WHY WE EMPOWER THOSE IN OTHER COUNTRIES
Rebecca Jo Shepherd
Karen Robinson Moore
Project Resource and Facility Specialist
PRESS RELEASE NEW YORK, NY (PRWEB) MAY 17, 2016
So, you still think a small group of people can’t change the world? Think again. This year’s Billion Acts Hero Award Winners are as young as seven, some from the poorest areas in the world, an inspiring woman helping other women in Africa out of poverty, and brave community leaders risking their lives to provide conflict resolution solutions in one of the most dangerous regions of the world. Their projects include; bringing clean water to schools in Uganda, a youth run program supporting young refugees in Greece, sustainable business coaching for women in West Africa, life changing opportunities for slum dwellers in India, and negotiating peaceful solutions to conflicts in Columbia, a goal many have lost their lives trying to attain.
The One Billion Acts of Peace Campaign began in May 2014, and has engaged everyday global citizens to contribute more than 9.6 million Acts of Peace. Projects have been logged in 152 countries around the world. Each year in March, ten semifinalists are highlighted in five categories: Best Youth Act, Best Business Act, Best University Act, Best Non-Profit Act, and Best Up and Coming Peacemaker. Each May, five final award winners are chosen based on online voting results and the impact of each project. This year’s winners are:
-- Humara Bachpan (India)
-- Impact Water (Uganda)
-- PeaceJam Greece (Greece)
-- Universidad Javeriana (Colombia)
-- Lighting the Path (St. Louis, Missouri, USA)
These Hero Award winners are changing the way each of their communities deal with the most important difficult challenges they face.
Visit https://billionacts.org/hero-awards-voting to watch videos for each of the Hero Award winners, and to learn more about all ten Hero Award Semifinalists.
The Billion Acts Campaign is led by 13 Nobel Peace Laureates, including The Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Rigoberta Menchu and others Nobel Peace Prize winners who have worked with the PeaceJam organization for 20 years to mentor over two million youth worldwide. The Billion Acts Campaign invites peacemakers and community builders of all ages, backgrounds, causes and countries to address the problems in their own community, and to come together to try creative solutions big and small.
“So much of our news focuses on the worst of human behavior -- we want to celebrate the stories of the human spirit triumphing even in the toughest of conditions," said PeaceJam President Ivan Suvanjieff.
"We work hard to empower people all over the world to believe that they can create a better world, starting in their own community, right where they live,” said PeaceJam Executive Director Dawn Engle.
“Imagine coming together to fulfill or create 1 billion peace projects worldwide with 13 Nobel Peace Laureates, this has the potential to change the world”, said Billion Acts campaign chair Chade-Meng Tan.
Nobel Peace Laureate Rigoberta Menchu of Guatemala will be presenting the Hero Awards to the five winners at a gala ceremony on June 13th in Monaco. The One Billion Acts of Peace campaign has been nominated seven times for the Nobel Peace.
Community Contact Facilitator
Lighting the Path was chosen for the Billion Acts Hero Award!"
Working with missionaries in West Africa was supposed to be a short-term commitment, but it opened doors to a life purpose and passion of empowering others. I'm so fortunate to be able to impact lives and show them the love of Christ, all while partnering with some of the most passionate and driven people on the globe.
Lighting The Path Enterprises is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a mission to end poverty and empower marginalized populations with education, skills, business training, equipment and supplies to help them help themselves.
We believe in demonstrating the love of Christ in our actions, by meeting needs, empowering through enterprise projects and building long term relationships. We are currently working with mission and outreach organizations to identify impoverished areas and marginalized people who would benefit and are open to assistance. We are researching the best options to first meet the needs of nutrition, health and education. Once nutritional and health needs are addressed, we look to assist groups, individuals and programs in improving or starting their own enterprise and production of marketable products. We hope to address the need for assistance to disabled individuals who are often overlooked in many cultures. Maintaining respect for cultural and social practices and maintaining the dignity of the individual is a priority. We have found that once people are able to meet their own needs and improve their families standard of living, they are able to teach others and this increases the effectiveness of our efforts and expands the mission.
We are a partner organization with L'Association Namenegzbanga and Les Ailes de Refuge (Sheltering Wings) in Burkina Faso, West Africa and we are working with a number of missionaries and implementing many empowerment projects there.
To empower individuals with skills and knowledge to allow them to improve their own lives.
To research and implement projects to assist marginalized people in meeting basic needs and improve living conditions.
To show and teach the love of Christ in all we do.
To share the Word of God and encourage others to learn and follow the gospel.
To assist missionaries in the service to the Lord and better meeting the needs of the people they are serving.
Lighting the Path's mission aligns with the United Nations Millennium Development Goal(MDG), which is to end extreme poverty. By empowering individuals with education and job skills, instruction in the production of salable goods and creation of sustainable businesses we help families increase income, nutrition, education and access to healthcare. We also help communities, empower women, create jobs and equitable growth.
We are all unified in the purpose of answering God's call to take the Gospel to the nations(Matthew 28:18-20) We believe in demonstrating Christ's love through our actions and are working with villages who have accepted God's word and are in need and reaching out to populations who have not heard God's word.
The CEO and founder of Lighting The Path is Dawn Malcolm, a successful photography and graphic design business owner with experience in the handmade and creative goods market. She has a background that includes two Bachelor of Science degrees and experience in job and skills training and working with the disabled through employment at Life Skills Vocational Training Center and the Missouri Department of Disability Determinations. Dawn has volunteered with the national Girl Scout organization for over 16 years directing volunteers, implementing programs, running training events and working with girls of all ages and backgrounds. She is an active volunteer in her community working with Operation Food Search, Room at the Inn Shelter, Circle of Concern food Pantry and other community charities.
390 Lauren Landing
Ballwin MO 63021-7347 USA
Phone: +1 3146506397
Vocational Adviser and
Yaya's story of the walker
You do not always see the benefit of your work, but sometimes you do get that joy!
In my experience, most times in life you let God lead and you follow trusting that you are doing His will and other rare times it becomes so obvious that God used you for a specific purpose. I have to admit that my favorite times are when I see why God put me where he did. This trip had one of those moments when, out of the blue, the purpose for being there became crystal clear.
A little boy named Yaya, who lives in Kimini, is one of the people my mind always goes to when I think of the village. He is cared for by his kindly grandfather and other extended family after being abandoned by his mother. Yaya was born with physical difficulties causing weakness and great difficulty walking and using his arms. The family cares for him and he is obviously intelligent, but his future was very dim because of his difficulties. We had spoken with the family about putting him in school and they politely said they could not, primarily due to his inability to function independently.
When I arrived in the village I made a time to go and visit Yaya with some gifts from my brother and sister-in-law who are his sponsors in the Sheltering Wings child sponsorship program. I arrived with a 50 Kilo bag of rice for him and his family and some gifts just for him. He was carried over to where we were by an older boy in the family. He was filthy dirty and I asked about where he had been. It turns out that the family had been in the fields working and they take him with them and set him on the edge of the field. To do this does show how the family cares for him by choosing not to leave him alone all day with no care.
After seeing Yaya, I began to think about what could possibly help him support and steady himself enough to stand and walk.
I had purchased some plastic pipes and fittings for another project and my mind went to imagining what I could make with them which may help. I put together a design idea in my head and pulled out the hack saw and started in cutting and fitting pieces together. The result was a light weight plastic walker which I prayed would help and thanked God for the inspiration.We went to visit Yaya with the walker in hand and demonstrated how to use it. After a couple tries he steadied himself and got the hang of it and started actually walking with it! We cheered him on and he beamed with the biggest smile I have ever seen on his face. After watching him a few minutes we said goodbye and got in the truck to leave with tears of joy rolling down our cheeks over the miracle we had just witnessed. We returned two days later to check in and watched as Yaya walked and maneuvered around quickly with the walker smiling the entire time. It was mentioned that they may be able to enroll him in school and I pray that a whole new life may open up for him as he gets stronger and walks on his own. I give thanks to God for using me and letting the purpose for this trip become clear. It is a joy I will always remember and I am looking forward to my return trip to visit him again! - Dawn Malcolm
Lighting the Path was awarded the 2016 Hero Award for their work ending Poverty and empowering women. The award was chosen by a panel of 13 Nobel Peace Laureates and presented in Monte Carlo, Monaco by Nobel Peace Laureate Rigoberto Manchu.
Lighting the Path is a 501(c)(3) organization committed to transparency and accountability in our activities.
EIN 45-4807268 For questions call 314-650-6397
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Empowering People, Changing Lives