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A little initiative

Feb 24, 2012, 1:10 PM | Article By: Adelaide Mendy

We hear about outbreaks of conflicts and the heartbreaks of wars, outbreak of diseases and epidemics, shortage of food or famine and fatalities of all the aforementioned all the time. The news is certainly full of it. Yet because we are not directly involved or personally affected, the most a lot of us offer is sympathy. Yet our brothers and sisters have gone through and are continually going through hell, literally, everyday and perhaps for a lifetime. So pity alone is just not sufficient.

The question we should be asking ourselves is ‘what can we do to make a difference in someone’s life?’ because one would literally be surprised just how inexpensive monetary wise it could be. Often times, all it takes is time and effort on our part.
Recently, I was opportune to watch a program on an international news channel that focused on the astonishing humanitarian work by a young man of African descent called Derrick \kayonge, founder of an Atlanta based \globalSoap Project. His touching story of making a massive difference in the lives of African children by distributing reprocessed soap discarded by hotels in the United States. He talked about how it all started, when he had helped himself to packets of soap from his overseas hotel room and having this nagging dread that he might be charged for it. He had proceeded to ask the concierge about this, who then had put to rest his fears of incurring extra charges, as all amenities provided by the hotel were already included in the booked room fee. Further enquiring what happened to partly used products, he was shocked when informed that they were disposed off. That’s when the inspiring idea was born.
Millions of soaps are disposed of every year by hotels. As lack of hygiene is one of the leading causes of illnesses affecting children in a lot of under-devaloped nations, this young man went about his mission of getting these unwanted soaps donated, which ultimately went towards saving lives. How amazing is that? He has joined the fight in combating illnesses such as diarrhoea which could be avoided or reduced by the availability of basic sanitary products.
Derrick is just one man with a passion to make a change worthy of being seen and talked about. He was not blessed with extra ordinary powers or resources, yet he made the concious decision to make an effort. A man no different from us but with a thirst to save lives.
We need to start caring enough to want to make this world a better place for all its inhabitants. Helping others provides man with the greatest satisfaction for there is notably more in giving than in receiving.
As humans, when someone passes, people gather round to offer their sympathies. Often times than never, money is spent in a charity. To celebrate? That money, time and effort would have well served that individual when they were alive. What am I trying to put through? We need to love and care whilst we still have one another, whilst it still matters and counts and not wait till it’s too late.
What it boils down to is initiative. We must learn to be self starting, to take a great leap of faith and count on our Lord’s grace and blessings. I know for a fact that the first step is by far the hardest because once we get in stride, its just a matter of how far and how much. It doesn’t have to be something earth shatteringly major to make a difference. It’s the little steps that lead to the major impact.
One might ask, apart from donating money, what possible way can I help a person in a war ravaged distant country? Donating is a good place to start. However, it’s not the only place. When that young man started his soap for a life campaign, he had no clue that it would stretch as far as it did. So perhaps your outreach could begin with offering a homeless man a warm meal and a blanket to ward of the chill of the night or giving a beggar more than just loose change for a change.  Stop and find out, offer a kind word, show that you care. Think not what others can do for you but rather what you can do for others.