In the course of doing research and development for our play, we’ve had the good fortune to meet incredible people doing great humanitarian work. Through our association with the United Nations, we were introduced to the Creative Visions Foundation (CVF) and Kathy Eldon. Kathy and her daughter Amy founded this organization with the mission of fostering and aiding artists turned activists who use their talents to shine a spotlight on current social issues. CVF supports these artist/activists through the Creative Activists Program (CAP) so that they can create art that makes a difference. CVF also assists groups like us in fund raising and collecting donations for our projects through their non-profit foundation. Susan and I are proud that Theatre for Humans has been one of the artistic groups selected to participate in CVF. You can check out Theatre for Humans on the Creative Visions Foundation website under the Dan Eldon Fellows and make a tax-deductable contribution if you’re inspired to do so. As a CVF member, we’ve been encouraged to meet, network and share ideas with other talented people/organizations involved with the foundation. As you can image, that has opened the door for us to meeting some really remarkable people. One person in particular is Chris Mburu. We met Chris several times and think he’s quite remarkable. Some may know him from the documentary “One Small Act”. It was screened at Sundance and highlights his journey and formation of his own NGO in Kenya. Chris, through the kindness of a woman he had never met until recently, was able to escape poverty in a village in Kenya, attend Harvard Law School and start his own foundation to give back by providing children with educational opportunities and now works as a human rights officer at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. He’s still a young man, so there’s no telling how much he’ll accomplish in his lifetime. Chris’ organization is called the Hilde Back Education Fund (in honor of Hilde Back, the woman who sponsored him as a child). Having spent time in the slums of Nairobi for our research, it was great to hear Chris recount his personal experiences. I am pleased to say that we were also able to connect him with Peninah Nthenya Musyimi who started the program Safe Spaces (also in Kenya). They are doing very similar work but have never heard of each other. Who would have ever thought that two women from the San Fernando Valley would be discussing the issues and personal experiences about the challenges of educating girls in Kenya with a Kenyan born humanitarian and UN Official? It only goes to prove that the world is getting smaller and these issues/problems belong to everyone.
In the course of MORE»