than others) and even the ‘fun’ of driving and negotiating traffic. Finally, I really need a haircut and my favourite hairdresser in Kampala. But that doesn’t really qualify as ‘essential travel’…