Submitted by Guest on Thu, 2012-08-09 17:13
I recently joined the CTC family in May, and have felt so fortunate to be a part of such a genuine group of dedicated people. Through my work stateside I have quickly learned that this organization is so much bigger than itself. There is such an immense sense of community, which enables CTC to make extraordinary things happen.
Upon arriving in Maai Mahiu, the struggles of the people became all too apparent. On the first day, we toured the Kenya Office and encountered a deep sense of what it means to be part of the CTC community. We were greeted by the smiling faces of the Malaika Mums, a remarkable group of women who sew all of our LIFE Line products. We were then taken next door to visit the classrooms of the Malaika Kids, the special-needs children of these women. We moved along to each office designated for our five initiatives: education, economy, environment, community and health. The coordinator of each initiative explained their daily tasks and walked us through their respective workspaces where they instantly transformed into roles that reflected the relationships they had constructed within their specialty “bubble”. We noticed the ease and respect within an atmosphere of cooperation. With intentions so honest and relationships so intimate, I recognized the difference between wanting to leave a positive mark on the world and striving everyday through action to actually do so.
As our trip drew to an end, we reflected on the precious opportunity of working with the courteous people of Maai Mahiu. It was then that I realized the community of Maai Mahiu itself has been the essential ingredient to CTC’s success. Everyone that I had the honor of meeting had such unshakable spirits. It was this integrity and the collective belief that the power behind people relies on relationships built within an entire community, which really amazed me.
I was glad on so many levels that I participated in the experience of traveling to Kenya with CTC. Looking back on it, the main impression I came away with is that happiness has absolutely nothing to do with poverty. The children I interacted with, even in that short period of time, were so HAPPY, so content with their day, their families, and their community. It struck me that what these people are missing in economic riches, they have in an abundance of spirit.
Nowhere was that more evident than the day we spent with the Maasai children. These children of all ages, caring for each other, many in tattered clothing, many with significant health conditions were absolutely in LOVE with their day when we visited. Their spontaneous play, song, dance, was something I know I will never forget. Its something I think we need in our country: a value in our community. Ubuntu.
photos by Olivia Hauger