“A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.” – Seneca
A very Happy and Prosperous 2014. I hope you and your families ended 2013 on high notes. Lets pray and hope that in 2014, we shall experience meaningful outcomes as well as impact in the work we do.
AYM’s work is constantly in progress. Many hands have been on this work and, for quite a while now; gradually molding the Movement into a meaningful organization to empower young people in Africa manage their own destiny.
Such efforts come with challenges. You can understand the many trials that emanate from such endeavors. Taking a deeper look at our new logo (Yes we did recently change our logo… the varied hands now represent all the many people – over the years – that in one way or the other have brought AYM to where it is today.
The hands also represent the many other people that are yet to lend a hand and make more things happen as we take some major steps into the future with a defined destination. AYM is seeking a place where we can become the essential provider of job opportunities, empowering young people across Africa, starting in Sierra Leone. If you are reading this and are interested in being a part of this Movement, here is your opportunity.
Before I started writing this particular blog, the thought of all those who’d helped along the way kept revolving in my head. The idea, “what if I just start dipping into our rich history and start sharing stories of individuals and their contributions to AYM”, how cool could that be? Well, I won’t know until it is done. So, I am going to do it and have already got a name for it, “The Retrospective Series.” Cool, isn’t it?
Bringing the past into the present, will start with the present.
Last year was a tumultuous year for AYM, especially with our Sierra Leone operations and general fundraising. However, things began to change for the better in the last quarter with the purchase of a diesel generator. Two people made this possible – Kevin and Lara Flaute, Peace Corps and residents of Mattru Jong. They did this with the help and support of their parents (Bill and Jane Flaute and Mary and Bob Brandstetter). With further support from Christopher “Dude” Lankford, Kevin purchased the machine and rode with it through rugged terrain to Mattru Jong – a fourteen hour journey!
AYM Vice President, Dennis Glover, stated it quite succinctly in an email to the couple when he said, “the purchase of the diesel generator was a very key move which has stabilized the operations (as you know) and allowed AYM to begin realizing the projected monthly revenues.” That was a great way to end the turbulent 2013!
AYM enters 2014 on high hopes. Dennis, who also doubles up as AYM’s key operations man and Christopher Lankford, AYM’s Technical Expert will soon be heading to Sierra Leone at the end of January along with another friend. Both the electrical system and the entrepreneurial aspect of the program will be boosted, strategically positioning AYM to make projections that will be within achievable parameters. The modest outcome of the last quarter of 2013 is key to our buoyant 2014 expectations.
On this end, we raised $375 toward a goal of $1000 to revamp our website. AYM’s Deputy Executive Director and Director of Communications, Alison Foster, initiated an online fundraiser that saw us achieve this. A big thank you to those who donated for their kindness and support of our organization.
Thanks also to our staff and volunteers for contributing your ideas. A special thanks to the communications and editorial teams for building the messaging structures around which the broader audience will continue learning about what we are and what we do. Dennis will definitely use this information to cultivate enhanced content during their January trip.
Success in all your endeavors…looking forward to a more robust engagement this year!