A decade ago, I found myself not falling, but instead rising to love. I met beautiful new friends that instantly made me feel as if I had found my home. It was the most exciting, exhilarating, and magical experience I have encountered thus far. I was inspired to make a pledge to ensure an education to every child raised in this village, and not long after did I realize that my purpose here would extend far greater than that. The journey that I have been on since 2006 has been a requisite for personal growth beyond my greatest expectations. I have come to know that any change one seeks to see, must be embodied within ourselves first. It has been the greatest challenge and most rewarding experience to work on my inner development alongside my friends in Sierra Leone.
Since those humble beginnings, we have seen astonishing expansion and growth within our community and beyond. We have developed a deep relationship built on trust, forgiveness, and authenticity. Through working as their partner to transform disheartening circumstances and along the way learning about the immensely rich culture and history of Sierra Leone, I have come to learn more about myself and become aware of our powerful capabilities that lie within all of us.
The idea of Inner development is rarely taken into account when working in philanthropy, however I have found it to be the most important aspect of ours. Working with the Shine On staff in both the US and SL in creating Project Lotus; Education from the Inside Out, has been the most fulfilling project of my life outside of motherhood. The combination of our inner development and education programs has proven to be a magnificent synergy, hopefully pioneering and inspiring a new wave of education that can transcend beyond Sierra Leone.
I’d like to express my deep appreciation for all of the support and investments that we have received from people all over this beautiful world. I look forward to witnessing our projects expand, flourish, and deepen to benefit many generations of Sierra Leoneans and beyond.