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Eight years ago I spent a few months volunteering at a children’s home in
South Africa - living in Khaylitsha, one of the largest and most destitute
African townships. It was a life changing experience - albeit one that I had
assured myself I probably wouldn’t repeat again. Yet four years later, I
found myself back in similar impoverished conditions, living in a rural
fishing village in Northern Haiti, helping to develop a medical clinic in an
area that lacked access to health services. These two very different
experiences both had one thing in common, and one thing besides being two of
the poorest communities in the world. They both illustrated to me what it
was to be a community that cared. The people had very little in terms of
material goods and basic necessities, but their spirit and resourcefulness
in working together as a village was remarkable. The village raised the
child. The village cared.
That is the theme of what I would like to say tonight- being a community
that cares. Really cares..."