We ALL Need a Village.

But what if the village needs help?

Jan 23, 2012 by

Village Women…Virtual, real, or some combination thereof.  We extremely single women have “villages” of friends who may or may not live close, but are always there for us when needed.  These villages become even more important as we age. (I LOVE living alone, but what happens if I fall and really can’t get up? No joke or punch line there.)

Despite what some of us would like to think, nobody survives, much less thrives, totally alone.  We need our villages. But what happens if the village itself needs help?

Last fall, in my ongoing qwest for community (and how to help communities), I attended SOBCon Northwest in Portland. Its entire theme was about how to give back, help…do well by doing good.  I learned a lot, laughed even more (yes, martinis were involved), and came away energized.  If I hadn’t met anyone other than Jeff Power and AJ & Melissa Leon, the trip would have been worthwhile.

But, why was I so jazzed about meeting three people?  I meet, work with, and know a lot of creative, wonderful people. So what really grabbed me about these three (even before cocktail hour)?

In a word, village.  In a second word, sustainable.  Unlike many well-meaning “do-gooder” organizations, Jeff’s group, Global Hope Network International, works with the poorest of the poor to give them a hand up, NOT a hand-out.  GHNI seeks to solve the root cause of the problem, not just treat the symptom. AJ and Melissa have been working with Jeff to bring social media (interaction, communication) to those villages, so they can continue to build relationships worldwide and improve their education.

Jeff’s presentation covered a lot of ground (including video of women singing a tribal thank-you song to his team. Way cool!).  Come to find out, you can – through GHNI –  adopt a village. Great idea!  But, then… if you google “Adopt a Village” there are quite a few organizations doing this. So many, in fact, it’s overwhelming.

However, having met (and instantly connected with) Jeff made all the difference to me. There was a 3-D face (with a big heart and soul behind it) right in front of me. Sure, those images of villagers are heart-warming, interesting and all that…but by now, we’ve all seen about a billion such photos and I don’t know any of those people.

So, I came away from Portland determined to adopt my own village.  Of course, I can’t do it alone.  And that’s where Toby Bloomberg, Yvonne DeVita, atsGf and Lipsticking come in.  I need my villages’ help.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be telling you more, as we nail down more details with Jeff and his team.  We’ll also share some real-life stories from villages around the world.  So, stay tuned!

Of course, if you just can’t wait to get involved, that’s great too!  Let me know, by simply posting a comment here.

More From Mary on Global Hope Network International

About the Author

Mary Schmidt Has Written 26 Articles For Us!

Mary is a proud Corporate America refugee, having long ago decided that quality of life is far more important than quantity of stuff. However, that said, she thinks money is a very good thing - when used as a tool, not a success measurement. In addition to writing for us, she blogs about business development and marketing at www.maryschmidt.com and about marketing to and by women at www.lipsticking.com. In her consulting business, her clients have ranged from mega-corps such as Hewlett-Packard to local Mom & Pops.
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