We Got Invited!
Often people ask us why we want to go so far away to lend a helping hand. They ask why we don’t do it right here, in America, where people suffer too. “Africa, really?”
And here’s the first, and most simple, answer: We got invited.
In each neighborhood where we work, or will work one day (God willing), we were asked to come and see. Come and see; what a phrase. In it lay all the mysteries of life. You see, all of us at FTF have this thing called a past. You have one too. And during the course of your life you’ve had experiences. You’ve gone and seen. And what you’ve seen has been imprinted on your soul. It’s what makes your soul and your mind and your life yours, and not someone else's. And so, for Ryan and I and all of us at FTF, the simple answer, but not the only answer, is: We got invited. Our previous lives have led us to live this life.
But there is another reason we’ve started this FTF thingy overseas. It’s cheap.
Our model, the deep, immersive entrepreneurial model means living as folks live, wherever they live, in poverty. And here’s a newsflash: Rent in the South Bronx (where I lived and worked for more than seven years) is about 10 times more expensive than rent in Adwa, Ethiopia. Food? 15 times more expensive. Transportation?
Well, you get it.
Our model requires that we raise seed money so we can respond to the invitation to plant ourselves and water the dreams of incredible local entrepreneurs. We can do this for less than 1k a month in places like Ethiopia and Sierra Leone. That’s for every expense nuts to bolts- flights over and back and health insurance and all the things necessary to support a coordinator in the field. Try that in the Bronx. Or in Immokalee, Florida. Good luck.
And then there’s the idea that not all poverty is equal. In Sierra Leone the kids we hope to work with have lost their parents to Ebola. They have nothing, including the backing of a state welfare system. In the Georgian Republic, the Armenian population of southern Georgia have been forgotten in the mountains of Javakheti. It’s complicated, but its not impossible to understand that not all poverty is equal.
Our dollars go further overseas, and well, we get more bang for the buck.
Finally, it is important to understand that our vision for the future of FTF involves a world-wide gaggle of problem solving entrepreneurs loving and living with people of all stripes and colors. We have every intention of bringing this buggy back home; of turning it into a well oiled Ford F-150.
But first we walk, slowly, into those neighborhoods where we’ve been invited- toward the places that have been imprinted on our souls. But we like invites, who doesn’t, so please go ahead and invite us to your community. Call us! 239-687-6469.