Oprah came to Australia. In case you’ve been living under a rock. Which is really no way to live.
She’s amazing. You know the drill, you’ve heard what she did, what she gave away, how she treats people with kindness and generosity. People say all sorts of things about her, but I reckon she’s the real deal. I reckon she works HARD to make the world around her a better place. And she does a good job. In my humble opinion.
There are people around me who inspire me. Daily. People that I know personally. People that I KNOW are the real deal also. They are not the Oprah types, and they won’t ever necessarily have a huge Oprah-type platform. But they continuously wreck my heart for good, in the most amazing way.
* Vicky lives out West. VERY west. I travel to her place quite a lot for one of my jobs. She fosters babies, and has done so for a LONG time. So long in fact that she’s fostered almost ONE HUNDRED little people. Yes. ONE HUNDRED.
She is one of my heroes. If she had a website, or a blog, or a twitter, I’d link you there FOR SURE. But she doesn’t. She’s not looking for the fame, or the accolade. I’ve asked her why she does it, and HOW – because I’d want to keep those babies for sure. She just shrugs, and says “this is how I can help, and these little people deserve a chance”. Hello. YES. Selfless and generous beyond my comprehension.
Vicky is amazing. You’d love her. She’s the real deal. I love her. She makes my spirit rise every time I’m with her. She inspires me to action.
* The A21 campaign rescues girls from the hideous underworld of sex trafficking. My friends Christine and Nick started this INCREDIBLE campaign only a short while ago. They don’t talk much publicly of the dangers thrown at them in running something like this, but I know they’ve had many threats, because stuff like this is corrupt all the way to the top…
These guys are on a mission. Because there are TWENTY SEVEN MILLION (yes, read that number, and try to comprehend that each ONE of those is someone’s daughter, mother, sister, cousin, friend…) people in slavery on the planet today…
* My friend Justin Mayo started an organisation called RedEyeInc out of LA. Now they’re in NYC as well. Justin NEVER sleeps. Truly. The dude is always awake. He makes me tired just trying to keep up with his tweets! (coincidentally, the name redeye comes from exactly that – continuously awake, continuously trying to do good…) His creativity inspires me, and he is tireless and genius at gathering people around a cause.
* Watoto child care ministries is something close to my heart. Africa: I grew up there. Uganda: I’ve been there. Watoto. I’ve cuddled a little girl who was LITERALLY, just days before I cuddled her, rescued right off the dirty wooden table in a witch doctor’s house, where she was about to be ‘sacrificed’ as part of a spell. Um. Yes. You read correctly….
Watoto rescues children. Orphans who have lost parents to AIDS. Children who are taken from the side of the road by witch doctors, human traffickers, and general nasties. Children who have been abducted into the bush and turned into child soldiers under the LRA. Pure evil. They are forced to kill each other through the most attrocious means as part of their ‘initiation’. Such as biting each other to death. Yup. Again. Hideous but true.
These things are not so fun to talk about, but we should be aware. And once we’re aware, and we know, then I reckon we’re responsible for what we know, and what we choose to do about it…. (yes, I’m on my soap box tonight.)
* As you can imagine, when a child has done things like I’ve listed above, they need a LOT of rehabilitation… Another ‘under the radar’ hero of mine is Dr Robi Sonderegger. Robi is a ‘consultant and policy advisor on the rehabilitation of trauma associated with war, sexual exploitation (human trafficking) and natural disaster worldwide’. Basically, he helps to transform the thinking and mindsets of the abused and traumatised. He has worked with the children rescued from the war in Uganda. And the girls rescued by A21. And all sorts of other hideous world wide events that most of the time we just don’t want to talk about. And he is a GENIUS. The results are astounding. I’ve seen it countless times. Robi rocks.
I consider myself blessed to know these people.
To see the fruit of their labour on a day to day, month to month basis is wonderful.
To know that there are people trying to better the world around us makes me proud.
We can’t do it all. But we can all do something. AND WE SHOULD.
And with that, I step off my soap box….