WE CANNOT CHANGE THE TRUTH
WE CAN ONLY SAY WELCOME
This is the chorus of one of the songs the children at St. Mary Kevin Motherhood Orphanage greeted me with on that first day we met. I am still singing it in my head all these days later, especially at odd hours like this when I just can't seem to sleep. Maybe THEY can't change the truth, but it just occurred to me that I can try...with the help of my friends.
I have never been one who enjoys sitting in meetings discussing fund raising and then making those awkward phone calls. I prefer to roll up my sleeves and get dirty just doing the work that needs to be done. Well, I've started the work, that is I've made the connection with the folks at the orphanage and I have made photographs and recordings to document what is happening there. Now I need to take the next step. Here is what I'm considering.
I've set up a meeting with our friend David, who also happens to be an attorney, to see about establishing a 501(c3) foundation, one that will allow me to raise and collect money for the orphanage. I would call it the "Change the Truth Foundation." I would make a commitment to give presentations to whoever will listen and I will do what I can to spread the word about the dire situation in which these children are living. There are 150 students at the school, 100 of whom are orphans. If they survive the disease and poverty that is the backdrop of their world, they need to move on and get an education in secondary school so that they can then attend University and ultimately survive in both emotional and economic terms. As I sit here in Kansas City watching my son fill out his college applications, with no concern that he won't eventually get into one and have the money to pay for one, it seems that my family, at the very least, should grant the same opportunity to that same 17 year old who just happens to have been born into a very different situation on another side of the world.
Yes, I know, we need to help out in our own backyard first. I do that, too, and I know most of you do, as well. I think there can be a balance. Help here AND help there. The world is getting smaller and smaller, what with internet, global economy, satellite communications, quick and easy travel, etc. Those backyards that used to seem so very distant really aren't that far away anymore.
The purpose of this middle of the night missive is to find out from you, my blog readers, if you would be willing to become the first rung in the ladder as I climb toward establishing and carrying out "Change the Truth." While I still have a "captive" audience (?) here, I'd like to ask that you send me an e-mail with your thoughts about the possibility of participating in what has to be a collaborative effort. As I mention the idea to various people during the day, they all want to know where to sign up. So, here's your chance. Just write me (email@example.com) and tell me if I can put your name (and address) on a list that will become the foundation for this foundation!
It won't take a lot. As I mentioned in an earlier posting, secondary school fees can be about $100 per year, depending on the location of the school. That's what, about 20 lattes a year at your favorite coffee haunt and it could absolutely change the life of a kid like Sonja or Nicholas or Salaam. It seems like a no-brainer to me.
What do you think?