“Always be learning & insatiably curious” – Change Heroes Manifesto
As some of you may know, one of Change Heroes core values is to “always be learning and insatiably curious.” The human brain works far too well and far too fast to ever become stagnant. The Change Heroes office is full of individuals who are facing obstacles and overcoming them because they go out of their way to learn new tactics, processes, and solutions. Now where do you think this importance of learning comes from? Curiosity of course. When a problem arises, the mind takes over. Questions like why? How? What can I do to fix this? New ways of looking, examining, defining problems start to develop. Suddenly that coding problem is a puzzle, that photoshop layer is origami. So how can people begin to grasp all that being curious has to offer? Well. Let me tell you.
Welcome to the Change Heroes in Kipsongol, Kenya community report!
Located in the Nkori Nori district of Kenya, Kipsongol is a rural village with a population of approximately 1,800 people. A Kenyan minority ethnic group the Kipsigis mostly dominates the village, in addition to many single parent families and orphans. Due to the presence of HIV/AIDS in the community, access to health care is a huge concern. The nearest water source is 15 kilometers away so the travel time affects how much time the mothers can spend with their family.
The lack of access to educational resources is also an issue for the community. Most of the villagers haven’t been properly educated academically, or on important lifestyle habits, such as sanitation, and this has resulted in high degrees of unemployment, severe illnesses, alcoholism, and malnutrition.
Due to a drought issue that the villagers face every year, many individuals are beginning to steer away from the long-going cattle farming jobs and move into the tourism industry. However, many of them require extended education to complete their training and transition. With the rise of the tourism industry and the low literacy rate in the village (averagely 60%), both Free The Children and Change Heroes see a lot of potential in the villagers of Kipsongol. This is why Kipsongol became a project for the two organizations in early 2012! As you continue reading, you’ll be able to learn more about the school building process of Kipsongol and where the village is today!
Be authentically raw. What does that mean, though?
The word authentic is interchangeable with genuine and real. It is paired with this ideology that as long as an item, person, thing is not ‘fake’ or participating in some sort of misrepresentation, it is authentic.
So what happens when you take a human, real and alive in every way, and tell them to be authentic? At first they may think, well, I am real and I am present, so aren’t I acting authentically already? Being human, we are blessed with layers of humanity to beam authenticity. On the outside, we are perfectly capable of showing authenticity without thinking through the breaths we take, the way we blink our eyes when the sun is bright, and the way we brush our hair out of our face. But what about authenticity that beams within us, the kind we can shine on those around us? This kind of authenticity is what I’m talking about. Dig deep. You’re real, I know it, so don’t just show me, let me feel it like rays of sunshine on my skin.
Taylor Conroy, the founder of this epic and ever-changing startup we’re working for (and who you’ll likely come to know as ‘T’) is constantly reiterating the notion that we are all social entrepreneurs.
What does this mean? It means that in order for us to be successful as a whole; in order for Change Heroes to be successful as a whole — given the fast-paced environment — we must be individually motivated, self-starting social entrepreneurs. It means that we care (I mean REALLY care) about our mission, and are inspired in our roles to create massive impact. It means that no matter where we are (we all have a tendency to travel a lot) or what’s going on in our lives, we’re constantly connected and working towards our common goal of IMPACT.
We have accomplished something marvellous. Together, with all of you amazing supporters, we have funded 100 schools! Yes, I know, we are a little late on our celebratory dynamics, however we are still jumping out of our skin with excitement.
On June 10, 2014 we hosted the #100schools party at Sitar Indian restaurant in Gastown and we dedicated it to all of the wonderful people (like you!) who have contributed to our success and brought us to where we are now: our tribe.
Our tribe consists of all of the wonderful Change Heroes that have launched or donated to campaigns around the world. Without their dedication to making a difference, we would not have celebrated #100schools, and we definitely wouldn’t have thrown an awesome party in their honour.
Located in the Narok South District in Kenya, Sikirar is a small community with a population of 2,200 people. The community is largely dominated by the Massai people, a semi-nomadic ethnic group, and it also hosts many Kisii families, a tribe in Kenya.
At a simple glance, the village seems vibrant with its laughing villagers clothed in beautiful robes in various shades of the sun. However, the villagers of Sikirar face multiple issues in education, health and sanitation. What attracted Free The Children and Change Heroes to Sikirar is the strong nature of the villagers who stop at nothing to better the conditions of their community.
Everyday is an opportunity for learning. Even when disguised a simple good time celebration, we were none-too-happy to leave with a lesson; a takeaway of 5 things we learned from going to a party.
First off — we’re human. So, although we spend the majority of our time trying to figure out how we can change the world, we enjoy letting loose just as much as the next person. And when a party invitation just happened to flutter our way, we were more than happy to RSVP with a potentially over-exuberant YES.
While we have team members stationed in different cities all over North America, our main headquarters are currently located in the beautiful city of Vancouver, BC. One of our amazing #100HEROES, Alastair Hart, was hosting a party just a few blocks down from our office, to celebrate with his team of Change Heroes for raising the $10,000 (they actually raised a little more than that!) to build a school in Kenya. We were honoured to be invited, and couldn’t wait to celebrate their success.
Let’s face it — It’s 2014 now and we’ve entered a new era where it’s millennials in the workplace. No, scratch that. Millennials are taking over the workplace and every CEO on earth is trying to figure out how to attract this new breed and how to prove they have exactly what millennials want in the workplace.
Take it from a millennial point-of-view.
We’ve invaded your office buildings — with our diplomas, certificates and degrees in tow — we’ve broken down the walls of your quartered-off cubicles and stocked your communal fridges with Kombucha for the morning and beers and ciders for the afternoon. We’ve replaced your rolling “power” chairs with brightly coloured bean bags and when we’re having a mental block, we work through it over a ping-pong battle with a colleague.