Ubuntu in Action: Hurricane Maria Relief
Two months since Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands many residents are still living amongst rubble without electricity or drinkable water. IAWA, on behalf of our ambassadors, donated Luci inflatable solar lights, mosquito nets, and water purification tablets to Defend PR. Defend PR is a collective of Puerto Ricans diasporans that is supporting the relief efforts of local Puerto Rican organizations including, Incitiativa Comunitaria, Pensar Africa, Ecokits Puerto Rico, Nuestra Escuela and Taller Salud.
At our October Bokgoni camp, we discussed the devastation the flurry of hurricanes caused in the US and the Caribbean. Since social responsibility is one of IAWA's core tenets, I shared with the Ambassadors that this an opportunity for us to truly exhibit buthu/ubuntu (humanity). They responded by unanimously voting to forgo their usual learning excursion and instead use the funds to support hurricane relief efforts. As one ambassador expressed, "we understand how horrible it must feel to lose everything."
I was almost in tears when they shared their decision with me. Not only did the ambassadors electively make a personal sacrifice, they did it joyfully. It truly is a testament that what we have been teaching over the last two years is having impact.
The donated materials were distributed at the end of November to an Afro Boricua community in Loiza, Puerto Rico. I am extremely proud of the ambassadors for reaching across the Atlantic to help their brothers and sisters in need. I also thank you because without your financial support we wouldn't have been able to make this happen.
Peace and blessings,