I’d known Wendee nearly ten years as a dynamic journalist who traveled the globe to report on wildlife and environmental issues. So when, in 2014, she told me she was selling her house in Texas and moving to Uganda to start a nonprofit on behalf of the Batwa people, I thought she was a teensy bit crazy. But when she explained the principles on which Redemption Song Foundation would be based, and her plan to implement them, I not only got on board – I literally joined the organizations first Board of Directors, on which I still serve.
RSF is different from most charities set in the poorest parts of the developing world in that help is not “imposed” by outsiders. Rather, the people served are consulted every step of the way, with the ultimate goal being to empower them to be self-sufficient not only by providing for their basic needs, education, and infrastructure, but also helping them to create economic livelihoods (like the Women’s Artisan Co-op) that help them maintain the unique Batwa culture. And we strive to do it in a sustainable way, replanting trees felled to build bridges and modest homes and –this year – providing solar light and energy.
The “Power to the People” campaign, if fully funded, will make fulfilling basic needs, gaining an education, building and maintaining infrastructure, and creating a livelihood that much easier.
That’s why I’m donating, and asking everyone I know to donate, to the 2018 Giving Tuesday fundraiser by November 27. We need to raise more than $15,000 to bring solar power to 8 existing homes in the Batwa village of Bwindi. We’ll also build new solar-powered homes for 3 single moms, and get solar power for our school, Hope Stone Academy. Each home will also get a solar lantern for going to the outhouse (latrine) at night along with a cell phone. This will make an enormous difference in their lives: I urge you to watch the video and see for yourself:
This year, as every year, there are many worthy causes raising funds. But many are well known and receive millions in donations. RSF is a tiny organization with a huge heart that’s helping people few knew exist. So every little bit helps!