When I received an invitation a couple of months ago from some U.S. doctors to translate for them during a medical mission trip, my heart rejoiced at the opportunity of returning to the land where I served four years as a volunteer.
Since then, I’ve been looking forward to reuniting with old friends and coworkers, to the point that I started thinking about what kinds of gifts or tokens I could give to show them my love. The “trouble” is that I’m a practice person, and I value useful, purposeful gifts over trinkets.
I looked at what I have: an environmental coloring story book I self-published in 2007, which got great user-end reviews; it was fashioned for their culture. During a visit in 2010, I saw positive changes; environmental awareness was stronger than before. The teachers asked, “So will there be more books? We’ve just about depleted our stash; we keep a couple in reserve so we will always have them.”
I told the truth; the project had been made possible only through donations, and I just didn’t have the social network to launch another successful campaign. The school principle looked disheartened.
As a side note, towards the end of my service, I started a small technological project. Mostly, it involved networking various entities to pull resources together. A small group of student would travel out of the village to a larger hamlet, which had computers, but families groaned at the travel costs. The teachers in my village started going to the nearest city to get internet certified, but the computer learning center went out of business before they attained certification. Bad luck!
Fast forward to 2013. With a small social network and a heart full of love, I took courage and decided to jump off the metaphorical cliff into the sea of Chance, without looking at the odds working for or against me. I had heard of crowd-sourcing, but I didn’t know how to play the game. Off the cliff I went, and launched a fundraising page to benefit others on my upcoming “missionary” trip.
Money for this project will provide rural schools with environmental coloring books for a new generation of children, and if enough money is raised, a laptop and router to the school in the community where I lived.
I’ve been asked about project parameters. Peace Corps experience taught me to take things as they come. Specific project parameters depend on the amount raised. I’m flexible. Based on experience, only one thing is certain: the people benefited will be flabbergasted by the kind generosity of strangers🙂
My greatest wish is to effect the world in such a way that it will grow into a harmonious home for all of earth’s inhabitants, and that people come to know there is more to life than the narrow confines of self-gain. My faith: Love and compassion are the recipe for a life well-lived❤
The project page can be found at this address: http://gogetfunding.com/project/books-tech-for-el-salvador#/project_details