Giving back: Because the need never goes away

It seems that no matter how hard we try, it’s impossible to stamp out the ills of the world. But that’s no reason to give up trying. The point is perfectly illustrated by a story we heard this week from one of the causes supported by the Solo Expenses giving back initiative, in which we seek to be change makers for the people who’ve been dealt a poor hand in the card game of life. If you need to understand why we do it, and ask for your help too, read on…

George’s life was tough for its first four months. His mother was ill and had been in hospital since his birth. She hadn’t been able to feed him. He weighed 8kg and was wrapped in newspaper for warmth.

And then things got worse. His parents died within a few days of each other. Since then he’s lived in the Footprints orphanage in Kenya. At that point it would be easy to shrug and say ‘that’s OK then; after all, he’s never known anything else’.

But that would be a dereliction of our joint responsibility to another human being. Sure, George is well fed; he’s cared for; he has somewhere safe to sleep and he’s going to school.

His home is now an organisation set up by Kelly Watson, a woman from Burton-upon-Trent, who gave up her life in the UK to create an orphanage, and life, and hope, from an acre of dusty ground in the Shimba Hills near to Kenya’s Tanzanian border.

It’s now home to more than 30 children who are cared for by the orphanage; where staff and other children have taken over caring for George.

Staff do the best for the children in their care, but it’s a constant struggle to have enough funds for what they need; to make space for more children – and there are plenty of them out there. Running it is hard enough. The electricity supply is pretty random, and failures are fixed on ‘Africa time’, which roughly translates as ‘whenever’.

Emotional rollercoaster
And on top of providing for the physical needs, the children are also riding an emotional rollercoaster. Just because George’s physical needs are catered for doesn’t mean that everything’s rosy in his world. What about what’s going on in his head? What does he think about in the dark, in those few moments before drifting from wakefulness into sleep?

Of late, his thoughts have been filled with his parents. He wants to know about his mum and dad; about where they all lived, and what happened to them. With his sisters Jane, Mary, and Elizabeth, he has been taken to his parents’ graves, and shown where they lived. He took flowers. His sisters are telling him happy stories from before life went so wrong for them. Footprints hopes that when he grows up he will eventually be able to rationalise his life’s experience, and come to be at peace with it.

But all of that rests on the continuing existence of the Footprints Orphanage. And that comes down to money.

Giving back to society
Solo Expenses supports Footprints with regular donations made from our operating profits – and that means that if you use our money management app to be the master of your own spending you’ll be helping George to understand the traumas of his past in the secure surroundings. What’s more, we’d like to bet that the savings you make by using the app will be greater than the money you invest is bringing it into your business.

Just think of it: Pay for an app; save more than it costs; sustain a safe environment for African youngsters who’ve had a tough start in life; and feel good about yourself with very good reason. What’s not to like?

Solo Expenses has users in 98 countries. If you’re not one of them, you’re missing an awful lot…

  • The Footprints picture of George at the top of this blog was taken when he’d been in the care of Footprints for a few months. He’s now eight, enjoys poetry, and is learning English.
  • If you’d like to offer even more help for the Footprints Orphanage, staff are looking for a volunteer to help out next Easter. Check out the web site here.