Life Change Stories

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TMIP2015: Tarique Plummer

I believe the world will change when I first change myself.

My life fixation for a long time has been to simply impact those around me. However, I felt I had the right aim but my understanding of how to go about the objective was lacking. Fortunately, Jeremy pitched the Mission Immersion program to me and instantly there was an internal click. Learning about people, lifestyles, cultures, listening to stories and lending a helping hand have all become my highlights. I can truly say my perspective as it relates to life on a whole has expanded exponentially.

As a scientist in the eyes of academia, a cricketer by hobby and a humanitarian by heart, I have grown so much. My intellectual, spiritual and interpersonal faculties have all been nurtured. I have no regrets.

The international component of Mission Immersion takes me to West Africa, Ghana. An adventure I am eagerly looking forward to. The thought that I will be able to strengthen another society, learn their way of life, and increase my appreciation for what I have while at the same time, enhancing my idea of how I can be even more of a contributor to society, excites me.

I believe the world will change when I first change myself. Admittedly, my development is ongoing and I hope that one day my dream will be actualized.

Regards,

Tarique Plummer

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TMIP2015: Nikhile Mookerji

I am very excited for this opportunity and will hopefully return next summer to help fulfill Tk’s dream of having one Youth Centre where any student can come, share their dreams, and have the assistance and tools provided to accomplish them!

Future of Africa (FoA) came into my life last August when I first heard its founder, Tk, talk about his trips to Ghana and all that he had been able to accomplish. I was moved to say the least. After his key note I went up to speak to him briefly and asked him if he knew about KhanAcademy. He seemed curious and as such I told him a bit more about KhanAcademy, what they do, and how some organizations have taken those teaching videos into African villages to revolutionize teaching.

I really didn’t think anything would come about from this brief interaction in late August but Tk did in fact follow up a few months later. He wanted to know if I truly was passionate about this project and weather or not I would want to lead a trip to the village of Lollito in hopes of establishing a computer lab for the students with KhanAcademy’s successful youtube videos. I was ecstatic at the idea and did a lot of research to see what other organizations, schools, and universities have done who had similar goals as us. Notre Dame University in the U.S. attempted to simulate a very similar project as we had hoped and with that we had a framework of what we would want to do.

Our trip this year is only a pilot project to go to the village of Lollito, understand the culture, the students, and the educational atmosphere and create a curriculum that can best take advantage of the KhanAcademy resources that we are coming with. I am very excited for this opportunity and will hopefully return next summer to help fulfill Tk’s dream of having one Youth Centre where any student can come, share their dreams, and have the assistance and tools provided to accomplish them!

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Yenk⊃ Ghana!

Hidden along the Atlantic Coast of Africa is the republic of Ghana; pregnant with mineral wealth, infectious hospitality and a vision for change! It is within this hope-laden land that we find our next adventure!

Life Change Adventures, along with Future of Africa joins and supports the Smile Child Foundation (a school founded by the local people of Lolito, Ghana) on a journey to build up their community through the education of their children. This year, myself along with a team of six others will be heading to Ghana as a part of The Mission Immersion Project. Over the next couple of days we hope to bring you some insight into what each participant is excited about as we prepare to leave. Here is my bit: we’re going to my home country!

Nante yie,

Scilla.

Any contribution is greatly appreciated and can be made through the donate tab on this site.

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Wide Open

Call it Sanctuary, a safe haven or a place of refuge but fundamentally, it’s the hospital for the hurt, afflicted, lonely and rejected. Perfectly sandwiched between two colossal edifices was a community within a community.

I was gifted the opportunity of spending the weekend there and so I did. Through the stories,  keynotes, interactions, discussions and activities, l learnt that life has greater meaning when yours is dedicated in service of others. I learnt that persons who have trodden the battle field of abuse, hurt and bewilderment do exist and some are trying pretty hard to better themselves.
I learnt that to invest time in others is an investment in a better world.

I was blown out of the water for the grave selflessness displayed by the speakers. The joy they found in the giving of themselves and their certainty when their life mission was thrown in the limelight.

Someone asked, “What would be your advice to those who want to change the world?”

-“Don’t. Change yourself”  replied the speaker.

This speaks volumes to the great potential of one individual with the right attitude and values. An individual who has identified his/her purpose and “risks rejection in hopes of acceptance”.

The time spent at Sanctuary was an eye opener to say the least!

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Press Release!

Life Change Adventures exists to instigate the type of change that builds brighter and better futures. We could not be more thrilled than to know we played a small part in making this happen. What a great bit of news! Read More

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Meet our Guys

Blue and white… they insisted; ‘Ice colours’ they said, ‘its cool!’

Days later our office is still strung up with streamers and tinsel across various doorways, and the only traditional ‘Christmassy’ element is the jovial Santa smiling at me whenever I exit the stairs.


 

Sunnydale Connect is anything but a typical or traditional youth group. Why not an ice theme for the Christmas celebration? Diverse to the max… a huge range of cultures and backgrounds, age and experience… people who have no obvious natural basis for being together do so in ‘Connect’…  Africans, Asians, Latin Americans. North Americans… all together… laughing, struggling, creating, playing, learning…!

Sometimes more than 30 gather and the energy generated is something to behold. We have outgrown our space, we are stretching our leaders to the hilt, our finances are under pressure, but we are seeing change and growth and friendship and transformation.

I watched our gang devour two turkeys, Halal chicken, vegetables galore, citrus punch and an abundance of pie & ice cream, and was struck again; just how important the act of ‘celebration’ and appreciation is in the life of community and relationship building. We may each enter this holiday season from different perspectives and faith orientations, but surely we can all decide to celebrate; celebrate others, celebrate life, celebrate the next breath I take, celebrate it all. We in Life Change will certainly celebrate these kids and our sacred journey with them.

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You’re My Girl

These are some of my girls. Girls that I’ve come to love oh so much in such a short amount of time. Girls that make me laugh, and help me  especially to love. Girls that also make me cry, but I’ll hold their hands nevertheless when come to me in confidence and share their aching hearts with me with things like:

“I’ve never felt like I was pretty enough” or “I get bullied every day at school and sometimes wish I wasn’t alive,” or even “starving myself for days to lose weight because people tell me I’m overweight.”

WHAT?! Words like these actually come from other ELEVEN year olds?! This just does not make any sense to me!


Conversations like these reaffirm the responsibility we all share and have for one another; to comfort, support and encourage each other when it feels like you’re fighting a battle with a team of one, or because we simply can’t do so for ourselves.

These are the faces of our future women – our future leaders, mothers, activists, artists, engineers, entrepreneurs and the list goes on! But, you see, we must teach them well. We must teach them to not entertain even the idea of hatred, neglect, ignorance, jealousy, envy nor greed, but to be consumed by and operate out of humility, generosity, respect and love. That is not the responsibility of just one person, or that of a few people, but one that we ALL have to each other.

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Seemingly Insignificant, Yet Precious!

        Change rarely comes in like a tidal wave or earthquake. Real, lasting change comes along slowly: one person at a time, the ‘pay it forward’ kind of change, the one drop in the bucket until it becomes an ocean change. Investing in change is an act of faith. You do the right thing for another because you believe in their value and worth, and as you do, you trust that something contagious might be kicked  off,  and yet, if it doesn’t you do it anyway, simply because it is right. And ‘right’ doesn’t need to be perceived or recognized, for right is just right because it is.

“You do the right thing for another because you believe in their value and worth…”

The students of our little high school in Kibombomene, Zambia surprised the group of teachers and volunteers the other day. After drawing them all to a room under false pretences, they commenced to tell each how much they meant to them. With song, words of encouragement, poems and skits they communicated  with sincerity just what these adults meant to them. Their uneven and young efforts of acknowledgment were met with tears of laughter and appreciation, and smiles of satisfaction. Little things. Small expressions. These are the things that people the world over hunger for. These are the things, one by one that change the world.

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Another Journey, Another Adventure!

Every relationship an extraordinary adventure, every person a universe of dreams and ideas. Eight years ago I met a young woman named Marissa who from that first encounter impressed me with her passion for life and people. I often say; “If you have a dream that involves making a better world or changing the world for another, talk with me. Maybe together we can achieve reality.” When Marissa first told me about her dream I was stunned. Now, years later her dream has transformed into a place where young girls are becoming women, where quality education is being delivered to those who otherwise would never have access to it, and where a village(s) is being transformed by hope.

I am at this moment on my way to visit Marissa in Kibombomene, Zambia. Together we will be working with the girls, appointing a Board of Directors, seeking greater Zambian partnership and clarifying the staff team.  It will be a busy few days.  At many places in the world little lighthouses or beacons of light are popping up.  Places where people are working hard to bring about change and growth and to make sure that life is vibrant.

Marissa is a dear ‎friend and a great inspiration, it is a great honour to journey with her.

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A slice of heaven?

My pal Dave and his good wife Anna bought the farm. No, they actually bought a farm! Really!

And in doing so made it abundantly clear to me that this property with its rolling hills, old barn, fields, sheds and house was to be used in the service of people. “ Bring your students, friends and families!” I clearly remember him telling me.

So I did!

The occasion was the 2014 Canadian Thanksgiving. I invited friends and they came from all over; Chinese MBA students, Ghanaians, Nigerians, Sudanese, South Sudanese,  Kenyans… and together this hotchpotch  of colours and cultures gathered to swap stories, eat food, admire the vivid almost florescent maple leaves, and eat… almost forgot the eat piece!  Many have a concept of heaven… floating on clouds, eternal bliss of some kind, golden streets, gardens and rivers, but for me, as I walked around that old, largely restored farm house I could not help but think of heaven.

“This is what it has be like”, I told someone. “laughter, community, engagements, beauty, peace, some eating, others chattering, some preparing, others kicking a soccer ball… people from each continent together celebrating“… a diverse,  flowing throng of colour, language, heritage, experience, life philosophies.  There we were just people together… how rich, how very rich… we were just people being together. And if that isn’t a slice of heaven, well I really cannot begin to imagine what it might be like!