As for the average person outside of Africa... well, we would appreciate any support we can get. We are a non-profit, so even the smallest contribution will go a long way. And at the very least, it's even great for people abroad to just see and appreciate the work that community based organizations are doing in Africa. It would be really great if we could get people to visit the web pages CBOs create with Envaya, and see the efforts and accomplishments of these organizations (most of which have very little outside support).You can explore these CBO webpages at Envaya.org. You can sort by sector (Education, Environment, Health, Human Rights, etc.) or location, view each page in multiple languages, and marvel at all the hard work that is being done. There are groups dedicated to helping orphaned children, schools working "to empower grandmothers and children who have been adversely affected by HIV/AIDS," teams working to protect water sources from contamination.
Thanks to organizations like Envaya, each of these small groups now has a larger reach, a stronger voice. I love this testimonial:
"With whole intentions, I would like to congratulate Envaya for accomplishing the plan which has enabled many civil society organizations to know each other, to leave behind the idea of literal distance on the earth. For the civil society organizations that have joined Envaya, Envaya has succeeded in making them closer in the real world. It has spread everywhere; North, South, East, and West. We say, Always forward. We are together." (translated from kiswahili)If you'd like to support Envaya, you can Get Involved or Donate to the project. At the very least, I hope this mini blog series has been interesting and inspiring. My brother-in-law is probably right...one person can't change the world. But when one person reaches out to someone else, and that someone reaches out again...then we stand a chance to make a real difference.
-Kamtande from "Wanaharakati wa Elimu Mazingira na Afya" (Activists
for Education, Environment, and Health)
Envaya's mission reminds me of my favorite Toni Morrison quote:
"...if we think in huge numbers about how to save the continent, we’re already whipped. But if you think in terms of one…you know, small things. Six people. One person. One room. One backyard...Then it works."
Thanks, Josh & Radhina for sharing your story with us. And thanks for getting out there and making a difference!