Building Sustainable Development

By Jaclyn Snook

Poverty. This is a word with many meanings. It’s a word that touches the lives and hearts of every nationality, country and city. Poverty. This is a word that no one wants to have attached to their name and in many cases is a word that turns many away with an instant onset of fear. Poverty touches the lives of people I call my dear friends and family. What does poverty look like? That is a question that would take weeks to even scratch the surface of. Poverty is mostly seen as a lack of basic needs such as food and water. But poverty can also be relational, a lack of personal loving relationships.

My heart burns to see every person old and young have the same opportunity to reach their full potential in life. It’s my dream that children all around the world grow up with the opportunity to get an education, have food in their belly and someone to love them. This is what we are trying to do at Kuamini. We are helping children in desperate need of assistance to go to school and have a meal to feed their belly and mind. This fills my heart with so much joy knowing that a child who would otherwise become just another statistic is given a chance. They will be world changers.

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We at Kuamini strive to promote sustainable development in all the areas of our work. We have a desire to give a hand up not a hand out. We desire to end the cycle of poverty in the lives of the people we reach and create a relationship with them not just mechanically “help” them with our magic western ways.

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Creating Sustainable Development

If my last statement sounded harsh…I’m sorry. I just have seen the richness of the culture and beauty amongst the poorest of poor. I’ve seen people with absolutely nothing give with so much generosity and love than people who have it all. This challenged me and still does every single day. A woman raising her children alone, living in a mud hut with nothing gave me 5 yards of fabric because she cared for me. This woman who sewed her heart out to put food on the table and send her children to school sacrificed so much to show she cared. This woman lived in material poverty but was one of the wealthiest in spirit I have ever met. She didn’t need me, I needed her. She didn’t need me to buy her material goods I needed her to teach me about generosity and love. As a charity we strive to look deeper than surface level when we assist those in need. We want to help but only if it will help someone help themselves.

What does this look like? Buying and raising chickens, buying a brick maker, providing a meal for hungry students, helping children go to school so they have a chance at a future. It looks like life partnership, also known as friendship! I wouldn’t mindlessly feed a friend’s addiction or weakness. I would love and partner with them to see that they reach their full potential. This is what we stand for at Kuamini – serving others through sustainable development.

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Joining the Global Goals Movement

Yesterday, the United Nations made a landmark announcement. They presented 17 Global Goals for world leaders, countries, organizations and communities to come together and to achieve by 2030. These 17 goals work together to achieve three things: end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice and fix climate change. You can read more about the UN’s Global Goals here.

 

Twitter was all abuzz about the #GlobalGoals. I was very inspired reading and watching the global community come together online and say, “Yes, we are committed to making the world a better place.” There are thousands (probably millions) of people around the world who are committed to giving back to their communities, to inspire change.

I think that so often when the issues of extreme poverty, hunger, lack of education are discussed, they can seem insurmountable. I think it can be easy to say, “I’m just one person, how much of a difference can I make?” There are so many great organizations that are already doing wonderful things to change the world. Yes, the issues are huge, daunting and far reaching, which is why it takes all of us. We all need to work together to achieve the goals that will change our world. Some of us focus on making governments more accountable to their citizens. Some of us work on providing clean and accessible water to every community. Some of us focus on injustice and inequality. Some, like us at Kuamini, work on providing access to education, food and sanitary latrines for children and their communities.

We are a new and growing non-profit organization that is excited to be a part of this movement. We are ready to get to work and do what we can to make the world a better place for everyone! We encourage you to join us on our journey.

Working as a global community to make the world a better place.

 

Miracles and the power of being positive

A few years ago I found myself in a very stressful life situation. One of the deals where you can’t really imagine how serious things can get until you live it. It involved my child who was born very early and had many physical issues that were life threatening. It seemed every other day her father and I were hoping for a miracle. Part way through this ordeal we decided to make our focus totally positive. We no longer used any words or phrases that suggested she wouldn’t survive. While thoughts of what might happen definitely crept into our heads, we pushed them to the back and chose to focus on the positive. I really think that there is so much power in being positive. It doesn’t matter if it is on a large or small scale. The power of being positive will always have a great impact.

As we, the team of Kuamini make plans and look towards the future we are positive and we know that our work will make a difference. We believe that miracles do happen and we believe we are doing great things. We have a long road ahead of us and sometimes we will be tired or frustrated. We’ll always remember how important our mission is though and we will work to stay positive.

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