Radical Generosity

Miss the previous update about this sanitation project? Read it here.

Yesterday, a project I proposed late last year to solve a hazardous sanitation problem in the Kitui Ndogo slum became fully funded and then some.

I never formally asked for the money to support it but I did post a video online that highlighted the issue and our proposal, which was seen by three young ladies (Sonali, Eli, Ziba) from the US and Germany (via Sri Lanka and Afghanistan), who became inspired by it, enough to take action on their own.

I had not met any one of them in person before, the connection all happened somewhat randomly through social media.

 From left to right:  Jared Akama, Eli Omar, Sonali Fiske, Ziba Abed, Teacher Grace Kavoi, Chairman Kilonso Abraham, our driver, and me.

From left to right: Jared Akama, Eli Omar, Sonali Fiske, Ziba Abed, Teacher Grace Kavoi, Chairman Kilonso Abraham, our driver, and me.

Sonali, Eli, and Ziba took it upon themselves to do all the fundraising, about $6,000, which they raised in just over 20 days. In addition, they funded their own travel expenses to travel to Nairobi in order to be present for the celebration of the completed work.

Love is the Answer

As I previously reported, these were the words I used to answer the question, "What do we do here?" asked by Teacher Grace and Chairman Kilonso, after my first visit to the Kitui Ndogo slum. They were the only words that came to me in my shocked state, after seeing the many challenges they are facing.

It sounds wishy washy, weird maybe, but I meant it and just look at what has happened since.

I was genuinely moved by the sanitation problem in the slum that was affecting an estimated 6,000 residents. That inspiration flowed to Eli, Ziba, and Sonali via the video they saw, which then inspired all their donors to give.

And now, we've been able to solve the problem, which is going to help all those people, where before, there was little hope and little support. It all began with a sense of genuine care or love.

Remember. I never asked for the money! It just happened.

To add to all the incredible generosity we received, an additional $500 donation came in last night despite the donation page clearly stating our project was funded (the donor would later acknowledge she saw that and gave anyway so we could have a cushion). It came with the following note:

The donation is made today in honor of my brother in law, Marcus, who is undergoing 18 hours of surgery to save his life. So, maybe today, we will save 6000 [amount of residents affected by project] lives plus 1.

Pretty remarkable, isn't it? Somebody from so far away in the US giving money to this community, and in the form of a prayer for her brother-in-law. That's love.

I am thoroughly convinced that when there is such goodwill as this going into your project, magic happens. Mountains can get moved and the impossible can turn into possible.

Thank you all.

Continue to the next update about this project.