Am I Making a Difference?

Have you ever wondered: Am I Making a Difference?

Does what I’m doing matter? 

Does anybody care?

For the past year, my friends and I from Entrepreneurs Giving Back have been trying to make a difference by working to help a women’s sewing group from a rural community in Loma Linda, El Salvador.

Our whole philosophy is “teach a man to fish”, by empowering entrepreneurs in 3rd world countries. From what we’ve gathered, business is the most effective way to lift people out of poverty and create sustainable change. 

Rather than being dependant on charity, or the goodwill of others coming to build homes, schools or bridges, entrepreneurship creates the possibility of self-sustainability and making a difference to the people around them by putting money back into the local economy and providing jobs.

For that reason our mission was simple: teach these ladies how to be better entrepreneurs with their sewing so that they could earn a living and have a brighter future.

For these ladies a brighter future means putting food on the table, sending their kids to school and making a difference for themselves- maybe one day learning to read & write.

It began with emails, phone calls, sending financial support, but the BIG highlight was this Feb 2015 when I finally got to meet the ladies in person.

Making a Difference

Meeting up w Loma Linda Ladies

I spoke to the ladies about our dream of spreading entrepreneurship to developing countries to help empower communities and lift them out of poverty.

The ladies were keen on our vision and couldn’t thank me enough for the support we’ve provided along the way. We hugged, we talked and bonded over our morning session together.

To say the least, the experience was an emotional one and brought me to tears. I truly felt like I was making a difference. 

In the hot sweltering sun, these ladies had travelled for 3 hours from their community by bus and were an hour late having been stuck in traffic.

After the meeting, I offered to bring back their hand sewn tortilla cloths and sell them back in Canada for them.

Making a Difference

Ladies’ Hand Sewn Tortilla Cloths

In total I sent back $159 USD for the cloths and our team also collectively sponsored 2 kids to go to Univeristy providing 2 scholarships at $632 USD.

The ladies used the money to get further training and learn how to sew blouses and pants. The 2 kids now had the access to education which would give them a brighter future.

Our team was so pumped!

But then somewhere along the way, we lost steam on progress….

The ladies stopped coming to meetings
The ladies stopped replying back to emails
The ladies didn’t reply back to voicemails

It felt like we wanted it more than they did…

And our team was left disappointed and wondering…

Did it really matter then?
Are we really making a difference?

I felt this lump in my throat, thinking about all the time and effort we’d put in as a team.

For over a year we’ve been meeting weekly as a group to help these ladies forward and better their lives

And now…

No progress
No communication
No momentum

It felt like we got bitch slapped by life, and what’s worse we were trying to do something good!

Then I thought about the lesson I learned this past week at the Dream Talks Conference.

It’s a story about a scientist and butterflies.

Lorenz, a researcher at the MIT one day forgot to program his weather simulation computer one day to five digits. Instead he took a shortcut with the sequence and se the computer to rounded to only three digits, thinking it was no big deal….

…But the results were drastically different!

Even though it was a tiny change, the computer spit out drastically different forecasts than it had before.

Lorenz’s discovery would soon come to rock the scientific world, publishing a paper in 1972:

“Does the flap of a butterfly’s Wing in Brazil set off a Tornado in Texas?”

HIs paper later went on to say that even something so small as the flap of a butterfly can cause an invisible ripple effect to go on and cause a Tornado or prevent one…

We’re are all interconnected in a complex system. This paper later went on to develop chaos theory.

So what can we learn from this?

The Final Lesson:

Everything You Do Matters, what you think of as small, insignificant step can mean a

MASSIVE CHANGE in your future.

So next time you’re wondering “am I really making a difference”, “does anybody care”?

Think back to these butterflies….

And the lesson there.

You may never know how profound your effect can be on something or someone else’s life, but what’s forsure is that it mattered.

Kat

Update: After much repeated efforts of reaching out to the ladies, we’re been unsuccessful due to lack of communication from their side; however, we appreciate our time together & would be open to helping again in the future if they decide to join.

Currently, we’re looking for new opportunities to make a difference in developing countries applying our teach a man to fish philosophy

 Want our help in making a difference or want to get involved?

Email: kat@heartconsciousentrepreneurs.com

Subject: Making a Difference

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