Hi my name is Tami Molina. I was there when Jessica first fell in love with the children in Uganda via a documentary that she watched. I knew from that first moment, that she was destined to not only go to Uganda but also to do very important work there. Even during the initial years of discouragement from closed doors and delays, I believed that she would one day walk on the red dirt of a Ugandan village. When she did, I was there.
I was there as she persevered and overcame every obstacle to achieve her dream. I watched as her love for Uganda blossomed into a true love for specific people…people with endearing names, beautiful faces and daring aspirations for a better life. When, her love for these dear friends birthed such concern for their future that she felt the need to start a non-profit to help them, once again...I was there.
As NZE moves into the future, impacting the lives of people I’m proud to call my friends too, I plan to be there.
As long as I can remember I’ve always thought it would be fascinating to teach children. I grew up playing school and library with my little sisters and as a young adult I worked as an Academic Coach doing private tutoring in an educational center. I now work a desk job and have discovered volunteer work as a way to fulfill my desire to help and enrich children’s lives. When I first met Jessica Molina, she quickly sparked my interest in her children in Uganda. When I told her I was already pursuing volunteer work with our local foster youth, she realized I was serious and committed to my passion for helping children. That’s when it happened; she offered me the opportunity and privilege to be Travel Volunteer & Event Team Member for NZE.
When I received my full day of traveling itinerary I had no idea what I was in for. I knew I was going to meet with the students and start building my relationship but didn’t really realize what more would come from it. But the moment I saw the village’s children and the students under a tree playing games I was instantly drawn to them, and without question they took me in and allowed me into their life. Going home that night I was on an incredible high, I couldn’t wait to see them again. They were so full of life, so fun, so welcoming. I left a little piece of my heart in Kigo.
The next year I was anxiously waiting for the day of travel and when I finally arrived in Uganda nothing felt better than hearing the kids say my name. They remembered me! What an honor that they remembered me! This time I was touched by the students’ commitment and vigor towards furthering their education. They shared their desires for the future, they shared their interests, they even shared their fears but above all they shared their pure passion and inspired me deeply. I would generally consider myself a driven person but they really showed me how much I am capable of, they showed me what it is to be a motivated individual. NZE and the children of NZE mean so much to me. They are an inspiration and I will dedicate as much as I can to helping them pursue and reach their goals.
They have changed me forever. Because of them I am a better person. I love holding their tiny hands, I love their smiles and that alone is a reason to keep traveling back to see them.