With the launch of Impact here on the Huffington Post which is dedicated to giving back, I immediately thought of my friend Kathleen Colson, the executive director of The BOMA Fund, an organization that supports the majestic people of rural northern Kenya. The BOMA Fund works to alleviate poverty by assisting in the building of self-sustaining communities amid a rugged and beautiful landscape. The conditions are harsh and all of the illnesses associated with poverty and dirty water are rampant. Yet, Kathleen returns often to Kenya, living among the people in order to bring change to desolate situations.
It does not take much to be in awe of Kathleen, this mother of 3 children who leaves the comfort of her Vermont farmhouse to fight poverty in the most remote parts of Africa. She writes, "imagine me riding around in Land Cruisers with guys with machine guns and warriors with spears. Very much the reality of what I do. I don't see another white, western person for weeks at a time, I cross deserts at night and have been shot at, almost bitten by a black mamba, had hyenas trying to break into my hut at night and have endured all of the illnesses associated with bad water and no food. I've eaten the raw intestines of goats, termites and the blood of cows to forge my relationships with these extraordinary people."
Kathleen is an inspiration. Reading these words, I am overwhelmed with the selflessness of her desire to help others. I am beside myself with joy in thinking of how her story encourages us to keep up the good fight of faith wherever we are and whatever we are doing. I am in awe of her passion and love for others. I am incredibly inspired by her fearlessness, not that there is no fear, but that she moves in spite of it. This is being fearless.
When I first donated to The BOMA Fund, I received the most gracious letter of thank you from Kathleen sent via the United States Post Office with writing in her own hand. It was nice to get a letter of thanks in this way, which speaks directly to her hands-on approach to situations. Kathleen does not send money to Kenya, she takes it and teaches women how to be entrepreneurs.
The BOMA Fund focuses on alleviating poverty by providing grants for sustainable diverse entrepreneurial innovations which build communities, empower individuals, and support families. Kathleen is doing a great work to empower the women, men and children in Kenya in the most desolate part of this great country. She is providing the means for women in business and is changing the lives of the next generation. We can also do our part by donating through causes here on the Huffington Post and organizations like The BOMA Fund.