WEEK 21 – THE 52 WEEK LOVE PROJECT
Welcome to Week 21 of The 52 Week Love Project – Acts of Kindness. The project designed to recognize 52 inspiring humans who are giving back to our community – whether in a small way or by creating a movement for change and inspiration.
The project will showcase LOVE at it’s finest, share their stories – what they do and why they do it! It’s an opportunity for us to find out what inspires them and what keeps them going when challenges or self-doubt assail them.
Meet Candece Cameron, the Founder of Nelito Orphanage/School Arusha, located in Tanzania.
This is what Candece said about self-doubt:
‘I still struggle with it, and sometimes I think what will the future hold with what I’m doing, but it’s not about getting past it, it’s about doing what your heart tells you to do and to do something about it.
Every little thing you do counts whether it’s big or small… it all makes a difference! The thing that helps me the most is the support and encouragement I have from friends and family.’
WHERE DID IT ALL BEGIN?
When I was younger I always knew I wanted to come to Africa, but it became reality in 2016 when I first came here, half travelling and half volunteering for 5 and a half months. I ended up doing some volunteer work with a company. I was put in a school but kind of felt like it was the white person saying ‘I volunteered’ as I’m not a teacher and I wanted to do more. People come and go and the children have no stability with the volunteers that pass through. It was a great experience and a good place to start when your in another country, but through meeting locals I was able to get connected properly.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
The school I volunteered in were/are renting rooms and had some land donated to them a few years ago but had no money to build on it. So I decided to one day come back and build. When I was here in 2016 I did a few things for Nelito (The School) to get them by, including buying the children enough food to last them three months, building a ‘kitchen’, buying stationary, paying rent etc. Now in 2018 I saved more money and with the help of some family and friends and their kind donations I came back to Arusha in February to build the school.
We started building 2 big classrooms and started digging out holes for the toilets. I went back to Australia and I have just come back again in August (I have just left) to finish building enough of the school so that the children can start learning in it. This has involved finishing the classrooms, toilets, getting/making furniture, feeding the children, getting uniforms, paying rent to the old school which was 8 months overdue (they often get locked out) and much more. At the moment we are organising to move and re-build the old kitchen and have many plans to do things like building a well, more classes, education, food, stationary etc.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU?
I have always had a passion for Africa, and when I finally came here I fell in love with the place and the people. Money doesn’t mean anything to me except the fact that I need it to survive.
When I see these young children playing and living life so happy yet they have hardly anything, it makes me happy and makes me want to do something about it. Sometimes people in 1st world countries have pretty much everything yet they’re so unhappy or ungrateful, but these children have the total opposite and struggle to eat one meal a day, yet they are a shining light and they inspire me to do more.
HOW DO YOU GET PAST SELF DOUBT?
I still struggle with it, and sometimes I think what will the future hold with what I’m doing, but it’s not about getting past it, it’s about doing what your heart tells you to do and to do something about it. Every little thing you do counts whether its big or small… it all makes a difference! The thing that helps me the most is the support and encouragement I have from friends and family.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHERS WHO WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE/CHANGE IN THE WORLD?
‘Just go out, do it and don’t give up. If you have a passion for something don’t hold back, everything works out in the end and every little bit counts!’
DO YOU HAVE A QUOTE OR EXPRESSION THAT YOU LIVE BY?
Not really, I just try to see everything in life as a positive, even in negative situations I’ll always look for something positive to come out of it….. I guess I live by a few different ones…
You only have one life, so live it to the best you can!
Treat others how you want to be treated
And… I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13)
WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO?
Back home I manage in a busy café in my local area and next year I have just found out I’ll be moving to Africa to volunteer for a year with ‘Hands At Work’ caring for the widowed, orphaned and the most vulnerable children in Africa.
HOW CAN OTHERS HELP/GET INVOLVED?
If you would like to connect/message me on facebook to learn more or get involved, you can do so: here
I also have a ‘gofundme’ account for those that would like to donate to Nelito: you can donate here
Please join our mailing list for the ‘The 52 Week Love Project‘ and we will hit your inbox each week with the story of an inspirational game changer … Sign Up: Here!