November 24, 2010

Plant the seeds of hope wherever you can

Storytellers for Good: Mama Hope from Storytellers For Good on Vimeo.

JD LasicaNow that Thanksgiving is upon us, I want to leave you not with a request for a campaign donation for a worthy cause, but with a thought:

What can you do to help change the world? Because the potential to change the world resides within each of us.

Two quick stories about mothers:

In the video above, Storytellers for Good (which we’ll profile here next week) traveled to Kenya to tell the poignant story of Nyla Rodgers, founder of Mama Hope, a nonprofit community development organization that helps develop self-sufficient communities in Africa. Watch it and be moved as the filmmaker connects one woman’s journey to a universal truth.

A second mother that springs to mind at Thanksgiving is Mama Lucy of EpicChange.org and EpicThanks. A year ago we wrote about Tweetsgiving and how Mama Lucy’s efforts brought the Shepherd’s Junior School to a town in Tanzania with the help of Stacey Monk, her team and people like you. (Stacey’s To Mama With Love campaign appeared at the top of Mashable’s list of 9 Creative Social Good Campaigns Worth Recognizing.)

Some 400 young students attend the school, and now it’s ranked #2 out of 123 schools in the region.

But the story doesn’t end there. My colleague Janet Fouts writes:

Now there’s a new issue with the school. Primary education ends at grade 7 in Tanzania and next year the kids will finish their final year at Mama Lucy’s and if they test well the government will place them in available spots in new schools. Many public secondary schools are severely lacking in Tanzania and to take these kids from a great program and drop them into a school lacking in teachers and teaching materials could cut their promise short. The school needs to add classrooms so the children can continue their educations in the quality and supportive environment they need to reach their potential.

You can help out by donating to Epic Change and following them on TwitterFacebook and at their blog.

Or, you can help out Mama Hope. Or some other effort that could use a connection. As the Epic Thanks page puts it:

“TweetsGiving was never about twitter or social media. It’s about the gratitude in our hearts, and the transformative power our thankfulness can have when we share it with one another. It’s about cultivating a deep sense of for those remarkable souls who create hope in our world. That’s why this year, TweetsGiving becomes Epic Thanks.” Look for the #epicthanks hashtag.

The thanks shouldn’t end this week. Janet rightly asks: Why isn’t every day the season for giving? Find whatever is inside yourself today to make the world a better place.