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Feb 17

Ubuntu: “I had nothing but I believed in the power of my people.”

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Photo Credit NaomiW25 on Wikimedia Commons

By Hans Kaufmann

Este artículo ha sido traducido al español aqui.

When I worked with children in the Shambhala Center in Vienna, stories were always an important and requested part of our meetings. During the last years they were around 10 and they manifested vivid inquisitiveness and interest in foreign countries and what happened in the greater world in general. I was always looking for stories, which might be interesting for them. Once I found the story of Kennedy Odede and his SHOFCO (“Shining hope for communities”)  project in Kibera, a big slum in Nairobi (described in A path appears, by  Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn). This was the story, the kids were most impressed of – and I think it’s not only a story for kids.

One question, which was amazing for them was: how could a human being who had grown up in an degraded environment, full of violence and drug abuse, who suffered from a lack of basic human needs such as food, healthcare and education, rise to become a powerful, compassionate and humorous leader and facilitating sustainable community change towards a more healthy, peaceful and dignified society?   The children felt that to be heroic and almost incredible.  It might as well read incredible for many of us, used to and bombarded every day by so many bad news. But there are obviously still good news in this world and this story is definitely one of them. As Shambhalians you might easily recognize: it is a story about basic goodness, confidence and principles of enlightened society, like a lotus, naturally emerging out of the mud. Continue…

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