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My name is Christoph, I live in Germany, and I am the founder of a new and progressive human rights organization called HEARTHS.
HEARTHS, short for “HElping African Refugees To Help ThemSelves” is a project of self help, with its aim to inspire our members to unite and to work together for a common purpose, which is to help improve living conditions for many poor and suffering people all across Africa.
To help our members learn what they can do to help themselves, HEARTHS would like to support various sustainable projects, designed to empower our members through group meetings and workshops, educational programs in the field of agriculture, health care, a school dedicated to the development of talents and practical skills, nutritional programs, computer-based education, and the setting up of small bussinesses so that our members can learn to look after themselves instead of always having to rely on the help of others.
So far, I have not visited Africa, but over the past decade have developed countless friendships with people in Africa over the Internet: In 2009, I made my first online acquaintance with Mayea Gaye, a widow from Liberia who left her country after the civil war in 1989, and since then was relocated to live in Ghana on a refugee camp. During many conversations we discussed the fact that most people in Africa do not know what they can do to help themselves, but mainly look for for other people to help them.
We then realized that giving them money to meet their short-term needs only helps for a moment, but then, after a while, they are in need again. Mayea then told me about her vision of establishing a human rights organization to help the many poor people, refugees, widows and orphans in Africa by helping them learn to recognize, develop and utilize their inner powers, abilities and talents.
Since she herself was very poor, and she also had a daughter to look after, I helped her to open a small shop where she sold clean drinking water. With the proceeds of that she was able to support herself, her daughter and 2 other people. Another person I met in 2009 became my first online son, who I helped to start a small photo shop on the Buduburam refugee camp in Ghana.
This is also the basic idea behind HEARTHS; that the only long-term solution to help refugees and poor people in Africa is by helping them to start small businesses so they can support themselves and meet their own needs.
After meeting more and more people from Africa, I developed the idea of HEARTHS, and founded the online group on Facebook in early 2014. At that time we only had about 40 people in our group, but today we have several thousand members and we are constantly growing with new people from all across Africa. Over the years I have invested a lot of time to meet our members with care and appreciation, so they look at me as their father and brother. Of course, most of them hope that I will help them eventually with money, but then I make it clear to them, that it is my only purpose to start a human rights organization, and that I also need their help with that. I then invite them to join our online group on Facebook and encourage them to start working with our other members.
The majority of our members are extremely poor and uneducated refugees, widows and orphans who have no one to look after them. but we also have many artists, students, teachers, writers, DJ’s, founders of various humanitarian agencies and orphanage leaders as members of HEARTHS. After countless conversations with many people in Africa, I realized how difficult it is to encourage them to work together only through the internet.
Most of the poor people in Africa live very isolated from each other. Other than a few personal friends, they dont really trust and care for “strangers”. It is therefore the purpose of HEARTHS to unite our members in the spirit of love, mutual respect and trust, I have created a group chat on Facebook, as well as one on Whatsapp, where daily conversations take place between our members. Here I also encourage them to get to know each other, to become friends, to support each other and to work together on small projects. In addition to that, our facbook group serves as an online portal for HEARTHS, where we regularly publish information regarding various projects and group meetings in Africa, and where our members share personal posts with pictures and videos to document their situation in Africa.
Over the years I met some very prominent, educated, good-hearted and trusworth people, and then appointed them to HEARTHS executives. With their help we started a few small projects, like distribute food to an orphanage in Liberia, hold several group meetings in Ghana, Liberia and Uganda, and conduct a career development program with around 100 students in Liberia.
HEARTHS is a most unique human rights organization which I have started by working with our members in Africa through the internet. For many years, I have gained the trust and affection of countless people in Africa who want to learn to free themselves from the spiral of poverty. Every month since the founding of HEARTHS, I send between $200 and $500 to Africa in order to finance various HEARTHS projects, but I myself am only one person with a rather limited income, and so I am reaching out to other good hearted humanitarians, who would be willing to work with us.
So we can establish a strong organizational structure, which will allow us to help the many needy and poor people and refugees in Africa learn how to help themselves, following are a few things you personally can do to help us:
°Volunteer your time and energy to help HEARTHS increase its activities, and social network presence, help with writing project proposals, fundraising.
° Join our group on facebook to meet some of our members directly, and teach an online class on a variety of subjects, such as effective communication, mathematics and english, how to develop skills and virtues, to empower, inspire and motivate our members, and to share kindness, love and hope.
° Contribute a financial donation.
° Suggest HEARTHS to other organizations and individuals who could also support our work.
° Spread the word about HEARTHS and our work with your friends, family and network by posting our cause to your website, social media site, and as an email signature.
° Register HEARTHS in your country or community and become an official HEARTHS ambassador.
It would also be great if we could join an existing organization that is already doing humanitarian work in Africa, and who can send volunteers to Ghana, Liberia or other African countries where HEARTHS exists, and to assist our members to develop sustainable projects and a strong organizational structure
We also would like to register HEARTHS here in Germany, and other countries as well, so it would be great if you could support us in this regard.
Thank you wholeheartedly for your time and attention, and I would be very happy to hear from you.
With heartfelt greetings,
Founder of HEARTHS
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