Welcome to HEARTHS, where our mission and purpose is to HElp African Refugees To Help themSelves
This is really the main idea behind our group, that sharing is caring, but unlike you might think, this has actually very little to do with money. Sure, money is one thing which can greatly help, especially those people in our group in Africa who are among the poorest of the poor, refugees, orphans, widows and countless needy people who live under the most horrendous conditions, without regular food, medical attention and clean drinking water, no jobs and no education, so of course, everyone there is looking for help with that.
Sure, this is one way to help, but after I have been trying to work with poor people from Africa for several years now, I have found that helping them directly with money is like putting a drop of water on a hot stone. You help with a little, which sure is appreciated and needed, but then somebody else comes with some urgent needs, and since there are countless people in need, it never really ends. Also, this is no long term solution, since giving money is like putting a band aid on a much deeper wound which keeps on getting infected, since the root cause is not being addressed.
The root cause of continued poverty is that most of the people there have lost hope and faith, they dont believe in themselves, are unaware of their inner powers to create change, and so they all struggle on their own to survive. This is what HEARThs is trying to change, to create a sense of community, family and love, and to empower people to find, develop and utlize their own powers to create change. This is what HEARTHS is about, a movement of HElping African Refugees To Help themSelves, but this is easier said then done since most everyone there is stuck in the mindset of ‘I am poor, there is nothing I can do to change this, and so I need help. This is what HEARThs is trying to change.
The question then is: What can the poor people in Africa do to help themselves?
For one, I am encouraging people to share their own personal life story, history, present life situation, their pain, sadness, their hopes, dreams, and their love with us. The idea behind HEARTHS is that through the love in our hearts we can change our world, but this is difficult since many people in our group have experienced so much trauma, hardship, suffering, pain and loss that their hearts have become bitter, doubtful, suspicious and untrusting.
This is why our group is so important, since we give everyone here a sense of beloning, make everyone here feel important, and encourage everyone to share with us a little bit of their time and effort to contribute to the mission of our group.
Another idea, and this is the real point behind this blog, is to collect stories, articles, pictures and videos from our members to document life from the perspective of a struggling refugee in Africa. I think this would be extrmely valuable since most people here in the West have no idea of the realities and real challenges of life in Africa. At the same time, this would be something that shows that you (the members of HEARTHS) care as they begin to share their own gifts, effort, time and love with the world.
Another thing would be for people in our group to develop skills and share those with the world. Some people have a talent with painting, they can create (or they can learn to create) small pieces of art, some people can even dance, make music, some are even good at writing poetry and short stories, all those things which shows that they are not just poor and in need of help, but that they are creative and have passion and love in their hearts. This can help them to get out of their mindset of poverty, and also distract them from their otherwise so difficult life.
This of course is rather difficult for people who have lost everything and live under extreme poverty, but this is really the idea behind hearths, that through your own effotts we can change our world. Of course this is just an idea, but even without any financial help we are known throughout Ghana, Liberia, Gambia, Sierra Leone and many other African countries as a movement of self help, designed to motivate and empower african refugees to learn what they can do to help themselves.
Of course this movement is also in need of financial assistance to support the mission of HEARTHS. Especially poor people in Africa are not really motivated to do aynthing in the long run, unless there is some kind of incentive. Just love and emotional support is great, but sadly not enough, so what we would like to do is sponsor workshops in different parts of Africa where people learn about this new way of thinking, are inspired by community teachers and leaders to start small projects to document their own efforts, and as a small reward we would offer a dinner so people will also get fed, You can understand that it is difficult to focus on creating change if your stomach is growling. We have many leaders in our group who are willing to teach those workshops, but as I said, we would need a little financial assistance to provide a little incentive for our members to attend.
A small workshop to inspire and feed a group of 10 refugees could be done for as little as $50, which considering the huge impact this will have is not really that much. Imagine that HEARTHS is here to help African refugees to rebuild their communities from the inside out, which begins only with a few people who come together to learn from and with one another, and who work together to create positive change as one family, one unit, one love.
This is really the spirit of HEARTHS, where one of our basic principles is: Sharing is caring