By Esther Kwaku

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Fast forward to 2017 - I’ve got that feeling again. Albeit it has been three years…and during that time I worked at a fantastic social impact organisation…but this time I was feeling ready.

I start reaching out to Dorothy and many of the other great organisations I met with back in 2014 and came to discover that funding had still been a challenge. It’s not surprising really, the landscape for charities is drastically changing.

Sadly though - and this is what shook me most of all - but many of those brilliant people had either moved on or had their contracts cut short due to lack of funding. This included Dorothy. I was gutted.


That alone was the trigger for me to get The Nerve Network going. The goal? To work with brilliant people doing brilliant work in low-income communities. To me, it felt like such a waste of talent, skills and resources which had been so finely honed only for it then to all disappear due to lack of funding. Totally get the challenge of it all but that wasn’t enough for me. And there are people out there who need and want to do for themselves. That, to me, is sustainability.

I booked a flight to Uganda with a brief to retrace my steps, update my 2014, find those brilliant people I’d met before and thus find out what the heck was going on. I needed to see and hear it for myself. So off I went.

Over the course of a 9-day road trip, starting from Kampala, I visited Gulu, Mbale, Jinja and Masaka. I met 33 people in total…23 of whom were micro-business owners. And in case you’re wondering. Yes, I found Dorothy again.

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So now we want to work together to improve the lives of women in her community. And so the journey begins.