|How many people does it take?|
Today is about gratitude. Last week while I was riding my bicycle across the State of Iowa at RAGBRAI (the Register's Great Annual Bike Ride Across Iowa) The Rotarian Magazine published Out of Chaos an article about the work I have been engaged in with a cadre of people in Ghana with Street Girls Aid.
So many people made this possible that there is no way to individually recognize everyone and so I feel compelled to share an umbrella thank you for absolutely everyone who has listened to the stories, heard about the processes, purchased goods, supported the process by donating material goods, funds, prayers, well-wishes, advise, a shoulder to lean on, a word of encouragement, to those who listened patiently and questioned to help develop a stronger process, and to those who will continue to develop and encourage and support - thank you, thank you, thank you.
To those known and unknown supporters, an important understanding in the indicators of success in capacity building is knowing that we must be detached from the outcome, because the impact and ripple effect of an individual's impact is so much greater than anything anyone of us can envision and hold on to. See my TEDx talk about capacity building for more information. Know that your personal investment in this process has played an important role in this story.
There are a few people whose sacrifices and passion require a "shout-out" related to this article and I will gladly recognize:
|Diana excelling at the |
head scarf tying workshop
|Cathy can be found sneaking some|
cuddling during the work breaks
Vida Amoako and Street Girls Aid Staff
|Vida and her team at Street Girls Aid|
during a workshop
|Sammy, Irene, Phidelia, Vida and Fred|
part of the management team at
Street Girls Aid, Accra, Ghana
willing to let a reporter into your business 24/7 for 2 weeks? Vida, her staff and the girls so graciously welcomed our entire team and demonstrated genuine hospitality with grace and humor. All beneficiaries of this model owe them a debt of gratitude for being so vulnerable, honest and willing to risk and try something new.
|Diana with some of her Ghana Aunties|
get into the local culture (from left to right)
Holly, Margie, Barb, Kathy and Diana
The team rose to the challenge and soon forgot about the "journalist", gelled as a team and focused on the mission of the trip and the grant. The dedication that the team demonstrated in carrying out their responsibilities was beyond the Rotary International motto "Service Above Self". Again, sacrifice, passion and selflessness created trans-formative experiences for all involved - thanks to Holly Callen, Barb Hanson, Margie Horning and Kathy Lillis. Many of the "behind the scenes" individuals and organizations who supported this experience, generously supported these team members and thanks go around again for all of you too.
Kay and Kirsten
|Kirsten and Kay in the workroom|
Rotary, Rotary International, The Rotary Foundation, District 5960, Fast For Hope
|Theresa Haligah (Rotary Club of Accra)|
helps the team with
on the ground logistics
|Rotarians, family and friends all over|
the world supported us in so many ways
The Rotary Club Accra South
welcomes the team
|Gary Campbell DG 2013-2014|
sends the team off in
freezing temperatures with
Little Free Libraries, Deechas
and funds to purchase
books in Ghana
All of our Family and Friends
An effort of this magnitude; the three phase model development, the multiple trips to Africa, the preparation, the financial and medical considerations and hundreds and hundreds of hours of training, implementation and then reporting and documentation could not have been possible without all of the support of our family and friends. All of us left family behind to pick up our loads, our responsibilities and to fill in during family emergencies, illnesses, holidays, and events, and did so knowing that their support meant that they were making a meaningful impact, that they were making a difference in their support and sharing of us. It is with heartfelt gratitude that I thank all of our families and friends for supporting us through these experiences and adventures - you may never see the direct impact of your contribution, but this article introduces you to some of the people whose lives you have impacted.
Available for Sale
And One More Opportunity...
Street Girls Aid is currently celebrating their 20th Year Anniversary and have lots of things planned. If you are interested in going to Ghana and learning more about how you can develop relationships and build capacity, contact me using the "contact me" form on the side column and I will let you know about future opportunities, or help you develop one of your own.