The sweetest victory is the one that’s most difficult
Am privileged to share with you our fail forward story this year.
As most of you know, running a children’s home is one of the most tasking jobs especially if you don’t have sponsors for the kids.
Mountains of Hope among other projects run an orphanage accommodating more than 10 children.
The children fed well and slept well, they woke up early each morning to go to school and could come back in the evening to do some chores before they did their assignments, you could find social workers serving them rice, beans and posho and sometimes fresh fish.
The home was located near the highway but with a wall fence surrounding it, it was an accessible home among all homes, there was an available land near the orphanage that was on sale, but the home had no money to purchase the land, it ended up in the hands of some rich man who bought it and set up a guest house and bar. Because he was paying taxes that the government wanted he could not be stopped, it was instead the orphanage that was sent off the place because children could not grow up in such an environment where they had to watch people booze, watch sex workers being brought to the bar and guest house, the place became busy and full of sex workers, the environment became unfriendly for the little ones as they had to share the same toilets with the children.
The government sent us off the premises, the little earnings I could get were not enough to buy another house or rent house immediately, the immediate solution was to send the kids back to their relatives, and those that didn’t have them had to be sent to the relatives of their colleagues.
The orphanage idea seemed to go off my minds as I saw impossibility in returning back kids moreover without any sponsorship. In my minds I had a story to tell my kids in future that I once had a children’s home but it failed.
After a little while, my salary at my work place by then was increased, I rented a house with 10 rooms and brought back kids that had no where to stay. One day a friend sent us a link to post orphanages, fortunately when we posted Mountains of Hope on the link, weeks later an American student expressed interest in visiting and sent some money for children feeding; it was the beginning of the new story again as there seemed to be light in the end of the tunnel.
When our American friend raised money for the orphanage land, this time we had to buy land in the village, far away from town and a distance away from the main road because we had a lesson to learn, the land is fertile and bigger than the one that was taken away from us, farming can be done there, and schools can be set up there, no one can set up a bar and guest house in that kind of place. The presence of Mountains of Hope in that village is transforming the whole area, residents have learnt how to do modern farming, have been able to get clean and safe water when we distributed water purifiers, and their children have received several trainings in reproductive health including trainings in making of reusable sanitary towels. Now Mountains of Hope does not only run children’s homes, but also other Community development initiatives in the area.
Had we not failed, we wouldn’t have acquired a big land measuring up to 2 acres. If we had quit, our American friend Liz wouldn’t have found us. Hopefully, failing is not the end of the story. It is our reaction to failure that makes a failure story worth telling. In that way, failure can be seen as our greatest teacher.
Quote: “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson