Meet guest blogger, Mary Lossau. Mary, her husband Matt and their two daughters have been partners with GHNI since 2009 when their neighborhood adopted Gambella Village in Kenya. Mary’s is a heartwarming tale of a community which came together to give a gift that transformed a village.
I love people. People I can see and touch, and look in their eyes, and know their stories. Real people. They matter to me.
Four years ago GHNI introduced me (and my neighborhood) to Gambella, Kenya. It’s a lot like my neighborhood, filled with families – moms and dads, and lots of kids. They are beautiful people who love and laugh, and long for a brighter future for their children.
I first met them through a video ‘chat’ (with the help of a translator). It took my breath away to see their faces. Not the same color, or scenery or language… but to these beautiful people I already felt such a bond. WOW!
Our partnership began after learning about GHNI’s five-prong approach to helping the poorest of the poor work their own way out of poverty into a sustainable productive community. On paper, it was brilliant. So we signed on. Then we watched the transformation before our very eyes.
Gambella took a bold step to partner with GHNI. Unlike other organizations, GHNI doesn’t offer a handout of ‘help.’ It tells them, “You want a school? You will help pay for and build the school.” And they did. With only a little help from us… the village did it ALL.
That was the key in choosing GHNI. They had a great plan to help a little village, like Gambella, who was willing to do the work. Gambella had no school, jobs or clean water, very little food and medical attention was a 4-hour walk away. They’ve gone from nothing to something… and that something was born on their determination, vision and HOPE.
We had 6 families in our neighborhood signed on to our partnership. We worked hard together to raise our little portion to help Gambella along. And then over the years, 4 of us were able to visit our sweet neighbors in Gambella. My husband has been there 3 times.
GHNI created a way for me to CONNECT with real people living in the direst poverty, and actually help them. I believe the change in Gambella will create opportunities way beyond sustainability. I wouldn’t be surprised if Gambella Primary School produces future Kenyan dignitaries.
They changed me in the process.
Join Mary’s community! Gather those around you and give the gift of community this holiday season.
Go to the Coffee Without Borders shop and give the gift of transformation! All year-round, the profits are donated to Global Hope Network International.
Learn more about Mary’s journey with Adopt-a-Village by watching this 3 minute video!