January 12, 2017
Some iN2L followers know about our company’s journey with Francis Njuakom from Cameroon. His story is profound. He swam upstream against the traditions of Cameroonian culture that oppressed women and the elderly. He is a living legend. Our company’s modest donation last year of $500 turned into the famous “Jack York Elderly Women’s Sustainable Goat Rearing Project in North West Cameroon.” See how our donation was honored!
Through that modest donation, we challenged Francis to come up with a larger project to make an impact 7,289 miles away from our offices in Denver. He has launched the building of the Cameroonian Senior Center, a first-of-its-kind place for the elders of Cameroon to gather and grow. What seems commonplace in the US is monumental in a country whose average life span is 57. The project will cost approximately $35,437 dollars and we have raised almost $10,000. The project is underway, look at the top photo to see the construction taking place.
One of the amazing spin offs of this project has been an area of the senior center that will be dedicated to children with disabilities. Chris Perna, CEO of the Eden Alternative, jumped in making a $1000 donation. His donation came with a critical stipulation: he wanted to ensure that the money would be dedicated to honor the magical life of Hannah Thomas. Hannah, the daughter of Jude and Bill Thomas, is the inspiration to thousands of us mere mortals around the country. Her story is profound, and, ironically, her legend will stay alive in Cameroon as it does in the US. In true Francis style, and after talking to Jude, he has no interest in a passive “dedication” to Hannah as part of the center. He wants to add a tangible wing to the center that will allow the elders in Africa to seamlessly integrate with children with disabilities. Hands on, the spirit of each tribe will learn from each other. It will add spirit and passion to an already soulful experience.
For a mere $250 you can help build the senior center and in return you will get a framed picture of a goat in a collar with your name on it, hand crafted by an African woman. The frame won’t arrive until the center is built and the goats are in place as part of the center. (FYI, if you’ve already donated for a goat you will get one as well, we promise!) For $1000, Francis will honor you and /or your organization with a large designation on the wall that will be displayed prominently in the center.
To donate to the G.O.A.T.T. (Giving Older Adults Tools to Thrive) Project, go to the Go Fund Me page. A goat will be named after you with a donation of $250 or you can specify that their contribution go towards the construction of the Senior Center in Cameroon.