How would you feel if every day you drank water with silt and dead insects floating on its surface?
How would you feel if that same water was the water you would use for your bath – or to bathe your newborn infant?
How would you feel if you could never take a shower, or had to share your toothbrush with six other people?
How would you feel if every night you went to bed hungry, and every time you ate you were still hungry afterwards – the meal only taking the edge off of your starvation?
How would you feel if you could give something meaningful to someone else: a cup of clean water to drink, a basin of clean water to bathe in, a meal to fill someone’s stomach, a toothbrush he didn’t have to share?
Genuine philanthropy is the gift of serving those who might never be able to give anything back to you. Helping someone you do not know without considering yourself is the ultimate gift to yourself; you can’t get that feeling from anything else but through giving.
Why not give a double gift: a gift of sharing with someone else, then a gift to yourself? Why not feed someone else and in doing so, replenish your own soul?
Sharing with the underprivileged is not a choice; rather, it is our social responsibility. It is a violation of human rights that some are born in poverty and cannot afford the education to elect political leaders who have their best interest at heart. The situation is unlikely to ever get better until those who are disadvantaged are given the education, resources and tools to lead a better life than the generations before them.
Simwatachela Sustainable Agricultural and Arts Program [SSAAP] is a 501(c)3 organization recognizing the beauty, dignity and culture of the people of Sierra Leone, West Africa as well as the people of Zambia, Sub-Saharan Africa. Through promoting clean drinking water in rural areas, serving rural schools with water filters as well as providing scholarships to attend school for disadvantaged children, and teaching sanitation and hygiene through hand-washing, SSAAP aims to empower people through not only education and resources to uplift their lives, but also by teaching them that they are worth this and more to the rest of the world.
They have not been forgotten.
Why partner with, support, or donate to SSAAP? What does SSAAP offer that other grassroots international nonprofit organizations do not?
SSAAP spends one to two years at a time in the field, living with and working together with the very beneficiaries SSAAP serves. Executive Director Heather C. Cumming and her Sierra Leonean daughter speak ciTonga (local language in Zambia) fluently, and her daughter speaks Krio (national language of Sierra Leone). Ms. Cumming has been living in the field for the last decade (since 2004) and considers the people SSAAP serves her family.
SSAAP’s status as a straightforward, simple and organic nonprofit organization is highly beneficial in that it doesn’t seek to outgrow itself or reach beyond its means. Serving in two countries – both of which Ms. Cumming has family within – has been of great value to participants of the project as they know Ms. Cumming and the key players of the project personally. Over time, the necessary relationship of trust has been built between SSAAP and its beneficiaries for this reason.
Donations, support, and resources donated to SSAAP are also transparent due to the project’s size.
Does SSAAP seek to enlarge itself? Only in its support and in the amount of people whose lives it touches – both in Africa and around the globe.