It’s easy for me to get wrapped up in my own small life, to burrow into my own projects or problems, to lose perspective on bigger issues in the world. That’s why I’m glad I know my friend Thomas (he of “England vs. Whales” fame—my all-time fave). When we first met sevenish years ago, he was working in Boston and I was a master’s student. Life continues. In the intervening years, Thomas traveled to coastal Kenya, and his life was changed by the poverty he saw there and the people he met who had a heart to do something about it.
It’s interesting to know someone, and then to see that person’s life radically change because of a cause or mission he or she becomes passionate about.
The change in my friend over time became the non-profit One Home Many Hopes, and I know I blogged about them a year ago. OHMH rescues girls from the streets in an area where prostitution is for many the only means to survive, where if children go to school at all their classroom will have upwards of two hundred students (to one teacher), and where 12% of children do not live past the age of 5. How do they do this? Small big steps. The US-based non-profit supports a Kenyan staff who provide a home (the first H) for 32 girls. The home raises its own food, educates its residents, and lets them be little girls again. They have legal aides who advocate for the girls in court and counselors who help them move beyond their (awful) pasts.
And they do this by occasionally asking regular people like me to give very small donations. Last year on a campaign based on regular people asking other regular people for as little as $5 or $10 (with some matching by major donors), they raised more than enough to build a brand-new building, a true home, for these girls to live in. The next step is a school, because the staff in Kenya are convinced that genuine education is what will help these girls and their peers break the cycle in which they are trapped: early babies, no knowledge, no power.
If your world has gotten small, or if you want proof that individual people can take small big steps to really change things, take a moment and read about the work this group is doing. We all need to read about extraordinary good being done by real people. And if you’d like to join me and pitch in, here’s the link.
I will likely not mention this again for at least one year. So check it out now.