Blog

Open Letter from the Poor

Fall 2015

I have always enjoyed blessing the lives of others…. especially as an anonymous “Johnny Appleseeder”. It’s a kind of an investment in the “Good” of our society. I always hoped that it was a seed that would bear fruit in the person and then be replanted by them in a thousand other persons over their lifetime.

I never thought my later years would be burdened with this unexpected poverty, especially after carefully building a reasonable fortune.
However, poverty has been wonderful in many ways. I have felt the helplessness of situations…. I have had my hope for a better future tested…. I have hurt and cried out to God…. have condemned the “haves” for ignoring suffering while adding another billion to their portfolio…. and, I have been able to look into the eyes of others in similar circumstances to mine. I have accepted the reality that we really are ALL on the same spaceship earth and there is no sure thing in life except death and the opportunity to make a difference. Love is optional…. only the wise recognize it and bath in it.

I heard someone say that the difference between poor people and rich people is that poor people NEED each other to survive. That really translates into wonderful co-adventurer relationships as we jointly lift one another and love one another. ‘People of means’ have the opportunity to ISOLATE themselves from the poor and needy and, in contrast, build their “high net worth” society with much more superficial interests in one another. I have been in both and they are different worlds. Most Poor people give and give. Most Rich people plot and plot.

So, to you angels, who throw those “topins” out for the birds each day… who have great pleasure in seeing kindnesses multiplied through those receivers who then lift and bless others… and who fulfill the famous saying quoted often by Jimmy Durante….. “Be careful of how you treat people on the way up because you will surely see them again on the way back down”…. I tip my hat and say THANK YOU from all of us.

Ron Hatfield

Working with Great People makes you Like them

Princess Festival is over for 2011….. thousands of people were shown that the most fundamental cause of poverty is lack of clean potable water….. and it’s the easiest of all major issues to fix.
Kenyan Ambassador, Elkanah Odemo, advised us while visiting the Princess Festival that a rare opportunity exists NOW with Kenya as it applies the reforms of the new constitution passed last November. Power is shifting from the Federal Government to the County (State) governments, bringing the money and decision making nearer to the people themselves.
This means that new policies and practices will be established on basic governance and allocation of resources. The ability to reduced the possibilities for corruption and other mismanagement practices now presents itself. It is time to act.
In November 2010 in Nairobi Kenya, Quiet Way held a summit with many stakeholders and initiated our broad initiative of reforming government and private policies and practices. We are now moving ahead with our concept to identify, assist in the capture, storage and distribution of clean water (in a very predictable and efficient manner) to benefit the citizens of those counties most affected by drought and related tortuous death it delivers.
At the Festival, little US princesses tried to lift the 60lb full jerry can that women carry up to 5 km each morning at 4 am, every day, for a mere 20 liters of water to their families. For many it weighed more than the Princess herself, tiara included.
What is the first step to changing the world….. The Princess Festival theme song, “More than a Princess” describes it very succinctly…. you must care about others, and as Princess Ilissa said, “together we can accomplish very difficult things”.

NOTE to web updater:
Insert here one of the comparative photos from the Princess Mila book showing a US Princess at the bottom and the African Children at the top

Why are we in Kenya Africa and not Orlando Florida?

Why are we in Kenya Africa and not Orlando Florida?

Unforeseeable circumstances while in Germany in 2002 were the mechanism that introduced us to Kenya. Frankly, I was so impressed at how much $500 could do to reduce human suffering.
Over my entire career we have been involved in giving to the poor and needy. The hard part of our earlier strategy is that we had no strategy at all, just compassion. Our donations were used for various good things, but the support of a deserving mother of 3 while her husband or boy friend crafted his next excuse to let others (welfare) care for his family, never set well with me.
It became clear to us that there should be an analysis of three things:

    • What brought us pleasure and joy to do
    • How could we monitor and direct the use of the money
    • Where was the need the greatest

Regarding #1:
Africa scared me. HIV-AIDS, Malaria, lack of sanitation, cholera, tribal war, lions and severe poverty were all in front of me.
It seemed much more fun to watch kids enjoy a new school playground in Utah.

Regarding #2:
Africa can wick the money right out of the pocket of a kind person. Africa has over 40 countries and they speak many different languages. It is full of con-men and women who steal to stay alive or get ahead. The press made it clear that doing work in Africa required bribes and dealing with corruption at all levels.
It was much easier to donate coats at Christmas time to the Homeless Shelter in Orlando, Florida

Regarding #3:
Donating $500 to a school playground is good but kids don’t necessarily NEED a playground. Donating $500 for coats at the shelter went hand in hand with finding those same coats a few weeks later in the park or alleys, trashed and useless. Someone had donated new ones and the “old ones” were simply discarded for the new ones.
We don’t solve HARD problems by doing the easy stuff. GREAT people do hard things!
The needs are great partially because there is HIV-AIDS, Malaria, cholera, tribal war, lions, severe poverty and corruption. Rocket science is not required to be able to get clean water to a mom with 6 kids enabling her time to work for money, send the kids to school, and raise a garden…. Whereas, otherwise she must use a good part of her everyday to walk to a pond, puddle, muddy well, or small stream (where people are washing clothes and goats are pooping in it) to fetch the necessary 20 liters of water for that day. Make good water available to that one mom, and you actually help 8 people (family), the village (200 families), the area (2,000) people and so forth.
So we are specializing in improving the process of saving thousands and soon millions of lives….. and giving those awesome human beings a chance to survive and prosper.
We do it all with our friends and volunteers.

You can recognize most of them…. Large smiles, ‘eager to help’ dispositions, compassion, big hearts, and good common sense.

Charity Work Changes Lives, Mostly Mine

In 2009, our Executive Director, Holly Sue Hatfield decided to test the interest of the American Public regarding unnecessary deaths in third world countries Following is the Press Release:

UTAH WOMAN TO SUBSIST ON AFRICAN CORNMEAL PRODUCT THROUGH REST OF 2009 TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT STARVATION IN AFRICA

Lindon, Utah—A 26-year-old Utah woman has been eating nothing but ugali, Kenya’s staple food, since Oct. 1 to raise awareness about the current famine in that African country.

“Ugali is essentially a flavorless cornmeal product that varies from a porridge-like consistency to something closer to uncooked bread dough. It’s in the same genus as polenta in Italy, mealie pap in South Africa, Mayi moulin in Haiti or grits in the deep South of the United States. No matter where you eat it though, the mush has very little nutritional value—and it gets boring fast,” says Holly Sue Hatfield. Hatfield adds that she’s planning on being on the ugali diet until Dec. 31, 2009.
As director of development and compliance for In Our Own Quiet Way (a Utah-based nonprofit organization that has been working to send food to starving Kenyans in the short term, and helping to develop long-term self-sustaining programs), Hatfield says she’s seen firsthand the struggles faced by many East Africans as a result of a decade-long drought in the area. “No rainfall means no crops, and no crops means no food. The livestock dies alongside the plants, and the people soon follow. The two daily servings of ugali I’m surviving on are actually more than some people in the hardest hit regions consume,” Hatfield said.
On the first day she started the diet, the 5-foot-10-inch-tall Hatfield weighed 182 pounds. After the first week of consuming nothing but ugali, water and black coffee, she dropped 8 pounds.
“I love food, so make no mistake—this is a serious sacrifice for me. Daily headaches, irritability, crying jags and dizziness have been the only side effects so far,” she said.
Hatfield documented her experience through weekly video updates, Twitter, Facebook and www.hollysugali.com. (Note: These are no longer live)
Hatfield has emphasized that In Our Own Quiet Way is not endorsing her self-imposed diet. “This is the work of an over-zealous employee,” she adds.
She is asking the public to support In Our Own Quiet Way by donating to the organization’s Given A Dam project, a long-term initiative to build water retention ponds in the driest regions of Kenya. Interested parties can donate through the nonprofit’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/quietway.
Net result: She starved herself and no one except her parents really cared. Most everyone else was worried that their 401(k) was down 20%. Only now as we suffer from an EXTENDED recession (some call it a “depression”) have economists declared…. “This will continue to happen until we can understand the dynamics of a GLOBAL ECONOMY. The Old rules don’t apply anymore. In the present state of affairs, the beating of a butterfly’s wings affects the climate on the other side of the world”. We’re hoping that several ‘current affair savvy’ Utah High Schools will be the butterfly wings in 2011-2012.