In the year 2000, as a 17 and 20 year old, we found ourselves immersed in a
world that exceeded our understanding. We were young, white, middle-class suburbanites; naïve to a life outside of the comforts of the first world landing for the first time on the fertile soils of Africa. With fresh eyes and open minds, we were hoping to discover our little niche in the world. Our eyes were quickly opened to something that was far beyond ourselves and we began to explore the roles that we were designed to play in all of it. The poverty, disease, and oppression that we saw during our first trip to South Africa became images that we could not leave behind. So, year after year, we continued to go back, just the two of us, when we had breaks from school or vacation time from work. For seven years we did this, all the time working toward an undefined goal. We would often ask ourselves the question “we’re just two young chics, what are we supposed to do about all of this, how are we suppose to create change”. The answer to that question for us was “build relationships”. We did not know the breadth of that statement for quite some time, and still we continue to learn more about what that means. We built relationships with the individuals we were serving as we returned year after year after year. This was so beneficial as they allowed us into their lives on deeper levels and we began to see the extent of the damage that poverty, disease, and social issues create. We also began to truly understand the beauty and character that is sculpted from surviving the terrors of AIDS, apartheid, abandonment, and death. When we were at home, the concept of building relationships took on other forms. We quickly realized the many resources at our fingertips. We made it our mission to bridge the enormous gap that exists between our local communities that are so abundant in resources and our global communities that are lacking tremendously. Our relationships with friends and family took on new meaning as they too found ways to get involved with what we were doing in Africa. Others began to say that they wanted to experience this for themselves and we formed our first volunteer team. Our vision grew, and Building a Global Community was born. We have now been officially established for almost six years and we have taken over 50 individuals on service trips to volunteer and assist in meeting the needs of people that might otherwise go unnoticed; forgotten.
The two of us, “young chics”, shared a vision of reaching out to a vulnerable population. We became immersed in the process of helping individuals advance so that they can thrive in their world. We have an incredible volunteer staff and many, many volunteers that have now come on board and adopted this vision as well. It’s amazing to see orphaned and abandoned children reach their potential and thrive in their lives, and then change the lives of those around them because we, “two young chics”, did what we knew to do year after year.