I never considered football cleats to be a financial burden for most families. Fast-forward to the end of my third year teaching, and second season as the football coach of the Triumph Charter HS Jaguars. On our field, it was common to see students playing in sneakers, slipping and balancing like circus performers on the unkempt grass. The effects of poverty were palpable in my community, but what about communities beyond my reach?
Data from the World Bank estimates that 70% of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa lives on less than 2 dollars per day.
We are all born into circumstances beyond our control. The environment to which I was born allowed me to get an education and pursue opportunities that many children do not have, such as playing college football with customized orange and black cleats. This is the system we live in, but it doesn't have to be. If we dream big, then we can accomplish big things; the epoch of teaching in a low-income school proved that I could positively impact human lives, but more importantly it showed that I could expand my sphere of possibility. Now, I am traveling to Tanzania to volunteer for eight months in a rural village (Arusha) to help low-income families manage assets, participate in long-term wealth creation, and gain financial literacy. My work will involve partnering with a local microfinance institution, learning about the Tanzanian culture and international business, and challenging my limitations and perspectives cultivated in 25 years of western privilege and ideology.
The mission is to learn about the challenges of poverty and to build an awareness of the opportunity and need in rural Sub-Saharan Africa.
If you decide to donate, you will be indirectly participating in this journey alongside me. So, I will offer each contributor a picture of the journey accompanied by a brief tale of what the picture represents. I will upload the pictures regularly on our blog site
or if you prefer to receive a hard copy of the photo, I can mail it to your address upon my return to the US. Please forward your mailing address to the contact email provided.
The deluge of inequality and injustice we swim against is powerful, but the human spirit is courageous. I am blessed and grateful to have your contribution and support.
- Beatrice Viramontes
- Dale Widolff
- Melissa Avila
- Alex Safransky
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