The most fun part of working with an up and coming generation is the passion and drive they have to be a part of changing the world. I ask college students often, “So, what do you want to do when you grow up?” And my question is met with answers like:
I think I want to work in the inner city
I want to work with a non-profit on __________ (whatever issue)
I want to create a socially responsible business that addresses ____________
Issues that have plagued the world for thousands of years but now they are able to be accessed through new innovative technology, and students want to participate in helping.
I guess the desire to help has always been there, but the availability and awareness of issues like orphan care, human trafficking, health issues, and poverty are now conversations most students are at least aware of if not front and center in helping to relieve the problems. (just look at the Passion gathering in Atlanta this year)
Well, a couple of days ago, I stumbled across a Facebook post from one of our KIVU Gap Year Alumni students who actually lived in the small African country of Rwanda.
With a desire to go and “change the world,” she was granted an internship with a coffee company in Rwanda while she was on the KIVU Gap Year. She thought she would be ‘in the action’ seeing great strides in relieving poverty and helping a culture, but on the ground; she was given the task of writing stories about the supply chains, the farmers, and the coffee growing process. Disappointed, she did her work, but felt like she wasn’t really making a difference.
Fast Forward two years, and Alexis was walking through Target and saw the coffee company products on the shelf from Rwanda. She got excited to see the company logo in an American retail store, so she picked up the box, and read the stories on the back. And guess what?
Her story she wrote two years ago is RIGHT THERE on the back of the box. HOW COOL IS THAT?
Changing the world doesn’t mean that you have to be a CEO of some Non-Profit that eliminates slavery tomorrow. The pressure for students to feel like they are engaging in some monumental shift in global events sometimes inhibits them from sitting down and just writing stories about Coffee Farmers.
What is vital for us all is to realize is each small seemingly insignificant act of service can contribute to a larger goal.
Alexis was so excited to see her story on the back of a box of coffee that came from a country where coffee exports were unthinkable to America only a few years ago. Now, there is a thriving coffee industry from this tiny African country that will help invigorate an economy, help raise some out of poverty, and engage with people who are really doing great work.
Alexis was a part of a beautiful team with a HUGE agenda, and she had the chance to see some of the fruits of her labor.
At The KIVU Gap Year, we’re trying to position students in places where they can see the “bigger” picture of what it takes to make a difference in the world. To get their hands dirty while helping incredible organizations will hopefully set the stage for when it’s their turn to manage, dream, and gather their own organizations to change the world.
Way to Go Alexis. We’re super proud of you, and the part you played in bringing this coffee company to a major retailer in America. And we’re even more excited to watch where you take your experiences and use the tools you’ve gathered to find your own place in the world.