The health challenges in Africa are huge and when you try to help everyone, you end up breaking yourself…
Putting all your ‘eggs in one basket’ can be a bit dangerous as it’s often said. You have this great idea of making it big, but put all your hope on one source. What happens if that source does not come through, or that deal falls through?
I have been there so many times and I know exactly it feels like. It took me so many disappointments to learn the simple rule of always having a plan B, C D etc. The key I think is to know and believing that when one door closes, there is always another better door opening.
Had a long distance conversation with Ahmed last week, a friend of mine who runs a non-profit somewhere in rural Africa, a few days back and he was contemplating packing it all in and coming back to the UK to rest on his retirement savings and investments. He said that the challenges he faces everyday were not worth the stress he was getting from the corrupt local governments and the continuous lack of funding issues.
Ahmed’s concern was that he couldn’t cope with the volume of people who come in for free medical consultations and treatments daily. He applied for grants from donors and some who had promised a better year had not kept to their promises due to budgeting issues. The Local government are competing for funds from the same donors and making it hard for NGO’s to get funding. The sad part is that the funds received by the LGA’s are not used for the projects but rather shared amongst the key politicans. Hmmm.
Well I was only able to sympathize with him and advised him to stick to what he can cope with. The health challenges in Africa are huge and when you try to help everyone, you end up breaking yourself or organisation. If your capacity is twenty people a day, then stick to twenty people a day and not more. It is be hearth breaking to turn people away, but it’s what needs to be done to keep afloat, and help hundreds more in the long run.
Fighting back is the key to survival in all things. Fight back when it looks like its not working. Think deep within yourself and come up with innovative means to reach your plan. When people ask me how have we been able to keep Cancel Cancer Africa going for seven years, I always answer that it is simply because we love what we do and have a long term plan. By winning one small step at a time you find yourself winning one year at a time. Funny eh.
Well my fellow readers, don’t give up or give in on your dream. Fight back each day. You have something in you that will drive you further. For me I have Christ and it works for me. Find what it is that you are passionate about and give it your all. I have made up my mind, even if it takes every bone in my body, that I will not give up praying and working hard to help the poor women in Africa understand more about Cancer.
Corruption is everywhere in the world, some countries are worse than others, but life goes on. I read an article by Sir Richard Branson how Virgin would never do business in a certain country in Africa again and my heart wept. What a loss, but life must move on. We can only make one small change at a time and do it to the best of our ability.
Next year we go to Limpopo in South Africa in March, Busia County in Kenya in August and Benin City in Nigeria in December, it's always challenging, fun and life saving.