God has been so gracious to UOB in 2011 in many ways.
[Left: Thurman Award was given at Celebrating HOPE Event on May 21st.
Right: The Thurman Award for 2010 went to Chantal who is pictured with her husband. Unfortunately we did not
have Rebecca's photo as I was writing this blogpost. Lower Right: The Thurman Award 2011]
One of the special blessings that we have received is the winning of Thurman Award by UOB's client for two consecutive years from HOPE International. UOB's client, Chantal, won this award in 2010. This year, it has been awarded to Rebecca.
Thurman Award is an award given out to a special client whose transformation stories have been most inspiring and producing tremendous impact in the lives of other people. Many MFIs in the HOPE network (15 countries) are filing applications and only one client is selected for the Thurman Award in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Thurman who was the founding CEO of HOPE International. It is not common that one institution wins the prestigious award for two years in a row, so it was made possible only with God's grace.
Rebecca joined UOB's trust group in 2006 with a small $38 loan. Since then, she has continued to grow her business and along with the business growth her borrowing amount has also grown now to $2,000. She has several businesses: a retail shop selling drinks and groceries, a community gathering place and a banana plantation. All these have been done over 5 years. Rebecca is a tremendously gifted entrepreneur.
But it was not just her entrepreneurial skills that helped her transform economically, but also her social impact that she produced that made her eligible for the Thurman Award. She has four of her own biological children and she has four more of her adopted children. She cares for them equally with love. Moreover, she has been compassionate towards other less fortunate people in the same village. Her lending staff was giving an example of a young man who did not have a job or a business to run. Rebecca bought a motorcycle and now he is riding it as a motor taxi, earning money for his family. Rebecca is also inspirational to her friends and relatives with her commitment to faith in Christ. She attributes her success to God's grace without hesitation. She desires to help others as much grace as she has received from the gracious God. It is a story of economic, social and spiritual transformation.
I received the award on her behalf in front of more than 500 donors and HOPE staff. She has received a HOPE logo wooden sculpture and a $500 prize. This award will be given out to Rebecca on UOB Day in July in front of all UOB staff and some others who have been exemplary in their transformational activities. Rebecca is only one of 34,000 borrowing clients and one of 94,000 deposit clients whom we are privileged to serve. This kind of transformational stories may grow more and more as time goes by when we commit ourselves to providing transformational training for our clients as if we work for the Lord. (Colossians 3:23)
Praise the good Lord for His wonderful grace poured upon UOB! - Jeffrey