Over the last several days, I’ve received lots of support and encouragement and I am so grateful for every one of you! But there are two questions that keep popping up:
My response to the first question is really…why not me? I’m trained in micro-financing and business, the majority of my career I’ve worked on the international side of business, I am skilled in marketing and multi-lingual, and advocacy has always been important to me. If you look back on my experiences and career it’s as if I’ve unknowingly been preparing for this. But….most importantly the answer is so much simpler, it’s my passion. I know this won’t be easy but it’s a calling deep within. I’ve seen with my own eyes the difference a little education, coaching and community can make on an entire village. Margaret Mead said it best “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” I believe!
So before I answer the why this let me ask you a couple of questions:
- What If the solution to ending poverty, aids, hunger, war, famine, violence against women was in our control?
- What if there was an unexpected solution and you could be a part of it? And without leaving your comfort zone?
Statistics prove that investing in a girl can change the course of history. Now before you go thinking Robyn you are crazy, just indulge me for a minute.
- Earlier this week I mentioned the woman in Ethiopia who brought change to her village with a $2.00 loan for fertilizer. Her village culture changed and word has spread to other villages. Those villages are starting to experience change as well.
- How about Rebecca Lolosoli and the women in Samburu, she’s educating and empowering these women who otherwise might be crippled by the violence they have experienced. And slowly the tide starts to turn and the men start to value there.
- And of course there’s Mukhtar Mai who changed more than just her course by taking the money Pakistan granted her to build schools for the girls in her village to get an education, get micro-loans, start or get involved in business changing the economics of her village. Sure, she’s in the early stages but the change is happening and will continue.
Another key point, that statistics bear out, is that when you educate a girl or woman, she learns, and she can get a micro-loan. Then let’s say she takes that loan and buys a cow. That cow can provide nourishment for her family and products to sell. Eventually, she has a herd; she’s employing men and women. The economics of her village change, she is now viewed as valuable and the culture starts to change. Word spreads to other villages, change happens over time and the country as a whole experiences the economic boost and history is changed. But Robyn, it’s not that simple….my friend it is. It has to start somewhere, why not now?
Our plan: Our plan at Project Authenticity is to educate and empower women to become engaged in their community and bring the change that is so critical. We believe every life has value….no qualifiers necessary. Right now we have three projects we are trying to fund and would love for you to consider partnering with us.
- Our first project is to begin a vocational training and micro-lending in the slums of Mathare near Nairobi, Kenya. The Mathare area is one of the largest and poorest slums in Africa and home for around half a million adults and children. Over 70% are hardworking mothers and their children whose fathers died or abandoned their family. We are partnering with another organization Partners for Care, who has contacts on the ground and can help us get this project started very soon.
- Our second project is in Karima, Kenya, we have been asked to provide basic training to a group of 30 widows who are currently making jewelry. In Karima, we will be partnering with a Community Leader I know well, Phylis Kimeli.
- And finally our biggest project, and this comes from our partnership with Partners for Care, we want to build a school in Marsabit. A school where both women and children and be educated, a structure that can also serve as a community center and health center for HIV education and screenings. Marsabit is a place where literally no roads lead. I’m super excited about this project because a school is so needed in this region.
Jaime and I are hoping to take our first trip in June to meet with the women in Methare and Karima and provide initial training to our partners on the ground. We also will travel to Marabit to meet the people and sort out the details necessary to build the school. We need your support and are working on securing our 501 (c) 3 but until then Partners for Care has graciously agreed to accept donations on our behalf so that you are assured your donations are tax deductible. Currently we can only receive donations by mail but we are working to provide an online method as well. If you would like to partner with us please mail your donations to:
P.O. Box 5606
Alpharetta, GA 30023
Make sure on the memo line you write Project Authenticity
And one last thing…thank you!
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