INSPIRED IMPACT :: Cara Lawler | Someone A World Away
INSPIRED IMPACT is an ongoing blog series that gives voice to purpose-driven organizations and passionate leaders and entrepreneurs who are making an impact in their communities and industries.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
Someone A World Away provides support to the El Shadai Grace Children’s Centre in Nairobi, Kenya. We currently support them with a sponsorship program, but we are also working on building a new orphanage facility, with additional apartments upstairs for rent as a future source of income to help the orphanage to become self-sustainable.
WHY DO YOU DO IT?
Our mission is to empower Kenyan orphans to believe that they have a future as productive members of society by providing food, housing, sanitation, healthcare, and love.
Our vision is to provide a new approach to supporting children’s homes by not only supporting their current needs, but by investing in income generating activities so they can one day be self-sustainable.
WHAT IMPACT ARE YOU MAKING?
Our current program supports 25 children at the El Shadai Grace Children’s Centre. The new home that we are building for them will be much larger, allowing them to rescue up to 25 more children off the streets of Nairobi. In the future, we hope to replicate this model to help hundreds of orphans and vulnerable children in Kenya.
WHAT (OR WHO) INSPIRES YOU TO MAKE THIS IMPACT?
The children of El Shadai. They have truly become my family. They inspire me every day with their resilience and joy in the face of incredible adversity. Some of them have experienced traumas that I never could have imagined, and yet they have persevered to become some of the most wonderful, loving, kind children I’ve ever met.
WHAT’S YOUR BIG DREAM FOR THE ORGANIZATION AND THE IMPACT YOU WANT TO MAKE?
My dream is for SAWA to provide support and investment to improve the quality of care in children’s homes in Kenya, Africa, and someday around the world. There are so many people who already have huge hearts and have opened up facilities to help care for these children. I want to support them to improve living conditions, improve home management, and invest in income generating activities for them to become self-sustainable. No organization can be run effectively without a consistent source of income…children’s homes are no exception. I want to help move these homes away from being completely dependent on donations so that the proper care of their children isn’t a hope month to month….it is a guarantee.
WHAT RESOURCES DO YOU NEED TO MAKE THOSE DREAMS COME TRUE?
We need help spreading the word so we can get more funding to finish this first project at El Shadai. We have already bought the land and built the foundation for the orphanage. We estimate the project could be completed with $200,000. That would be enough to complete the orphanage as well as the additional apartments we are building upstairs for them to rent out as a source of income. Hopefully, once we are able to show that this model is successful, scalable, and replicable then we will be able to acquire more significant funding for future projects.
WHAT IS (OR HAS BEEN) YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
Finding enough people to help in a volunteer capacity with organizational needs. We are still small enough that we don’t have enough funds to hire full-time staff for our website, marketing, fundraising, bookkeeping, donor relations, etc. So in this growth stage it is a struggle to keep up with it all!
WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER LEADERS LOOKING TO MAKE AN IMPACT?
You don’t have to be extraordinary to do extraordinary things. You don’t have to already have the money or the resources or the perfect idea…just start working on whatever speaks to your heart. If it comes from a genuine passion then it will grow naturally and someday you will look back at what you’ve accomplished and realize: “Wow, this is extraordinary.”
HOW CAN OTHERS SUPPORT YOU OR YOUR CAUSE?
Of course donations are always welcome on our website. But if any readers are interested in getting involved in our mission we are always happy to welcome new people on board!! Contact us on our website or social media, and of course go follow our social media pages!
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