Though we are small, our impact is large. Our ABSF grantee partners inspire us every day. From securing high quality, age-appropriate wheelchairs for children in a remote corner of Tanzania, to providing job training and employment to young women in Guatemala, we support people all over the world. Children with disabilities in Uganda are now able to access school for the first time because they finally have a wheelchair to get them there and a ramp to get into the classroom. Young women in Rwanda have overcome all odds, and made it into university by accessing programs available to them through Komera. They have gone on to start businesses and give back to their communities. Young Nicaraguans, living in a time of uncertainty and political upheaval, are receiving high level care from physical therapists, and re-purposing mobility devices to serve young children with mobility challenges from ABSF partner, Cielo de Amor. These examples are just a small sampling of the programs that rely on ABSF’s partnership to operate and thrive in struggling regions of the globe.
Having had the opportunity to see many of these organizations in action over the last couple of years, I am convinced of the positive impact the Arthur B. Schultz Foundation is having in the communities in which we operate. I am also moved by the number of organizations that carry the same vision of Arthur B. Schultz himself, the concept of paying-it-forward, and giving back to one’s community. Two young women from northern Kenya have finished their university level teaching degrees in Nairobi, and are planning to teach in the new Kalacha Girls School to fill the gap of a lack of quality teachers in this remote region. Dalifa, a highly successful 2012 graduate of the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy, has returned to the school to teach chemistry. Maria Omare, Executive Director of The Action Foundation, has taken a spot on the advisory council for Street Business School, a collaboration between two outstanding ABSF partners.
In spite of the uncertainty of our current times, I am more optimistic than ever as we head into 2019. The partnerships we’ve formed, friendships we’ve created, and smiles on the children I’ve met along the way have me inspired for everything to come, as I believe our partners are truly changing the world. In the words of our Founder, and as I’m sure you’ll agree, “small is beautiful.”
Rachael K Richards