Kate and Steven thought "we have it in our power to do something that matters so much"
Kate Brady and Steven Kahn, San Francisco, CA
"When our son David joined a group of REACH Shirati (formerly AISCS) volunteers on a trip to Shirati in 2008, we were already supporters of the organization. When David returned, he had many stories to tell. Toward the end of the trip, at a gathering at someone's house, he'd met a man living with AIDS, working a farm together with other men living with AIDS. But none of them was really strong enough to carry their produce to market to sell. If only they had a bike, but a bike would cost around $50, which was out of reach for them. David gave the man $50, a small sum compared to the very large effect it would have on the lives of these men."There's such a "straight" sense to the aims and approach of REACH Shirati. While it operates on a small scale, the organization has always figured out how to apply its resources, whether the energy and skills of volunteers or funding, in a way that has the maximum effect on the lives of the people in Shirati. Another thing we learned from our son was that the hospital in Shirati, which serves a large and poor rural region, wasn't able to provide food to patients. Patients depended on their families, who often had to come a long distance to the hospital, to provide them with food. The result was especially harsh for malnourished children and new mothers, who had a critical need for adequate nutrition. "In the same way that David's $50 could matter so much, we understood immediately that if we could raise even a few thousand dollars , we could fund a program that would feed children and maternity patients for a year. To know that all the money we raised would go for this purpose and to know that we had it in our power to do something that mattered so much (that might help so many children survive) felt like a mandate we had to honor. "When Dr. Chirangi became director of the hospital, we committed to raising funds every year for the food program. The cost of the program has been shared among our friends and acquaintances and other REACH Shirati supporters, and as that circle grows, we hope one day to fund a food program that feeds every patient. One of the beauties of this program is that the food is cooked by a local women's collective, and the money they earn helps to support their families, so that the effects of our giving are multiplied still further. Every dollar we raise is spent on paying for food. Many of the women in the maternity ward share their food with other patients who are less fortunate. One day we hope we'll be able to honor their spirit by funding a program that feeds all the patients."Kate Brady and Steven Kahn, San Francisco, CA
"we understood immediately that if we could raise even a few thousand dollars , we could fund a program that would feed children and maternity patients for a year."