the heartbreaking story behind this nonprofit
Beautiful stories of survivors who have defied all odds to bring something positive to the world are something we have all come across while visiting the website of a nonprofit. Since nonprofits focus on alleviating suffering, it isn’t surprising that these kinds of touching stories are commonplace. Nonprofits, including ours, typically include such stories to showcase the impact that the organization is making.
In our case, however, something that sets our organization apart is the fact that one of our most beautiful and heartbreaking stories doesn’t pertain to a situation we encountered on the field but is woven into the very foundation of our organization—is how we came to be.
Our founder was born to a destitute family on the poorest continent of the world—Africa. Africa is plagued by infectious diseases, many of which, including malaria, tuberculosis, and AIDS, occur there at their highest rate in the world. Africa is a dangerous birthplace, as child mortality is extremely high. The first tragedy struck her life when she was only two and contracted one of those infectious diseases that almost took her life. Although she survived, she was unfortunately left with a permanent scar and has suffered from a painful physical disability ever since. As a child, not understanding why she was different and enduring that level of cruelty characteristic of children, she spent her early years dreaming about a miracle that would make her well again, a miracle that, of course, never came. Far from holding her back, however, this disability has become her blessing: it forged her into a fighter and one of the top students in her classes across her education. Ultimately, this path of excellence caught the attention of US embassy officials in her home country who awarded her the renown US Department of State’s Fulbright Scholarship in 2002.
Another positive outcome of her affliction is that it matured her into a profoundly empathic individual, someone whose definition of a beautiful day is one in which she manages to put a smile on someone else’s face.
It was in the US that our founder discovered the power of the internet and the tremendous potential it has for facilitating resolutions to longstanding problems—educational, financial, medical, etc. During that period of her life, she spent all her leisure time collecting scholarships and other opportunities that could help other students still struggling in Africa and sending them via email. This nonprofit emerged from that initiative years later. This nonprofit is, therefore, our founder’s way of turning her ashes into beauty by helping others have better lives. An innovative US scholar and scientist, her field of expertise is education, the very field poised to intervene in the economic development of a nation.