(Excerpts from Award Acceptance Remarks written by Lois Stovall, president of krma-US Partners and volunteer Jackie Walters. The speech was delivered by Walters in Charleston, S.C. on May 21, 2016)
Members of ARCOA and distinguished guests, on behalf of Lois Stovall, the founder and president of krma-US Partners, I am happy to share Lois’ appreciation for the great honor ARCOA has bestowed on krma-US Partners, which will benefit the women farmers of Kobulubulu, Uganda.
I read with great interest that part of ARCOA’s mission is to “renew and continue friendships created while in service overseas” and “contribute to international understanding.” These inspiring words of friendship and understanding permeate the essence of the partnership between a group of diverse volunteers, mostly women, who represent krma-US Partners here in the U.S. and the 20 women farmers of Kobulubulu, Uganda known as KRMA. In addition to friendship and understanding, I would suggest a third word that drives our organization and this is hope.
Our partnership has fostered hope in the future for the 20 KRMA women and their families, where discouragement and trauma existed after they experienced violence and terror by Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army.
Further, the 2016 International Humanitarian Service Award will allow us at krma-US Partners to continue to build on this hope by encouraging economic independence, dignity, and selfdetermination where once existed an environment of poverty and shame.
Red Cross members can appreciate that their founder, Clara Barton, espoused this same philosophy in her humanitarian work during and following the Civil War. Clara was a great believer in giving hope and restoring dignity and confidence to those affected by war and disaster by giving them the means to become self-sufficient.
In Food and the Transformation of Africa, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan wrote: What is needed most are leaders who can envision a continent transformed. While neither our small NGO nor even ARCOA with its broad depth of service and wisdom has the capacity to provide the leadership that will transform the African continent, I do believe that none of us knows when one seed is planted just how far the results will spread.
By granting our organization the recognition and the monetary support provided by the 2016 Humanitarian Service Award, ARCOA has made a significant step in helping krma-US Partners -- in our very grass-roots way -- to “renew and create friendships,” to “contribute to international understanding” and to foster hope and dignity in women who are mothers to children, who could be the leaders of tomorrow, able to envision and contribute to a continent transformed.
Thank you very much ARCOA.