Author: carriewagner

African Marketplace and Benefit Concert!

Join Us in Asheville, December 9!

Buy Tickets Here!

Uganda exhibit images - 1 of 2 (1) copy


Covenant Community Church
11 Rocket Drive, Asheville, NC

5-7 PM   African Crafts and Food for Sale
7-9 pm   Concert, featuring Kinobe from Uganda and Chris Shebango from Swaziland, and Asheville mixed choir.

Proceeds support school and vocational center in Uganda.

Marketplace:  Authentic African crafts and foodbaskets
African dinner: $10

Assortment of Baskets, Jewelry and Gifts, individually priced, $8 – $75

Benefit Concert: Music by Kinobe Herbert from Uganda, Chris Shebango from Swaziland, and Asheville mixed choir.

Kinobe ( edit )

Concert tickets:  $10 online, $15 at the door


Kinobe Benefit Concert – September 9th!

benefit concert poster.2World musician Kinobe Herbert (, and author/photographer Carrie Wagner ( join together to share music and stories from the heart, in the gallery that exhibits Portraits of Uganda, Carrie’s photographs that celebrate 25 years of relationship and ongoing development work in Uganda. Kinobe (chinobay) is a gifted Ugandan musician and philanthropist known for his inspired synthesis of African roots and global fusion. Proceeds from this event will help Pride of Rwenzori Wagner Memorial School expand to include a vocational training institute. The institute will provide Training of Trainers programs in craft making, reproductive health practices, entreprepreneurial skills, savings and credit groups, and fair trade market development.

Building Partnerships


When the Village Wisdom team set out on our 2016 trip to Uganda, we went with open hearts, open minds and hopeful attitudes. We also went with goals for exploring potential partners and pathways for fair trade development. Our team, Carrie Wagner, Laurie Morgan, Molly Dingledine, and Mandy Broderick, came together in partnership with common interests and purposes, and with a broad variety of expertise. The diverse experience and skill sets that each partner brought to the table, coupled with our diligent planning, catapulted all trip endeavors.

The outcomes of our trip far exceeded our hopes and expectations. Why? Because we are building upon a strong foundation of long-term relationships that were formed and nurtured upon shared values. Additionally, the Village Wisdom team identified core values that would guide our approach and activities on the trip. These values include authentic global connection, equitable relationships, story sharing, ethical consumerism, and environmentally responsible practices.

For a year leading up to the trip, we did research on organizations and development approaches that align with our philosophies, and found groups that have demonstrated success in programs for participatory learning and leadership, empowerment, and community-based problem solving. Our homework paid off, as we were able to hit the ground running.

Authentic partnership development is not to be taken lightly. It requires commitment to common purpose, investment of resources, accountability, and continual evaluation of progress, impact, and effectiveness.

Partnership development is also a long-term process, and partners have to be committed to that long haul. As the Village Wisdom team speaks of partners, we are inclusive of different types of partner relationships. We are looking at business partners for fair trade; we are looking at organizational partners that want to improve the lives of vulnerable women and youth; and we are looking for individuals who want to be part of a global culture shift that embraces the principles of fair trade and triple bottom line business practices.

In just a few weeks on the ground in Uganda, we met with several organizations in Kampala, Fort Portal, and Kasese District. We re-connected with many friends from 25 years ago, who had worked in partnership with Bob and Carrie Wagner and Habitat for Humanity International. Over a 3-year period, Bob and Carrie worked with local leaders in Ibanda, Maliba and Kyanya to develop a sustainable house-building project. Their community groups approach, based on the Grameen Bank model, has served the communities well. During our time in the Rwenzori Mountains on this trip, we met with numerous savings and credit groups that are using their cooperative structures to support many entrepreneurial endeavors. Some are large coffee cooperatives, and others are craft production groups.

The Village Wisdom team was so inspired by the energy and productivity of people in the rural areas. But we were also moved to continue seeking support for progress and improvement of living conditions. This is another opportunity for partnership development. We will embark upon connecting Rotary clubs, churches and other humanitarian organizations to support the development of vocational training programs, and entrepreneurial skills for the region. This resource exploration will take time, and we are committed to taking that time to make the right connections for sustainable development.

We welcome your interest and insights!


Back Home with Stories to Share!

Carrie Wagner, Mandy Broderick, Molly Dingledine, and Laurie Morgan travelled to Uganda in July, 2016 to work directly with artisans and craft cooperatives. They explored and shared best practices for fair trade, entrepreneurship, and economic development strategies for sustaining the livelihood of vulnerable women and children. The following blog posts will tell the stories from their wonderful and fruitful trip.


We’re Off to Uganda!


I watched the sunrise in Atlanta this morning, and I board my first flight at 2:30 this afternoon. After 22 hours of travel, I will see the sun set in Africa. We are off for a big adventure! Look out Uganda – here come Carrie, Mandy, Molly, and Laurie.

Countdown for Departure

Village Wisdom team             IMG_5506

Two weeks from today, we will have arrived in Kampala, and will be acclimating to a different time and culture. Our long planned trip to Uganda is finally upon us and our daily thoughts are consumed with the logistics of international travel. As is usual and quite normal for global trips, the village wisdom team has been busy planning our itinerary – what we will do, who we will meet, what our goals and objectives are…We are American travelers with embedded cultural values and behaviors that we are sometimes and other times not cognizant of.


I pray that over the next two weeks we will shift our focus from doing to being; from planning to experiencing; from talking to listening; and from explicit to implicit motivation and learning. Our approach to cross-cultural work and relationships is key to the sustainability of both.

We welcome your thoughts and inquiries about this initial Village Wisdom Venture. Thank you for your interest!