3 Easy Ways You can Change the World

How would you like to change the world–right now?

It’s actually quite easy.

You don’t need special credentials. Any ordinary person can do it.

Six ordinary families from Algonquin have changed the world, at least for one village in Kenya, and we invite you to change it with us.

Before we get to how you can change the world with us, here is a little information about what we’ve done so far. Over the past three years, through our partnership with Global Hope Network International, the village of Gambella, Kenya, has seen remarkable transformation. Here are just a few:

  • The village previously had no school, and would meet under a tree whenever a teacher would come to the village. Now they have eight classrooms, with eight teachers, and their school test scores were the best in their entire district!
  • Gambella was a pastoral community, making a living off of their goats and other animals. Climate change has had a severe impact on the area though, and it is difficult to find land for animals to graze. Gambella is now learning to farm, to supplement their income and food supply.
  • The nearest health facility was in the town of Isiolo, which is a 15 km (about 9 miles) walk–one way. They now have a wellness center in the village, where basic health education and needs are addressed.

    Gambella School Children. Photo credit “Mary Lossau”

What’s Next?

We have one last project that we want to help Gambella with, before we end our partnership (we believe strongly in sustainability, and not creating dependency). In order to help Gambella to increase the crops that they can grow, we need to find a way to help them irrigate more land. A bore hole was drilled for them, and when I was there last summer, the villagers kept asking me to help them get a pump to draw the water out. It is always windy in Gambella, so we are going to help them put up a windmill to draw the water out.

Get Involved

This is where you can help change the trajectory of an entire village! We have three opportunities for you to help:

  • We are having our 3rd Annual Garage Sale 4 Gambella, June 7-9, and we are in need of donated items to sell at the garage sale. If we can raise $1500 at the garage sale, we have a donor that will match our sales with an additional $1500. This is our greatest need, and the easiest place for you to get involved. Simply look around your house for items to donate. Learn more about the garage sale, and how to donate here.
  • We will be cleaning ambulances, and will be paid for each vehicle we clean, and would love to have you join us to help us clean more ambulances. This is tentatively scheduled for late-August. Currently, we are in the process of reading lots of handheld vacuum reviews, as we will be purchasing a few for the effort.
  • We will be having a 5K Run/1M Walk for Gambella. The entry fees will go toward the windmill. The run is tentatively scheduled for mid-September.

Learn more about us, and how you can get involved, at http://algonquin4gambella.org

Algonquin No Frills Runs for Gambella

I have stacks of shirts collected over the years from fun runs and charity walks. I often wished the organizers funneled the money for these giveaways to the cause the race supported. A found a group that is doing just that.

Come out to Cornish Park in Algonquin, Illinois on May 21 for a “No Frills” 5K run and 1 mile pet friendly walk. Every cent collected will benefit the Algonquin neighborhood’s favorite cause, Gambella. This event is all about raising fund so there are no free t-shirts here.

Algonquin 4 Gambella member Michele Auch told me her neighborhood partners with the village of Gambella in Kenya. In stark contract to the neat McHenry County suburban scene, Gambella families live in huts and struggle to get even their most basic needs met. Entire families live on $0.50 a day.

Children in Gambella, Kenya

Children in Gambella, Kenya

Africa is a world away from Midwest Algonquin though this neighborhood has developed close ties.

Last year Algonquin 4 Gambella raised $6,165 for this small village. A recent garage sale netted over $600. Their Spring 2011 goal is to raise $5000. Here is progress to date toward this goal.

What can your donations do for Gambella? Here is some of the groups accomplishments over the past 2 years:

* Building a school to educate their children

* Growing crops for nutrition and income

* Built a health clinic

* Built homes

* Begun businesses

Very impressive results.

Here is how the “no frills” Race for Gambella works. Algonquin 4 Gambella considers you a partner with them, and want every dollar you give to go to the people of Gambella. The organizers ask you to Bring Your Own:

* T-shirt – we’ll decorate it using Sharpies (but really, who needs another t-shirt from a run anyway?)

* Bib number from a previous race

* Water bottle o`�Gatorade (we won’t have any for you)

* Time piece… cuz we’re not keepin’ track

* If you think you’re going to have a strong run, feel free to bring a medal or trophy for yourself, cuz we won’t have any (and just like time, we’re not keepin’ track of places)

* Bring snacks for everyone to enjoy afterward if you like!

Michele Auch says, “We’re thrilled to be able to work with Global Hope Network International (GHNI) in this partnership, as we come alongside the people of Gambella, helping them reach TCD Sustainability. You can learn more about what a village partnership is at Global Hope’s website.”

Register for the “No Frills” race at http://algonquin4gambella.org/run

 

Algonquin to Gambella from Global Hope Network Int’l on Vimeo.

 

Algonquin to Gambella from Global Hope Network Int'l on Vimeo.

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