WHY I CHOSE KATAKA.
As I think about my life cumulatively I am consistently reminded of all the people that have poured into me with love, wisdom, and guidance throughout my journey. I know that if I was left to my own volition I would not be who I am or where I am today. It really does take a village to raise a child and my village consists of parents, cousins, teachers, and even strangers who saw something special in me that I wasn't even able to fully recognize.
I did not choose to help Kataka Arts. Kataka Arts chose me.
Earlier this year by chance I was scrolling through Instagram and I stumbled on a video on my explore page of a young boy doing an amazing routine that consisted of so many flips that it made me dizzy. The flips were very impressive but what really caught my attention was the fact that he was doing them barefoot and in a landfill full of garbage. After watching a few more videos I messaged the page and asked where these children were from. I received a reply from who I now know as Coach Eries. He informed me that these were children from Kampala, Uganda who were under the tutelage of him and few of his other peers. Over the course of the weeks that followed I built a friendship with Coach Eries as well as the other coaches in the program. They would send me consistent videos of the kids practicing and improving their skills and techniques.
Through our communication I learned that that my friends were struggling. They lacked the money and resources needed to properly take care of the children in the program some of which were orphans that ended up living with one of coaches. I knew that it wasn't by chance that I saw that first video and I felt a connection to this group that I had never even met before. So I decided to start sending my own money to the coaches to help them with food expenses and other needs that came up. This was helpful and they were very grateful but I still had the feeling that I could be doing so much more for them.
After thinking long and hard I had an epiphany and remembered that I had come across an extremely talented videographer based in Uganda who was the subject of a life-changing documentary I watched on Youtube 2 years prior. I reached out to this videographer known as Odeke Dan and explained the story of Kataka Arts to him. My plan was to find a way to create a documentary for these kids to allow their stories to be heard and start a GOFUNDME with the hopes of raising enough to really make a last impact in the lives of these children!
Charity is not guilt driven
When I started this project I didn't want it to be a guilt trip. Charity shouldn't be about making you feel bad but rather centered around evoking a spirit of generosity. The children of Kataka have dreams and aspirations just like we all did when we were kids. They have potential and our goal is to allow that potential to be realized by giving them access to adequate resources like food, shelter, education, and equipment.