“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho
The exciting tradition of making New Year’s resolutions finds its origins in ancient cultures and religious customs. From the Babylonians who made pledges to repay debts to Medieval times when Knights reaffirmed their commitment to chivalry.
Various cultures around the world have their own traditions of making resolutions or setting intentions for the New Year. These practices are often tied to religious or spiritual beliefs, emphasizing self-improvement and reflection. While the specific practices and customs associated with New Year’s resolutions have evolved over time, the underlying idea remains the same. At the start of a new year, many individuals find themselves reflecting on the past and envisioning a brighter future. New Year’s resolutions have become a widespread tradition, embodying the collective optimism for personal growth and positive change.
We have all set New Year’s resolutions in our lives at some point or another. In my childhood and teenage years, each resolution felt like a personal commitment. It was a promise to myself that I took seriously, holding myself accountable if things did not go as intended. As I grew older, I have become gentler towards myself, making resolutions that are easier to keep.
As we start the new year, the team at Amara Charitable Trust is filled with gratitude for the incredible support we have received as well as excitement for the possibilities that lie ahead. In this New Year’s blog, we want to share our aspirations, goals, and projects that will define our mission in the months ahead, as we continue to positively impact the lives of vulnerable youth.
Before we dive into the new year, we would like to take a moment to celebrate the milestones we have achieved together in the past year. Whether it is through our feeding program, infrastructure projects or education initiatives, the collective efforts of our community have made a tangible difference in the lives of those who need it most.
While 2023 presented its share of challenges, the Amara Charitable Trust team, view challenges as opportunities for growth and learning. Each obstacle encountered has imparted valuable lessons, enabling us to refine our strategies and enhance the effectiveness of our initiatives.
As we embark on this journey into the new year, we invite you to join us in making a difference. Your support, whether through volunteering, donations, or spreading awareness, is invaluable. Together, we can create a ripple effect of positive change that resonates through communities, transcending cultures and traditional beliefs.
Building trust with our supporters is paramount. This year, our commitment to maintaining the highest standards of transparency and accountability remains steadfast. Through regular updates, impact reports, and financial disclosures, we want our donors and beneficiaries to feel confident in their choice to support our mission to educate, enhance and empower the youth.
Education has the power to break the cycle of poverty and open doors to a brighter future. In the upcoming year, our focus on education and particularly for the disenfranchised youth will be unwavering. We believe that by providing a hot meal to young learners, improving school infrastructure and creating learning opportunities, we can empower individuals to reach their full potential and find purpose in their lives.
Despite challenges faced by our Feeding Program, including the high cost of grains and unpredictable weather conditions, we are actively exploring solutions to sustain the program moving forward. Initiatives involve engaging school communities to take some ownership of the program, establishing vegetable gardens, and requesting school to seek collaborations with local government authorities on how they can contribute to the program.
Buoyed by the success of our Education Fund Program, which saw 29 students completing the program last year and entering the workforce, we are committed to continuing our support of disadvantaged youth. Through scholarships, mentorship programs, and community engagement, we will strive to create a supportive environment where every individual, regardless of background, can thrive academically and personally.
Education is the key to unlocking a brighter future, and our education initiatives are poised to make a lasting impact in the coming year. 2024 will be another year full of opportunities to change lives, make an impact and leave a legacy of care and hope for the voiceless in our community. The challenges of the past have not deterred our resolve; instead, they have fueled our commitment to supporting underserved communities.
In 2024, we hope to step up our efforts to re-green the schools we support by installing water solutions where needed, encouraging rainwater harvesting and starting vegetable gardens and tree planting. Re-greening schools will not only improve the school’s environment but will also give students opportunities to learn as they will be actively involved in planting and caring for the gardens and trees.
We have planned several infrastructure projects this year and will share details as and when those projects come to fruition. Improving infrastructure in rural schools is vital for fostering self-respect among students, as it sends a powerful message that their education and well-being are valued, thereby contributing to a positive sense of identity and worth. Additionally, upgrading facilities provide a conducive learning environment, enhancing educational outcomes by offering students the resources and conditions necessary for effective and fulfilling learning experiences.
We are most excited about establishing playgrounds at the primary schools we support this year. Playtime is not just a source of recreation; it is a fundamental aspect of holistic development. Whether in childhood or throughout life, engaging in play contributes to physical, cognitive, social, and emotional well-being.
Our resolutions for the new year are: to continue supporting the youth from underserved communities by creating opportunities for them to learn vocational skills; ensuring young learners have access to at least one wholesome meal a day while in school and improving infrastructure thereby creating an environment that is safe and conducive for learning.
Let us stand united in our commitment to building a world where every person, regardless of their circumstances, has the opportunity to lead a fulfilling and dignified life.
Thank you for being part of our mission to educate, empower and enhance the lives of youth in rural Kenya. Here is to a year of resilience, compassion, and transformative impact.