Meet the Founder
I can remember the day that changed my life…
I was ten-years-old and my father and I took a bus ride through Nairobi. As our bus stopped at a light, many children ran up to the bus and banged on our windows asking for money to buy food with. At that moment I met the eyes of one particular begging child. His stomach was bloated and huge - disproportionate to his body - and his eyes were yellow.
As I stared into this little boy’s eyes I felt strangely connected to him. His eyes were pleading for me to help, but as a child I felt absolutely powerless.
Our guide John, who was an older man that had worked as a safari tour guide his whole life, noticed how affected I was by the child. He had a gentleness about him that made me feel I could open up to him.
He sat down beside me and changed how I saw the world…
“Things in this country are very hard right now,” he explained, “I am very lucky, this job takes care of my wife and children and allows them to go to school. But so many others are not so lucky…”
He turned away and sat quietly for a while. I could feel a churning sensation in my stomach. There was a sadness, an emptiness, in me, but most of all, a yearning to make a difference. I could not accept that this was reality for so many people.
Turning back to me, John put his elbows on his knees so his face was level with mine. This caring old man, weathered by work, shared words of quiet wisdom with me that night…
He instilled in me an awareness that the freedom and opportunity that comes with being a citizen of a privileged country could be used for more than my own needs. He showed me that my fortunate citizenship gave me a unique opportunity to not only have an effect on my own life and government, but to positively affect those in need outside of our borders.
I wouldn’t know it then, but that one conversation, that one man changed my life forever.
Over the next fourteen years, countless experiences and powerful conversations with people had made it clear that there was a real need for a nonprofit that was led by local staff in each country, that could provide the right kind of support, training, and ability to track the students and staff at schools to ensure their success.
It was clear to me that to ensure long-term success of any school, the nonprofit could not just give them a “fish”, instead we would need to teach them to fish themselves!
These are the principles upon which Humans for Education were founded in September 2015.
Since then, we have learned that each school, each student, and each teacher is unique and has much to bring to the table. We have learned that through collaborative efforts, incredible results can be obtained. We have learned that throughout our journey, none of this would have been possible without each and every single supporter.
Something else I learned is that I am not special! I am not extraordinary. I am just a normal person that realized I had the power to affect change. I believe that all ordinary people are capable of extraordinary accomplishments.
That one conversation so many years ago changed my life. I hope this one will change yours…
Daphne Pariser, 2016
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