I started volunteering for One Village at a Time back in 2007. At the time I was struck by how much they could with such a small budget. Only a few dollars made a life-changing difference to a child in rural Kenya. One Village does what most non-profits don't dare. They go into the poorest, most remote villages and take a holistic approach to improving lives. Villagers are empowered to be part of the solution (and eventually the entire solution) so that they are not just providing handouts. The Director truly understands the issues facing these villages: cultural differences, tribal conflicts, parent/child relationships, and more. All things that are crucial to success and easily misunderstood by "Westerners". In 2011 I was asked to be on the Board of Directors. There I had additional insights into how far each dollar donated is stretched. The money is used incredibly effectively. The passion and heart of everyone involved in the organization is inspiring. I see big things for the future of One Village at a Time.
I first started working with One Village At A Time earlier this year on their Harambee committee. This past May I was honored to be asked to be on their Board. The first thing that struck me about the organization was the passion of the Director, Board members and everyone else who volunteers their time and effort. The needs we try to help meet are broad in scope, from supporting a feeding program to health education to seed money in a microfinance capacity. We support villages so rural that they have been passed over by many other international organizations. I am also passionate about the fact that our aim is to not just throw money at a problem, but to create an environment where these projects become self-sustaining in an incredibly short period of time. One of the ways we accomplish this is by creating an environment where all stake holders are vested in the project and held accountable (the schools, the students as well as their families). With the entire organization being made up of volunteers I am also very proud to say that 100% of the money we raise goes directly to the goals of the organization.
I have been participating in the wonderful things One Village does since 2009. First I was on the Harambee committee and joined the board in 2010. I was able to travel to Kenya and see first hand the amazing impact we have on the villages. We invest in the villages to help them become self sustainable on their own. We know it's not just about providing them money but the resources to empower the entire town to grow and prosper more independently. With a commitment from the parents, students, and teachers it truly is a village-wide partnership. And from microfinance loans, feminine education and pads, feeding program, books, and health education we know it's a holistic process. I am proud to be a member of this amazing organization, look forward to the future successes I know we'll have, and hopefully another trip to Kenya to see these successes first hand.
Thanks Ashley. You are such a valuable member of the team.
I have been a board member since 2009 and am extremely proud to be part of an amazing organization. I have traveled to Kenya to witness firsthand the incredible work and progress One Village has made. The micro finance and feeding programs coupled with reproductive health education has empowered the children and their parents in the communities we have worked with. Something as simple as donating a reusable pad to a young female in school will prevent her from staying home for a week during her menstrual cycle or using cow dung as a substitute. Lending $100 to buy a cow or start a soap making business has enabled parents to take over the feeding programs in their children's school so they do not go hungry. One Village is different from other organizations because we are ALL volunteers and have other jobs. Every penny we raise goes directly to the cause and makes a huge difference in someone’s life who desperately needs it.