Where I grew up, money was hard to come by. Things became harder after my dad died when I was 13 years old. Not only did his death come with a scarcity of resources and money, most of his friends deserted our family.
To me, I would rather a child grows up lacking material things and money but not family, relatives and friends which makes up the community that shapes up a person’s opinion of life, themselves and the abundant resources they possess.
That is the one thing I regretted not getting from my extended family, relatives, church abs the community in our village. My mom beinga staunch Christian, refused to get inherited as our traditions dictates.
This being so, they made it clear they would have nothing to do with our mom, and by extension her children.
As a result, I grew up hating my mom because I believed she was derailing my development by refusing to cooperate with the community.
However, I would gladly accompany her on trips to build houses for widows and orphans the community regarded as untouchable.
Money does not grow on trees, but I wish it did
My family’s house was a grass thatched roof and mud walled hut. Whenever it rained, we would wake up to help mom move our papyrus sleeping mat to where it was dry.
While doing so, some of us – were five in total – would help trap the rainwater and carry our sleeping last born sister.
My mom wasn’t allowed to build a new hut and no man in the whole village could repair our house unless she agreed to get inherited. Food was scarce and we knew what lacking basic needs meant.
Much as I felt inadequate, I had a dream of becoming a writer and using my experience to write stories that would inspire young men to discover their inborn treasures, talent and gifts.
The 3 kinds of boys I work with
I work with 3 kinds of boys and young men. The first group is made up of young men in correctional facilities, learning institutions and our shop. The second category is made up of young people who read about my work online.
The last group are young men referred to us by friends who are financially supporting them.
The first two groups reach out to me and seek to explore what the world would look like if they were to use their inborn treasures, talents and gifts to provide homegrown solutions to the challenges our communities and country faces.
All my wife and I do is invite young people to learn from our mistakes, failures and aspirations. We point them to the importance of work, guided self reliance and finding homegrown solutions.
Our relationship is built on exchange of ideas, knowledge, resources and network that empowers one to create wealth.
Failure to launch
These are the valuable lessons we have learned and share with our exceptional young men. However, not many of them are ready to accept that they possess wealth, treasures and time. None of them want their expenditures to be questioned or hear about alternative ways of creating wealth and acquiring assets. They become agitated and say we are jealous and envious of what they have been getting with no questions asked.
I have come to learn that a majority of people involved in humanitarian interventions do so out of sacrifice. They don’t get involved because money grows on trees outside their houses.