How CHOICE leaders are making change happen in their communities.
CHOICE Humanitarian’s mission is to end extreme poverty. That mission couldn’t be accomplished without the volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to making the world a better place—one village at a time. At every level of the organization—from our home office to the villages around the world—there are leaders and volunteers hard at work combating poverty.
One of those leaders is Pascal Karisa, a CHOICE Humanitarian native leader who’s making a big difference in his community in the Samburu District in Kenya.
Pascal started working with CHOICE in 2009 when he joined a program to help community members access loans for income-generating activities. He has also been active in the Sailaloni Development Organization where he works with the Community Based Education Trust Foundation (COBETF) program that helps pay school fees for needy children.
Making a Difference: Today and Tomorrow
While Pascal gives a large amount of his time to humanitarian efforts, he recognizes that it requires the efforts of the entire community to enact long-term change.
“CHOICE Humanitarian projects are all about making a difference through changing the attitudes of the people,” says Pascal. He believes that the program makes the strongest impact in education and in the general social life of the communities. As a result of these programs, the educational COBETF program has given secondary school students access to education where they otherwise may not have—and this change of attitude means that living standards have improved.
“There is an improvement in the infrastructure, especially in the schools where expeditions have taken place,” Pascal says, mentioning the Kaza Moyo and Shauri Moyo primary schools. “The spirit of the expedition has taught this community to learn commitment through cost sharing. Because of this, the community continues to improve the infrastructure even after the expeditions. We are hoping to experience more improvement through the upcoming 2018 expeditions at Silaloni and Mwangaza primary schools.”
“Teamwork is the solution to our barriers,” he says. “The community should be engaged and involved in all matters of decision making. Every member of the community has a responsibility for the development of each project. The local leaders can steer and encourage the community for development.”
The CHOICE Humanitarian Impact
The work of CHOICE volunteers and staff is never over. As long as communities are experiencing or recovering from extreme poverty, there are people fighting for positive change to bring education and opportunities to those who need assistance.
Like others, Pascal’s work with CHOICE and other humanitarian efforts is ongoing. He is currently involved in the COBETF program to sponsor clever students in secondary schools, as well as expedition programs that bring about infrastructural improvements in local schools. He is also involved in SIMA (Silaloni Men’s Association)—formed with the help of CHOICE—which helps men realize and accept their responsibilities.
The efforts of every individual matter and CHOICE offers many ways for anyone to get involved. One of those ways is through the Village, where anyone can make donations towards the humanitarian efforts in villages across the globe. Members of the Village program can also volunteer to join us on expeditions to be where the change happens. CHOICE has many upcoming expeditions and training and leadership workshops for 2018. It’s all part of how CHOICE empowers individuals to make a difference.