“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy
In 1620, the harvest of the early American colonists had failed. Starvation settled in. Half of the settlers we now call Pilgrims perished that winter. The local Wampanoag tribe taught those that remained how to grow corn, catch fish, and collect seafood. They taught them how to survive. The following year the Pilgrims reaped a successful harvest and, in their gratitude, shared a feast with the locals.
In all the battles for survival and place and opportunity — then and now in the world — Thanksgiving invites us to see each other and the power within us as a blessing. It is a way we stop to find each other and ourselves. We share a grand meal as a ritual, a celebration, and a humbling pause.
What have we harvested? What have we given and received?
We asked our Asante team — What are you most thankful for?
“I am grateful for the staff in that live and breathe our mission in KE and TZ, and similarly for the USA-based staff and volunteers who tirelessly support the efforts on the ground. I am equally grateful for the executive leadership and advisors that guide our Global Mission and do a great job of holding us accountable. And most of all, I am grateful for partners, investors, and donors who have shown the same passion as we have in promoting education and knowledge.” — Erna
“Thankful for San Francisco, where everything feels like a new experience. I’m thankful for the chance to learn from, and work with, a great group of people. I can tell it will lead to even more things to be thankful for next year.” — Christy
“This thanksgiving I am grateful to be part of an amazing team, working towards a collective goal of changing lives in East Africa. I also feel very fortunate to have wonderful family and friends that support my crazy dreams!”— Jenn
“I am most thankful for my family and home. I am thankful that I enjoy good health so that I am able to travel and enjoy life.” — Shirley
“I’m thankful for the opportunity and privilege of being a part of a team working very hard today to create a better tomorrow for all.” — Fred
“I am most thankful for a good supporting system around me.” — Soumya
For us, our gratitude and faith pushes us forward: faith in the impact of our work for thousands — and faith in you, our supporters. Powerful change has already occurred. Educating thousands of children who would otherwise not receive access to education does not happen without all of us. As we come together, we know it is not often simple or fast but we are ever moving forward. We are ever changing the trajectories of our youth. Just imagine what is ahead!
We remain ever grateful for the collective efforts to impact one million lives by 2020. Together, we will transform opportunities for the youth of East Africa.
But today, together, we pause. We see each other. We see the power and gifts within us and say: thank you.
A very Happy Thanksgiving!