A Word From Our Founder
I was fortunate enough to have a career as a professional ballerina before falling in love with East Africa. Professional ballerinas, like athletes, have an in-season and off-season and in 2007 I was itching to use the off season for something purposeful and productive, so I set my sights on exploring what intrigued me about Africa. My co-workers and I choreographed two live in-studio performances to raise money for airfare, expenses and as a way to help support the needs of those I was about to meet.
I spent nine weeks living with my host parents, Mary and Peter, in the slum of Ongata-Rongai. Every day I would walk to one of the two day schools that Mary had founded for the vulnerable children in her community. As I assisted the teachers, poured porridge, washed dishes and played in the dirt, I learned stories of the children I was falling in love with.
From the start, our fundraising roots were built on everyday people giving extravagantly of what they have: art, time, talent, ideas, sweat, money and more. The Western world is consumed with materialism, greed, speed, and the conquest of more, yet there is so much sadness, depression, and emptiness.
Many of my East African friends, however, are content–truly content– with so little. I’ve seen joy on the face of an old man who never believed he would see clean water burst forth from the ground he walked on all his days. And I’ve seen joy on a dancer’s face who was fulfilled by giving generously of her gifts and talents for the good of someone else. They are the same glorious look and this is the unity I love.
Won’t you join us?
“God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives. God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war. God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them.”
– Bono, National Prayer Breakfast Speech, 2006