-The One Effect has always had a mission. Our goal with this project is to positively effect as many people as we can to enrich their lives as best we can.
Africa has always been on the list, and finally we decided that it is time. I really like building things. Building things that can have a lasting effect on people. When we began researching projects for 2014 one of the first places that came to mind was Africa. Wouldn’t it be cool to help some folks out in a remote village? Yes it would! So, how can we make that happen?
Usually, when the project review process starts, it can be a little tedious. Normally, there are a lot of ups and downs looking for the perfect win/win project. We will have a vision for the type of project we want to do….find a good project to work on…..then the country breaks out in civil war and we’re forced to throw that project out the window. Back to square one. Which is exactly what happened here. We thought we had the perfect project in Central Africa Republic, and then they decided civil war would be a better idea…..:(:(.
So then we “interview” project after project, charity after charity, call after call, email after email until finally, we find a gleam of hope. The ‘hunch factor’ just hits ya…..’This is the one, I just know it is.’ Sometimes before you even get confirmation, you just know….this is the one we have been waiting for. Then we read the email……and it is. You really don’t even have to do too much thinking about it after that. You know deep down inside you that this project, this charity is ‘The One’. Funny you say? Well, ironically that is exactly how it happened to us with the Ghana trip, and it wasn’t the first time.
All of a sudden calls start to come in from people you never expected. Text messages from people you haven’t talked to forever. Facebook messages from old friends you haven’t seen in years. Anonymous donations come in from countries you have never even been to. Things start to magically happen in ways you would have never believe, and you can’t help to ask yourself…’Is there something bigger going on here?’
When one follows the vision of his heart, and shares that vision….magic happens. I don’t know how…..it just does. The next thing you know, there’s a farm in Peru feeding malnourished children on a daily basis. All because you had the courage to follow your dream.
Well, that’s what led us to Africa, and now we have a village in Ghana that we want to sponsor. Tafi Atome is a small village of about 1,200 people in the Volta Region of Ghana, Africa. This is a place where the poverty level and living conditions are unimaginable for most of us in 1st world countries. Many of the people will walk miles a day to bring back and drink contaminated water. A place where the amount of money we make in a couple of weeks could be a yearly salary for them. A place where children are still being sold into slavery for sometimes as low as $20.00 USD. These children work as slaves in horrible working conditions. The slave children drink lake water that they bath in and also use as their sewage. They are forced to sleep in boats on a lake or outside with little or no shelter. The majority of them are stricken with Malaria all of their childhood. Many times the children are beaten and abused both physically and sexually. Sometimes, the children die and their bodies are left abandoned with no one to care for them.
This is what life is like for this part of the world. Luckily, there is one heroic woman that saw this and decided to make a difference. Her name is Amanda Cristmann Larson. She is from Phoenix, Arizona and she has been working with Tafi Atome and in Ghana for the past few years. She founded CompassionateJourneys.com to bring volunteers to this part of the world to help create change for the betterment of both parties involved. Now, she is setting up a sustainable structure in the Volta Region working with the head Chief to build a vocational home where these children can live to instead of being under the control of slave-masters. While the children are living in the home, they will learn a trade so they can support themselves when they are old enough to be on their own.
When The One Effect heard Amanda’s story we knew instantly that this was the project that we had been looking for. So we aren’t wasting any time getting people on board to help make Amanda’s dream a reality.
This year a group of us are going to Ghana to build a home for these kids. We will be working with the children and the people of the village to make this dream a reality. For those that are interested, we will be going the last 2 weeks in Aug. 2014
We want to give the children of the Volta Region a chance at a fair life.
Wanna come with us? To Ghana? Shoot us an email 🙂