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
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.
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
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.