Last month I made a pretty big change. I accepted an offer to serve as the Communications Manager for a mobile app company called InspireHUB Technologies Inc.. I’ve been doing my own thing for a really long time, but what made me want to say yes to these folks was the fact that they created a technology in response to a request from the late Nelson Mandela. He was distressed by the pediatric healthcare crisis in South Africa, and the number of women and infants that were dying because of it. (Every year at least 1,600 mothers die due to complications of pregnancy & childbirth. 20,000 babies are stillborn & another 22,000 die before they reach one month of age. In total, at least 75,000 children die before their fifth birthday.)
C’mon in and I’ll tell you why I’m so excited to have been given the opportunity to be both an Evangelist and Bard for the amazing band of better world scouts at InspireHUB, and the superheroes they serve …
March 30th, 2013: “Having a bad day? Put your hand over your chest. Feel that beat? It’s called purpose. You’re here for a reason. Don’t leave without one.”
I remember the day that our Omidyar.net brother, Dennis Kimambo, wrote that note.
2 1/2 weeks later he went missing in Nakuru, Kenya. On April 30th his wife, Faith, told us he had been murdered. Dennis left behind two little girls, and a baby waiting to be born, a daughter that he would never meet.
I’ve kept in touch with Faith. In the 4 years that have passed she has worked so hard to raise those little girls alone. One of the biggest challenges has been providing for their continued education. Kenya’s government schools are free, but their education level is poor due to lack of resources and funding.
⏩ Today I’m asking you to join me in creating a safety net for our brother Dennis’ daughters. ⏪
Click through to learn more about the “Binti” project, and how you can help …
Test your assumptions …
Do you believe that single mothers on welfare are irresponsible deadbeats who set a bad example for their children because they are too lazy to get out and earn a living?
If so, you just wrote off Joanne Rowling, better known as the creator of Harry Potter. Coming through the death of her mother, domestic abuse, divorce and abject poverty, Jo rose from being on social assistance to become a multimillionaire in less than five years. She’s now a generous philanthropist and one of the most influential women in Britain, with TIME magazine naming her as a runner-up for its 2007 Person of the Year, noting the social, moral, and political inspiration she has given her fans.
“It’s impossible not to love someone whose story you have heard.” The beloved children’s TV host Mister Rogers carried that quote in his wallet, to remind him of the importance of listening.
“Storytelling + listening can connect residents of a divided city.”
“We all want to use our talents to create something meaningful with our lives. But how to get started?”
This is a pretty great invitation, and the one that Forbes columnist, Kare Anderson, gave in her TED Talk back in September of 2014.
We are often confronted by moments of connection with people who really challenge our ideas, our values and our points of view. Shutting the door to that connection may be the easiest and most comfortable thing to do, but there are so many incredible opportunities that are lost when we do that.
One of the things that really resonated with me was a particular observation Kare made about people who are the greatest “opportunity makers”:
“They’re not affronted by differences. They’re fascinated by them.”
Kare issued a resonant challenge:
“To re-imagine a world where we use our best talents together more often to accomplish greater things together than we could on our own.”
Click through to watch Kare’s TED Talk to learn more about the ways you can boost your powers as an “Opportunity Maker”.