Monday, May 05, 2008

Would you trade your daughter for a cow?

That's the title of Kim Giancaterino's Squidoo lens about the all-too-common custom in some African locales to trade a girl child into slavery. The story doesn't end there. Kim's friends, Erna and Mark, traveling in Africa, learned about this practice and decided on the spot to do something about it. They founded the Asante Africa Foundation, and here are some of the things they're doing.
  • Teamed with Emmy Moshi, founder of Into Africa Ecotourism, who builds schools with the profits from her tourism business
  • Started a nursery school for 300 children
  • Provided desks, water lines, books and school supplies for two primary schools
  • Sponsored one child at boarding school for one year
  • Built a network of people who raise funds for limited projects; these are everyday people, like the four year old girl who collected shoes so Kenyan children wouldn't have to walk to school barefoot
  • Hosted Maasai Chief Salaton Ole' Ntutu in California "to forge a link between his tribal community and ours;" among his many making-a-difference accomplishments, Chief Ntutu built a rescue shelter for girls escaping the practice of genital mutilation and encourages alternative rites of passage
  • Much, much more
Asanti is Swahili for thanks, and I give thanks to Kim Giancaterino, Erna and Mark, Emmy Moshi, Chief Ntutu, that four year old child and her thoughtful, responsive parents, and the many others who are making a difference, one person, one gift, one day at a time.

That's mighty Ordinary, these days, but no less astonishing in scope and love. Like a bazillion shining stars in our night sky, ordinary people are lighting all our lives with an awe-striking brilliance, one spark at a time.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5:48 PM

    This is a great story of inspiration and hope. Now I want to know what similar story is happening here at home, in my town? I want to know who's making a difference where I live, one person at a time? Who can you tell me about in San Francisco?


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