Feeling a tug on your heart for a passion or a dream but feel like you just don't have what it takes to make it happen? Let me encourage you, just go for it!
me (sunnee), at my first reproductive health seminar with a few of the attendees in Kampala, UG, 2016
Back in 2016, I never thought that I would be where I am today with Sew Mukwano-running a non-profit and reaching girls in Uganda with reproductive health education. Of course sewing, period education and empowering young girls were passions of mine, but they were small and manageable. I didn't know what was next or what to do next. I literally just took the next step as it came...and let me let you in on a little secret; that's still how I operate today!
Looking back on that time in my life, I see that I had a choice. See, I didn't know what I was doing. I was honestly scared and these dreams I had to reach girls and make a difference in the world terrified me because I didn't know how it was going to happen. Let me let you in on another little secret; that was my ego. And letting your own fears stop you from potentially making a huge difference is your ego, too.
The choice I had was to stay right where I was and let the fear of what I didn't know or what I didn't have stop me from taking a step towards what I knew I needed to do.
I remember feeling as if (and looking back now I know that they were) I was taking baby steps. And that's how you start! Baby steps in the direction of your dreams. Little steps in the direction of your calling. And over time, it all adds up. You learn what to do next. You learn what not to do next.
Here are a few steps to take when you decide to just start that helped me.
1. Set a Goal.
My first step in getting Sew Mukwano started back in 2016 was to get 30 feminine hygiene kits to 30 girls in Uganda.
I had spent 1 1/2 months in Uganda in Jan-Feb of that year and I knew I had to do something about the tug on my heart, so this felt like an attainable goal! I worked hard, saved money, partnered with the appropriate organization at the time to make this goal a reality. I also shared my goals publicly to help keep me accountable.
My goal wasn't huge, and yours doesn't have to be, either. Remember, you're just starting. Just start where you are with what you have. That's the most important thing. Things will come to you. You'll start attracting what you put out. So start with a goal that is challenging and attainable. Goals will grow and change over time.
2. Start talking about it.
Dreams are birthed out of passion. When you are passionate about something, you usually don't/can't stop talking about it! It excites you, it captures your heart and it just exudes from inside, bubbling over in every conversation! You'll notice that you just can't help but be drawn to the topic, and others will catch on. I remember (and this still happens often) people talking to me about things they had read about menstruation education or pad distribution. Again, you attract what you put out. I am literally known for Uganda, pads and reproductive health education. I'll take it!
The other awesome part about the world we live in today is social media. You have a platform where you can post about your passions and start by just sharing on your different social media outlets. Start there!
3. Journal about the process
When I graduated college, my university gave me a bright red journal. It was very nice and leather-bound. I am kind of peculiar and have weird attatchments to journals. Strange, I know! So when I got this journal, I knew I would save it for the perfect occasion!
Once I started on this journey with Sew Mukwano, I knew this was the time for the journal. I ended up keeping that journal for 3 years, writing in it and documenting everything Sew Mukwano related! Those pages include my wins, my losses, what went right, what didn't, each trip to Africa from 2016-2019 and so much more.
I am so thankful I kept that journal during that time and that now I have it to look back through.
Whether you can or can't is up to you. I am so glad that I chose to start back then. It takes faithfulness, not knowing what the future will look like or being able to envision what you cannot see now. Have the faith to believe in what you cannot see, knowing your work will pay off!
Just start, today!
founder, sew mukwano
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