I tune out when I see commercials about starving kids in Africa. Sure I feel bad, but what can I do about it? I want to send money, but I'm on a pretty tight budget. Besides, if I gave money to everyone who needed it I would be in the poor house myself.
So I change the channel. And feel guilty.
My long time friend Heath Vogel
has a strong connection with the African nation of Liberia
. His parents have been missionaries there since the 70's and Heath spent several years there as a child. Following in his parents' footsteps, Heath has taken a few missionary trips there himself.
I don't know a lot about Liberia aside from what Heath has told me and what I have read on his entertaining blog: Blogging Without Maps
. I do know that Liberia is a struggling country ravaged by war. If you have seen the movies Blood Diamond
or Hotel Rwanda
you get an idea of the kind of chaos and carnage that prevailed.
Watching those movies gives me that "it's terrible, but what the heck can I do about it?" feeling.
I heard Bono
talking about Africa. He expressed the same type of emotion, but said the situation is not hopeless. It's malleable
. We can do more than we think.
Here's something you can do to make a difference today, quickly, and for free. Vote for Change Agent Network on Facebook
to get a grant from Chase Bank. Chase Bank is giving away millions to organizations that get votes on Facebook. So please take a few seconds to vote for this worthy organization.
Heath has told me about being discouraged by a lack of progess in Liberia, particularly by missionaries. His demeanor changes, however when he talks about Change Agent Network
and it's Director, Eric Wowoh.
This organization has created shools and educational opportunites for thousands of children. They have also worked with groups in the US to transport unused computers and technology products for use by the next generation of Liberians.
Three things I love about this non-profit:
1. Teaches People to Fish- Change Agent Network is giving educational opportunities, not handouts. This means that the next generation will be able to make changes and pull themselves out of poverty.
2. Liberian Leadership- Director Eric Wowoh is a Liberian citizen helping his own community. Missionary school 101 teaches that native people are far more effective at reaching their peers than missionaries.
OK, that's my pitch. Here's the link again so you don't have to look for it:
If you could also share this link or story we would all appreciate it. Do it for the kids.