Working in a developing country can be inefficient and hugely frustrating. Simple transactions that we take for granted here in the USA can become month long nightmares. Recently, One School at a Time wired money as we usually do to our bank account in Uganda. The amount was larger than usual because we were preparing to build water cisterns and latrines at our partner schools. When is the last time you had to spend six days at the bank, pleading to access money that is rightfully yours? Hussein, One School at a Time Program Manager, was requested at various times by bank officials to bring the following documents: confirmation of the wire transfer, an official request on company letterhead, his passport, his identity card, his budgets and his vouchers. And even this was not enough. Bank officials consequently decided that this transaction was impossible to manage at that branch and sent Hussein to a different branch where he endured an lengthy oral interview:
How many times do you go to the village to work?
How do you get to the village?
How will these funds be spent?
How long have you worked for One School at a Time?
These sorts of barriers slow down the pace of our work. But we are undaunted in our mission- no amount of red tape, bureaucracy and obstacles will deter us.