When I got on Facebook this morning, I was asked if I wanted to write a review. Here it is:
I was sitting in the hospitality room at Harpo productions. I had just been on the front row in the Live “Oprah Winfrey Show”. I was invited beforehand to meet with the producer after the show. I started telling her our story. It went something like this: “I live in the small but growing Village of Maun, Botswana. My husband and I got married, put our things in storage and headed off to Africa. We only thought we were giving up the “American Dream”. After 25 years of living and serving in a place where we wanted to help lift people’s lives, we are, indeed, the ones who have been lifted! The richness of the culture, the people; the honor and respect that is the fabric of society, and the value of relationships and manners, have shaped our lives by living here.” there were lots of questions and lots of answers about our work here, which we call ‘Love Botswana Outreach Mission Trust’ and what all we have been privileged to accomplish and build, with help from all around the world. But the one question she kept repeatedly asking, shaking her head, leaning forward, with big eyes and great intensity was “And you LIVE there?!” the answer, “yes”.
You may be asking what this has to do with my Facebook Review? Well, we have gone without electricity, running water and lived in tents. When we came there was dial up Internet, but no phones! But today, Botswana has almost twice as many cell phones as the population! There may be a mud hut and no power or water tap, but a cell phone is as much utilized as water! From the children to the grannies, cell phones are everywhere.And so is the internet. Talk to anyone here who uses a phone and they also know about Facebook.
When we came to this village, the rest of the world was so far away, our family, our friends, our life in America. I know I speak for all international volunteers when I say that Facebook has impacted volunteerism with a worldwide impact. International Volunteers can now stay connected to their friends and loved ones as if they were living in the same house! Most of our revolves around developing leaders. I can visit countries all over the world in just a day’s time right from the Village of Maun, Botswana through Facebook. Sometimes it’s a social visit, but it is also an opportunity to nurture, mentor and be a leader to my “friends”. Hundreds of people have come through Love Botswana, and through Facebook, we can stay connected and continue to be a part of their lives as they capture the heart of volunteerism and the joy it brings to many.
Mark Zuckerberg and your amazing team, in sharing this little bit, what you thought was a great networking tool for pleasure has impacted the world through giving people, like us, the opportunity to multiply our efforts in our sphere of influence. And it just keeps getting better and better.
All the best! Jana Lackey
Co-Founder, Love Botswana Outreach Mission Trust
P.S. the only negative thing I would share is the new thing of allowing friends of friends to see all our posts. I wish that would go away.