Click to buy The Blue Sweater
The Blue Sweater first appeared on the Tuck Magazine website on September 4, 2015.
The Blue Sweater is an eye opening and inspiring true story based on Jacqueline Novogratz life experiences. Jacqueline quit a promising career at Chase Manhattan to help bridge the gap between the rich and the poor.
It all begun with a blue sweater which she had owned and loved while growing up. However, she gave her beloved sweater away when boys started mocking her. Eleven years later, Jacqueline arrived in Rwanda to implement her ideas on how the world’s problems needed fixing.
While on the streets of Kigali, she meets a boy who is wearing her blue sweater. This encounter makes her realize that we are interconnected through our action or lack of it.
Each chapter of the book begins with a quote from people who have impacted the author’s life. The book details the author’s experience as she sets out to save Africa from itself. Every time she does so, she ends up upsetting the status quo. She shares her joy, heartbreak and frustrations when her intentions were misunderstood.
The book is both hilarious and gripping as Jacqueline recounts her experiences across Africa. Her encounter with women in Abidjan illustrates how people who have good intentions gets misunderstood. Jacqueline that handouts don’t bring economic empowerment and independence to recipients of such charity.
Charting her own road map to success
Jacqueline’s personal struggle with her decision to quit her job and her parents’ reluctance to allow her to chart her own road map to success shows that this is a universal trend and not unique to our nation where parents want to have the last word where career is concerned.
Her determination to pursue and see through her plans is a good example to those who seek to fulfill their personal goals and dreams. Her success is an ideal example of how determination, courage and taking risks can result into a happy and fulfilling life.
For Jacqueline Novogratz, success lies in maintaining a slow and steady approach to investing in the poor as opposed to giving them handouts. She writes about the growth of a bakery that was founded and owned by a community of women in Rwanda through Duterimbere; a micro-finance project for women.
“Why do some people stop growing at age 30, just going from work to the couch and television, when others stay vibrant, curious, almost childlike into their nineties?”
― Jacqueline Novogratz, The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World
I have read The Blue Sweater more than once and will continue doing so. The book is an ideal tool for every person who wants to transform the world. Much as alleviating poverty seems like an impossible task, everything is possible. All it takes is having a strong desire to pursue social and economic change in a world where the gap between rich and poor keeps growing wide.
With our nation continuously crying out for change, many change makers will have a head start, an insider knowledge, on how change can be effected when they read the writer’s amazing journey. This book is also a call to action to parents to allow their children to chart their own path to excellence and a purposeful life.
When you allow your child to soar on their own wings, they become empowered. Not only do they operate at a higher level, they effect change in the world and those around them. I highly recommend The Blue Sweater to every parent and every person getting into university out there. Your life will never be the same again after you have turned the last page.
“Girls and women are most victimised in societies where boys and men are disempowered.”
― Jacqueline Novogratz
Follow this link for our recommended ways of empowering vulnerable children.
About the Author
Jacqueline Novogratz is the founder and CEO of the Acumen Fund, a non-profit organisation that takes a businesslike approach to improving the lives of the poor.
Since its inception, the Acumen Fund has invested more than $40 million. This funding has enabled Acumen Fund to create thousands of jobs across the world.
James Ouma is a CTI Clarity Coach, Cyclist and Writer. He is passionate about positive masculinity and helping incarcerated male teens to reconcile with their families and their communities. He loves staring at his bicycle, flipping through movies without watching them, and playing ‘tap out’ with his wife.