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We're really encouraged by the number of people who engaged in the first month of #SDGDaily! From Gospel Artists to PR people, pastors to students...we've had great feedback about how simple it is to do good using the #SDGDaily Calendar.
Yesterday, we hosted a gathering of people we've spoken to over the past few months about the work of Simply Do Good. Even at this event, we had singers, a hype man, an actor, a pastor, radio presenters, a sales and marketing manager and even a cop! Every one of them was there for one reason...they have a heart for doing good.
To start off the event, music producer and Kubamba Radio presenter Saint P spoke of his involvement with SDG as an Ambassador. This was followed by an explanation by Tin Roof Society Founder Shawn about WHY Simply Do Good started and the reason behind it. The first part of this explanation was a quote from the bible:
"9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith." Galations 6: 9-10
Each member of our team then took the story a bit further. Barbara outlined the three core focus areas for this year (Vulnerable People, Environment and Public Officers) before Wilberforce shared how he came to become involved in SDG and has inspired and co-ordinated the launch in several different counties. Next up, Fred spoke about how as a pastor, SDG is a very natural fit for him and how much he has enjoyed carrying out deeds in January. He then invited the group to share good deeds they had done in the recent past and how it made them feel or the impact it had. The answers were amazing:
- one person had paid fares for a stranger on a bus...only to find out later that the passenger only had fare for one way and had been stressed about how they would get home
- a music artist had heard a security guard at one of their gigs talking anxiously and clearly in distress. He found out that the guard's child had been refused a school leaving certificate due to a fees balance of 500ksh. All the artist had on Mpesa was 500ksh but he sent it so that the balance could be cleared and the certificate issued.
- our friendly cop had done a good deed just that morning on his way to our event. Having been dropped too far by the matatu, he alighted and came across a fight between two flower vendors. Although in civilian clothes, he took time to go over and stop the fight and help resolve the issue...and was rewarded with perfect directions to get to us!!
Having heard these examples, we then launched our February #SDGDaily calendar. This was warmly received and our friends were keen to sign up for deeds for the coming month!! We hope that you will join us by downloading a copy of this month's calendar and carrying out one deed a week. Let us know how it makes you feel or the impact it has by tagging us @sdgkenya on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
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The value of a person is not determined by their abilities, but by the sheer fact of their existence as a creation of God. This extends to all of us regardless of gender, race, origin, religion etc. We all have intrinsic value given to us by our Creator as part of His grand design. The challenge is that often the value is not recognized, not given or is all together dismissed, especially for the most vulnerable in our society.
To my shame I have walked by the most vulnerable in deplorable situations and used my busy schedule, lack of expertise or not knowing how to “really help” to excuse my inaction. I have left the severely crippled, young and potentially even abused in my shadow as I travelled past onto whatever urgent thing was calling me that day. I didn’t give a thought to the tragic situation the person crumpled on the sidewalk was enduring at that moment and possibly for the rest of their lives.
Today I drove by a slumped over figure with the tell-tale blue plastic cup placed in front of them by whatever “handler” had put him there. I had driven by him before, but today was different. Whether it was the cold 6:00 AM weather or the fact that he was laying facedown, I parked the car and came back. I approached him slowly and greeted him softly with “Habari ndugu” so as not to scare him in the early morning. He didn’t move. I knelt down beside him and put my hand on his back, feeling the malformed bones poking through his clothing as he lifted his head slightly from the sidewalk and looked at me with a mixture of fear and confusion. Over the next few minutes I tried to get him to speak, as did Emmanuel, the young South Sudanese man who had just dropped his bus fare into the blue, plastic cup, but to no avail. Emmanuel and I went across the street to see if the person who dropped this young man here was nearby but the boda boda drivers said he had been dropped off very early and the people responsible were long gone. They proceeded to tell me one of the commonly held theories that this young man and others dotted along the roads of Nairobi are from Tanzania and were brought to beg where there was more money, as if that excused the drivers from helping.
I was at a loss of what to do, but I knew that “nothing” was not an option. I went into a local restaurant, ordered chai and a small loaf of bread and took it to him. As soon as I set the bread and tea in front of him, he used whatever energy he had to grab the bread with his one able hand and eat like he had not been fed in days. I sat with him as he ate and I watched person after person, car after car pass by this fragile, neglected, needy fellow human, without even a glance except to figure out why this mzungu was sitting on a curb staring back at them. I was upset at first at the uncaring disregard for this life sitting crumpled on the sidewalk, until I was reminded that until about 45 minutes before, that was me passing by…
I haven’t stopped thinking about this young man and the many like him in our city all day. I am not sure what the answer is, since there don’t seem to be public institutions to care for the disabled in Kenya other than for children. When those who are over 18 years old are taken to the police they are often just jailed, not helped. What I do know is that doing "nothing" is no longer an option. So let’s begin a conversation. What do we do? What can our community do? How can we change the story for so many who are abused and neglected in our city, even if it is one by one? I’m ready to listen and learn.
Post By Shawn Koonce
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One of the goals of SDG Kenya is to create a shift in culture. We want to make doing good a part of everyday life for as many people as possible. By doing so, we believe that individuals and communities will be positively impacted.
January is a time when people make resolutions about changes they will make in the coming year. These aren’t always realistic or achievable! For those who want to resolve to do good in 2018, we have a simple solution.
Each month, we will share a calendar filled with suggested good deeds. Many of these don’t require money to do and some don’t even take much effort. Examples include saying “Thank you”, sharing words of encouragement, helping someone with chores or picking up a piece of trash. Our hope is that people will select at least one deed a week and carry it out.
Join us! Download the calendar below or follow us @SDGKenya on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for a daily deed. Use the hashtag #SDGDaily to share what you have done or send in ideas of other deeds we can include in future months.