Monday, March 30, 2015

Thanks, Mark Zuckerberg!

for inventing Facebook to help me to connect with charitable people around the world! (whether or not that was the intention doesn't matter). Here's what I mean.....

On Friday, I was looking around on Future Leader's Underprivileged Children's Center's Facebook page to find a picture of their vocational sewing center in Ghana. I wanted to send it to my friend, Karen. Karen Read is an expat from the UK, currently living in Virginia, and passionate about helping children in need.  We were heading down to the Eastern Market in Washington, DC to do some market research. We were looking for a venue to sell the cloth bags made by the mothers of the children at the children's center. We plan to use the proceeds to help the fund to build a school.

Here, some of the kids pose with the bags their mothers have made. The sewing center is in an old shipping container.  When I first visited, they were using the old black singer sewing machines our mothers used in the 1950's.  It is great to see some of the new sewing machines  my friends in America have donated . At the center the women learn a trade for free and then pass the knowledge on to others. They also  sew the school uniforms for the children and products to  raise money for the new school. 

While looking for that photo I ran across this one on the kids reading with the phonics books we sent last year. I thought that my friend Diane Angba might like to see it. Diane made a call to Manassas Schools back in 2013 to ask if they had any computers they could donate. They didn't have any computers but they did have books. - Oh my did they have books. We had to send them by container ship! Twice!

On Saturday morning, I posted this picture on Diane's Facebook page. By evening, I had a new team of friends contacting me on Facebook, who want to collect donations and even travel to Africa help too. Cheryl in Germany wants to start a donation drive and meet us in Africa. Traci, works for an airline and is going to look into options for flying to Ghana. Jeri, a children's art teacher in Canada, is going to collect art supplies and plan a class to teach and Karen is organizing a booth at the Eastern Market in DC to sell the products.

This is Karen with one of the bags at the Eastern Market. Several people commented on the bag and we think they will  be a big hit. We loved the market, the people, the energy, the vibe. It reminded me of fun times traveling in foreign countries.

Oh, and THEN on Sunday, I had "real time" Facebook chats with the director of the school in Kenya and the school in Ghana to discuss how we are going to help them. It used to be so difficult to communicate with my friends in Africa. It is amazing to be able to communicate real time. Now, we are really going to be able to make some great things happen for these children. 

So, Thanks Mark Zuckerberg for inventing Facebook so that I could connect my friends in the first world with my friend in third. I bet you could never have predicted THIS way back when you were a college school! Isn't it amazing?!

Oh and Thanks Keri Douglas my social media teacher at NOVA. Great class.