Memory and Joyce are two young women in Kantolomba who are bright and energetic, have big hearts, love their community, and love to participate. In short, they take after their “Auntie T” (Theresa). Theresa has her eye on them as potential assistants and possibly as leaders of the cooperative one day. 
On one of our recent weekly calls, we discussed Theresa’s desire to assist Memory and Joyce with their level of confidence. We asked Theresa, “What was your experience when we started. when you first had the idea to start feeding children in Kantolomba, and we suggested that you could lead that effort?”
“I was terrified,” responded Theresa. “What would happen? How could I lead this? I had seen so many NGOs come and go from Kantolomba. I had seen so many problems that happen. And I had no education. I had grown up right here in Kantolomba and these other NGOs were run by people who were trained, who had been to school and who knew how to run a program. I didn’t know anything.
“But I talked to my Mum,” she continued. “My Mum, who had had NO education at all, didn’t speak English, but she was strong. And she believed in me. She said, ‘If someone else can do it, you can do it. You know this community. You love this community. You can do this.’ And, of course, Mama Cheri often said similar things to me. It seemed she too believed I could do it. So I had the courage to start.
“Today it is second nature,” Theresa said. “I oversee all the elements of the project from organizing the food being purchased, to orchestrating the cooperative work, to managing having more than 1,000 children come and go from the property every day….  It is all easy for me now. And I love it.”
The story was such a beautiful reminder that we are all up against the same things and we all have the same opportunity to be free.  It would be easy to look at Theresa and assume she just has what it takes to be a leader. And, of course, she does! But she was required, as we all are, to face what the voices would do to her if she dared begin a path that would take her beyond “me,” beyond what she believed she was capable of. 
She did it, of course, “for the love of others.” Both Theresa’s Mum and Mama Cheri knew that Theresa’s great love of her community -- we could say simply her capacity for love -- would, with support, be enough to take her beyond the forces that would attempt to stop her. And it does, each day, moment by moment.  
As it does for all of us.