It has been an honor to be involved with a non-profit such as BeadforLife for these last ten weeks. As a Communications Intern, I get to be involved in the spreading of our message of love around the world. We work to eradicate poverty and empower the women of Uganda to be self-sufficient; it has been an experience of mind-altering proportions. Recently, we began our Do Good, Get Bangled campaign, a pay-it-forward acknowledgement of acts of good.
What are ‘acts of good’? To me, acts of good are human nature. It’s the part of us that behaves with cooperation, kindness, and conscious consideration of others. Philanthropists are the best example, but you don’t have to have lots of money to perform an act of good. Kindness is everywhere, in the simple acts of everyday life.
BeadforLife is involved in one of the larger problems of humankind: poverty. ‘Eradicating poverty’ is a huge goal, but good is done through little baby steps: utilizing Ugandan women’s skill at rolling paper beads to help them launch a business of their own. We help our Ugandan sisters realize their own potential – that is our act of good.
Not everyone is so optimistic. In May, the United Nations Foundation blogged about their goal to end extreme poverty globally by 2030. Not long after, an article by Brookings Institution Press expressed the fear that the poorest of the poor were “too slow and too far behind” to ever rise above the US$1.25/day poverty line.
These are valid concerns. Most impoverished Ugandans are living in rural areas where adequate access to clean water, health care, and education are sparse. So how do we help the impoverished? Aid is hard to dish out these days: water and food can fall into the wrong hands. Offering material relief such as money or clothing is impractical – if you suddenly won the lottery, how many of you would resist the urge to spend it all in one big burst?
President Obama said in a recent press release that the best aid we can offer the impoverished is a skill set rather than a wad of cash. If we give people the tools to rise out of poverty on their own, they are more likely to use those tools productively. BeadforLife couldn’t agree more. We often forget about the greatest tool of all: the indomitable human spirit.
Inspiring and empowering people to act for themselves gets results; the graduates of our program are able to sustain one or several businesses, send their children to school, pay for medicine, and eat well. This is the result of opportunities – the ultimate act of kindness.
Let’s take a moment to appreciate the good things people do for us. Pay it forward with a gesture that spreads the love world-wide. Help others by saying thank you.
By Hannah Morrison – BeadforLife Intern