We asked women's groups in Uganda what kind of support they could use on the ground and they asked for help in starting their own businesses. To be very clear, the women are not looking for a handout, rather a partner, and simply the opportunity to sustain themselves and those they care for. They suggested with a small amount of money they could start a small farm. We took the money raised at the Ed Sharpe record release party and we secured some land. The women planted eggplant, a good cash crop in the region, and a few months later had their first harvest and turned a profit, which they reinvested in a brick making operation and buying some oxen which could be used to cultivate the land as well as be rented out to other farmers for additional income. The thank you of them singing "Suitcase" over the phone and the harvest celebration video of them singing "Home" were an amazing moments, ones which we all got to celebrate together. These women never seem to cease teaching us about strength and resilience and we feel lucky to be able to help in expanding their operation and we’re going to roll it out, replicating and spreading it with their help to other women’s and youth groups in the region with more land procurement and start-up supplies such as seeds and tools
The idea for The Voice Project came from listening: listening to the women's songs, listening to the programs they're trying to implement, and to what kinds of support they knew would be helpful and which wouldn't. We are founded on the idea that more listening to each other is a good thing - artists do it, play each others songs, learn from one another and we're all better off, our lives enriched for it. One of the goals of The Voice Project is to also apply that model in social and economic development terms to aid in the Peace & Reconciliation process and to contribute to the economic empowerment that will sustain it.
Donations to The Voice Project allow us to continue programs like this that are making a real difference on the ground.
The Voice Project is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.