New Beginnings

Recently, as I walked near the beach, I noticed the air had a new chill. The long summer days have started to fade, and fall is beginning to make an appearance. With the changing of the seasons, comes a fresh anticipation of new things. And this is true for BOH both in the U.S. and Uganda.

In Santa Barbara, our office is buzzing with excitement about the holiday season and upcoming events. For the first time in two years, we are preparing for holiday events, and we are eager and excited for more opportunities to sell our women’s goods. Our new intern team is ready to go and we are thrilled to have them join our organization.

BOH interns helping in the office.

In Uganda, the rains have begun and our women are preparing for a new crop season. Most of the planting is finished and our women eagerly wait to see the fruit of their labor. In our Vegetable Project, several women have transplanted seedlings to grow eggplants or tomatoes as cash crops. Many women are also growing staple foods like corn and beans, as well as matoke bananas in our Banana Project. With volatile food prices during the pandemic, agriculture is vital in helping our families with food security. We are grateful for these projects, and we pray for a successful crop season ahead!

Uganda Agriculture Project in Uganda. Woman with her crops.

We also eagerly wait for the reopening of schools in Uganda. In November, universities and vocational schools will be allowed to reopen and many of our students will be returning to school. However, secondary schools remain closed, and we continue to provide alternative support to these students. For our secondary students, our organization is providing access to Zoom lessons put on by an organization called Edify. For the last few months, our BSSP staff have worked hard to meet with students daily so they can watch these Zoom lessons on tablets. This has been vital in keeping students engaged and continuing to move forward in their school subjects. While the academic challenges of the pandemic have been immense, we are grateful to be able to walk alongside our students and we are excited for schools to begin reopening.

Students in Uganda doing Zoom lessons.

As we enter a new season, we continue to press on in empowerment, persevering in our mission and embracing new opportunities. It is our privilege to work with our families, and we are excited for the new beginnings on the horizon. As we run this race, may we embrace this season with fresh hope and endurance on this journey of empowerment!

Written By Natalie Ruiz, Executive Director

1 comment

  • Norm

    “…As we run this race, may we embrace this season with fresh hope and endurance on this journey of empowerment!…”
    Before the pandemic, Elizabeth and I would meet monthly with a small faith community that was started in the late 70s when we were at UCLA. At one of the most recent meetings, we were discussing a book by Elizabeth Johnston, a Catholic feminist theologian, entitled “Truly our Sister: a theology of Mary in the Communion of Saints” ( The above quote from your blog reminded me of a concept of Johnston’s regarding “saints”. In the early church, they called each other “the saints”, long before the title became restricted to a small group selected by the evolving hierarchy. Her concept was like the idea that “we’re all saints in the making”, but more specifically, that the Communion of Saints was the collection of all those that went before us, gathered in a huge stadium and cheering on those of us as we “ran our race to the finish”. So, keep up the hope and endurance in your “journey of empowerment” and picture all your colleagues and Ugandan women as those who are being cheered on by the Communion of (former) Saints.

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