|This all began last year in November when just before I moved back home for the holidays a friend introduced me to a girl named Clarice Fell. She had just come back from an orphanage in Uganda and she was telling me about all her amazing experiences. I have always wanted to help people. Anyway the stories in which Clarice told me stimulated my mind. I was simply having too good a time in Melbourne and gave up thinking about anyone else.
When I got back I continued to think, think, think. I had said to myself I was going to use the summer productively and read good literature. The first book on my list was Nelson Mandela's – 'Long Walk to Freedom'. I literally knew nothing about him. The book inspired me, what he went through to achieve what he believed in. I thought to myself. What do I believe in? What do I want to do with my life? I was having such an amazing time in Melbourne. At the footy, friends, going out and I loved university. I wanted to study international business at RMIT since I was in year 9 and that is what I was doing.
On December 19, I turned 21 and I decided to buy a goal board for myself. So I went down to Office Works and bought it. I put photos of the people that inspire me in the middle, quotes that inspire me and around the edges photos of my goals and what I want to achieve. The largest area was and is covered with photos of children from the underdeveloped world and I put an image that says 'education = future' right in between all of it. For some reason early 2010 I was looking at all the mental health statistics here in the Western world and was thinking what would be the outcome of primary school children having a poverty program in schools. Connecting them with the underdeveloped worlds children. There is no such program. What would be the effect on their mentality? Would they perform better? Would they be more gracious? Less selfish? Would they be more driven? Would this connect our society? I just sense it would be extremely beneficial for the future generation if there were such a program, both for the developed and underdeveloped worlds. That is my major goal. That is some while away though.
Back to it then. I hung the board in my room for 5 days and Christmas Eve came around, I sat back and reflected in peace on how fortunate my life has been everything that a 21 could ask for. Just something was missing. I thought to myself. Could I do more? Have I become too comfortable? So I just did it, I posted a Non Profit Organisation on facebook called 'Project 10,001'. It was a project of door knocking homes to raise 10,001 used children's books and using our efforts to raise enough money to build a library in Uganda and send those books across there.
So a couple days later I was out in the hot Australian sun. The first day by myself, but within a short time 10 people were they're helping me. We raised the books and we were hoping that would inspire donations so we could build a library in Uganda and fill the library with the books. There was lot of enthusiasm at the time. We had plans of building a charity group and I spoke with lawyers and accountants. Trying to get them to help us out with the tax deductibility. February came though and I was back in Melbourne living with my two best mates, loving university and life. The idea faded slightly. In January though, before I moved back to Melbourne I spoke with an investor of a business I was building he told me about a Nation building organisation called Gawad Kalinga. They would be able to help us building a school, though they mainly built villages. He had funded the construction of an entire village.
I was not intending to go over, but Laura was arranging her trip. And then about 3 weeks before she informed me that she would be unable to go. I had exams that I would miss if I went. But I decided in the end to go and forfeit the marks, I had set my priorities. It was a life-changing trip, amazing experience. I came back home the following weekend and asked both Woolworths and The Bended Elbow (my two previous employers) if they would match a 30,000 contribution. I proposed to work for them for 18 months and direct every cent I would earn to building homes for the homeless. The Bended Elbow owner, Gavin Grant although he could not believe what I was proposing and it took him a while to understand, agreed. 4 weeks later I finished my semester, moved to where my parents are residing and left my mates in Melbourne thinking I had gone crazy.
Thats the story of how this project got to where it is today.Help Daniel!