Teach a man to fish, he will feed his family a lifetime. Give a man a fish, he will only eat one meal.
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Hi and thank you for dropping by. My name is Pamela and I reside in a small town in Southwest Missouri. I'm married and the proud mom of two teens. You may be wondering why I started this site and I welcome the chance to explain.
Let me start by saying that I am in my early 40's and have several health issues that have left me disabled. Because of that, I have a lot of time on my hands and like so many others, I decided to search the internet for entertainment. I became addicted as I met so many fascinating, wonderful people. I have gained a lot of knowledge of the various cultures in the world and I regret very little of my experiences online.
Not knowing his title or ties with the Organization this site centers on, I met Robert Kibaya on a friendship site. Originally, I was leery of him as I had met several individuals online from all over Africa (and other Countries, including my own) who tried to scam me in one way or another. As I've done with most others, I gave Robert the benefit of a doubt. I don't regret this decision. As a matter of fact, I consider it quite a blessing that I got to know Robert.
Over our several years of getting to know each other, I learned a lot about Robert and the area he lives in. Needless to say, after hearing of his experiences, I have learned to consider myself one very blessed lady. Our friendship grew as I watched Robert struggle for his own education. He wanted badly to make it to America for a more thorough education but that dream didn't happen and I felt terrible that I couldn't help him in some way. Thankfully, Robert ended up finding other places for his education.
After he received his schooling, I was sent to a website by him for a contest he was trying to win in order to help his community. I saw photos of kids schooling under a tree, sitting on broken boxes, very few pairs of shoes and learned that due to rarely having electricity, the kids even sat in the rain for their education. The beat up building they have to sit in would get too dark for them to see in. My heart was broken. They were trying hard to get something they needed badly and had so few resources.
I had an idea and Robert helped me find someone that might be of help in shipping things. Our family bought over $350.00 worth of schooling supplies and the church our daughter attends bought several dollars worth, also. The people that were considering helping us ship the items backed out. Imagine my surprise when I was told how much it would take to get the items to Robert. Ten thousand dollars just to ship a 20 pound package to him. Then we had the issues of whether or not they would even make it through customs.
I became increasingly frustrated as the help I had for the area was not getting to them. How were we going to solve this? I couldn't leave Robert and all of those kids hanging.
I decided to contact my State Congressmen to see if they could help me get the items to them. Several organizations here in the USA had turned me down and I explained this to the Congressmen. One of my Senators sent my request for help to the Department of the State. They couldn't promise me anything but at least they tried. Unlike so many others.
I didn't receive help in getting the items to Robert and his community. The best they could do was find a Department through the American Embassy that was located in Uganda. As long as I sent all items as one big box, they would help me get it to him. We couldn't afford that.
I decided that since Robert and I were such good friends, I'd just send him money. We ended up sending $500.00 in our name and that of the community since our daughter's church helped. I told Robert that I trusted him fully to spend it as he felt was best. Since I wanted it to be educational related, he ended up buying enough items to help 383 school kids. I was absolutely amazed. He did better for those kids than I could have if all of our items had made it.
Needless to say, I was thrilled. So was the school when they found out what was going on. I only wish I could have been there to see the ceremony held on June 20, 2008. Robert put together a big presentation for their educational "gifts". I am hoping they have many more celebrations ahead of them.
(Oh, in case you wonder what happened to the $350.00 worth of school supplies we had in our home, it went to a local organization that helped us out when we had a tough time just over a year ago.)