A sweet friend (Majida Al-Husaam) revealed an amazing and unexpected opportunity. My Heart felt the call and I said yes to it.
What is the opportunity?
The Amala Foundation is a non-profit organization based in my home town of Austin, TX. The Amala Foundation holds a Global Youth Peace Summit (GYPS) in Austin every year. Unexpectedly, the opportunity arose for me to be included amongst 4 other unique and passionate women that have been serving The Amala Foundation for several years. They have been chosen to be part of a delegation traveling to Kenya, Africa on January 10th through January 29th, 2014. This will be my first trip to Africa and a beautiful introduction into the amazing work The Amala Foundation offers.
The other extraordinary opportunity arising is to collaborate with Majida as she creates her first ever documentary. To visually show the connection we all have to each other. An element of that will briefly tell the story of a Ugandan woman named Evelyn Apoko, who was kidnapped by the LRA. Her face was severely injured by a bomb dropped steps away from where she was standing. Evelyn's story is explained further down.
So you may have questions...
What is the GYPS?
For 8 days, 70+ youth from all over the world (local, national and international) from every race, religion, sexual orientation and economic class imaginable come together to cultivate one village of authentic peace.
How is this accomplished?
By first delving into the heart of our individual humanity. Peace is cultivated within, in order to share peace without. By connecting to the humanity of individuals in our global village, these 8 days are left with a deeper sense of self, love and connection to an international family. The "people over there" are no longer just faceless statistics with no names, they are brothers and sisters.
It is amazing that this magical movement of authentic peace is spreading. Amala held the first ever California GYPS this year along with the Austin GYPS (now in its 6th year). We are traveling to Kenya to share this work with our global family there.
CLICK HERE for info about the 2013 Austin GYPS
Here's an INCREDIBLE video about the Global Youth Peace Summit. Please take time to watch and learn more:
What will you be doing in Africa?
The 5 of us will be traveling to Kenya in order to lay the groundwork for the first ever International Global Youth Peace Summit (GYPS). In addition to building networks and scouting locations for the Kenya GYPS, myself and my fellow travelers will be serving three communities:
- Orphaned youth in Nairobi
- HIV-positive women at a hospital in the Korogocho slums
- Internally displaced people in Maai Mahiu and the Amani people at the foothills of Mt. Kenya in Maru
Believe it or not, a youth who has been coming to the Summit from Kenya for the last two years planted a seed of inspiration in the Hearts of all who attended. She dreamed of having this work come to her home country. When inspiration is so strong, how can we resist? We will be visiting her village and family while on this journey.
How are YOU serving by donating?
Your financial support will go towards covering a portion of myself and another of my fellow travelers journeying to Kenya (plane ticket $980+ each) and our cost of food, lodging and travel while there (approximately $2000 per person). Plus expenses for renting video and photo equipment so that we may show a world in action in the name of Peace by way of this documentary. As I intend to fund a portion of this trip out of my own pocket, your support helps to ensure that myself and another delegate can serve in laying the foundations for sustainable, authentic peace by connecting the youth of the world in one of the most war-torn areas on our planet, while not going broke in the process.
"There is no greater insight into the future than recognizing...when we save our children, we save ourselves" "•Margaret Mead
Who is Evelyn Apoko?
One of the young women going on the trip to Kenya, Africa is a native to Uganda, but now lives here in Austin, TX. Her name is Evelyn Apoko. Her compelling story, in her own words, is as follows:
"My name is Evelyn Apoko I am from Uganda. When I was 12 years old, I was kidnapped at gunpoint by a warlord of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and forced to join this brutal rebel group. The children abducted by the LRA are beaten, forced to kill, treated as pack mules, made to steal, sexually abused and treated as slaves. I witnessed atrocities and horrors that no person should every experience.
One day, while I was washing clothes for one of the rebel leaders' wives, a plane flew overhead. I started running and a bomb dropped next to me, killing the woman and baby next to me and severely injuring my face. I thought that I would not even live to see another day. The rebels came to carry the wounded back to camp. I was so badly injured, they left me to die in the grass. I survived. I got back to the rebel camp "“ only to be ostracized for the infected hole in my face. In 2004, by the grace of God, I escaped. On the brink of being killed for being a nuisance to the rebels, just barely made it out alive, and after being a slave for 3 years, I escaped. I have undergone several surgeries here in the United States. I was introduced to The Amala Foundation by Strongheart Fellowship and in 2010 attended the Global Youth Peace Summit. In 2011 and 2012, I served as a youth counselor, making a huge impact on the hearts and minds of those that attended the Summit. In 2011 and 2012, I also attended our 1st Annual San Quentin Prison Peace Walk, benefiting the Global Youth Peace Summit."
CLICK HERE to see Evelyn featured on CNN.
I am grateful to be among very inspiring women. It will be my immense pleasure traveling with them and the work we will be doing in Africa. It's difficult to wrap my mind around. Therefore, I'm simply being in a place of receiving this gift, serving the Amala Foundation and being a representative of the feeling of Love. Undoubtedly this experience is going to expand my being in every direction imaginable.
Literally days before meeting with Majida, I solidly placed my Intention on Heart expanding, Soul integrating experiences. I also placed my Intention on being surrounded by women in leadership roles, so that my own leadership potential might reveal itself in unknown, unexpected and exciting ways. I would say that is now clearly manifesting. :)
I have great respect and gratitude for this opportunity.
THANK YOU deeply for any donation amount you share. If you are unable to donate, I understand. I just ask that you share this with others. Because of your generosity (in whatever form), I am able to be in service in this way. Therefore your role is just as important as mine.
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