What is your life’s purpose?
To show people love and to change the future of as many of the world’s most vulnerable children as possible.
How are you living your purpose?
My husband and I began working in Tanzania in 2003. One year later, we started a nonprofit organization, Outreach, Inc., with the mission to provide safe water, food, medical care, and education to children and those in need, at home and abroad.
We are providing food for children and families all across the US. In Tanzania, we are installing safe water stations in many schools and providing food to street children so they will have a meal. We are getting uniforms for them so they can go to school. We have taken many medical missions to Tanzania to help those who cannot afford medical care. We have built children’s centers where the most vulnerable children can come to get food and potable water, learn hygiene, obtain a school uniform, get tutoring, and receive health care.
How did you find your purpose?
During our work in Tanzania, I saw children die of starvation. When the fifth small child died, I said to my husband, “we have to do something, we cannot allow these children to die like this.” We were able to find food which we brought into the village and bartered for their beautiful handmade grass baskets. I told the mamas I would take their baskets back to America, sell them, and bring the money back to build their children a secondary school. This is the Gunda Secondary School in Nkungi.
I asked the village leaders and elders what they needed to make their villages sustainable. Every village answered the same: clean water, food, medical care, and education. We had seen many projects which failed as soon as the missionary left. We wanted the people to have sustainable results and incorporated all four areas in our mission, adding ways for them to make an income as well.
What advice do you have for purpose seekers?
Our beginning was inspired by God; my parents taught us to care for others, when we see someone in need, do what we can. Listen to the voice within and heed it. When you see something that tugs on your heart, pay attention and see what you can do to make the situation better. More than likely, there are many people with the same need which you can help. Quit just thinking about doing something, say yes, step up, and do something. listen to people, you can learn many things by observing and listening. When you need help, the web is an endless source of information from government to local help, domestic and international.
I have been influenced by many people, like retired Bishop Pastor Zephaniah Gunda. The secondary school we helped the village of Nkungi build carries his name. Or little Nama (which means grace) a badly burned 6-year-old I helped bathe and care for her every day until we were able to get her into another hospital for skin grafting. She was a very special little child, she endured a lot, but gave a lot. Everyone in the village is special. They are a wonderful, happy, loving people, gentle and kind.
What resources do you recommend?
I recommend the following books:
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen Covey
Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek (I also value his Ted Talks)
African Friends and Money Matters: Observations from Africa by David E. maranz