Adrienne's work and teachings have been a great
inspiration to me! In August of 1998, about four months after my
father passed away, I read about one of Carol's
workshops in a Learning Annex catalog and
synchronistically found her book on a bookshelf at the
bookstore. The themes of her teachings were
familiar and comforting, as they confirmed the thoughts
and ideas my father had shared with me shortly before
his passing. Her books and workshops ignited my
spiritual curiosity, setting me on my soulful life path,
which led to the very creation of
SoulfulLiving.com! Carol's participation has been
an integral part of SoulfulLiving.com, at its soul
level! Thank you, Carol, with all my heart!
~Valerie, Founder and Soul, SoulfulLiving.com
Writing to Heal
In October I was in Italy where I taught two seminars and
reconnected with old friends. Their story is a good example of
listening to intuition, taking action, and being of service in
In the last two years, my friends Giorgio Cerquetti and
Gerardo Monteforte and others have succeeded in building the
Bakhita Centre in Africa. Named after Mother Bakhita, the
first black female saint, the Centre features among other
developing projects, the Gerard Primary School, which provides
much-needed education to pre-school up to high school age
A Desire to Serve
The idea for the Centre came about three years ago when
Monteforte’s brother, a builder in Kenya who had developed a
resort there, decided to return to Italy to live. Monteforte,
who for a long time had a desire to make a contribution to
others, saw an opportunity to give back. He decided to buy the
resort from his brother, and create a business that would help
employ thirty local families, as well as fund a new school for
children who would otherwise not have an education. He and
Cerquetti had a vision to create a self-sustaining venture
that would give these families a way out of the bleak future
of this impoverished area.
Vision Plus Action
Their first step was to build the school for children, and
they organized a work party in August of this year. The second
step is to raise money to pay for two nurses, and to put in a
dispensary. The third step involves installing a
desalinization plant to make drinking water. Cerquetti, an
author and public speaker as well as a long-time advocate of
vegetarianism, women’s rights, and universal goodwill, told
me, "We wanted to build a school that would become
self-sustaining, and encourage the people here to be in charge
of their future. We also wanted to set up a sponsoring process
so people who believe in the long-term value of education in
the lives of these African children can get directly involved.
The children remain living with their families, but the cost
of adopting a child (210 Euro a year--a little less than $250
US) covers their tuition and school supplies. You can decide
if you want to adopt a boy or a girl, but girls here rarely
have a chance to go to school."
The school is located in Maiungu, Kenya, near Malindi. At
the Bakhita Centre, the teachers, the families and the pupils
work together. The teachers are non-denominational. They are
open to a constructive dialogue, motivating and encouraging
the children with patience and love. Families contribute at
least half of their children’s education.
And who was Mother Bakhita? Gerardo Monteforte took me to
meet the Catholic sisters in the Venice nunnery where Mother
Bakhita lived. My Italian is limited, but they showed me the
chapel where her picture is displayed and gave me a small
brochure describing her life. She was born in Sudan in 1869 of
a well-to-do family with three sisters and three brothers.
While still a little girl, she was kidnapped for the slave
trade. Kept in chains and tortured, she suffered in silence.
Sold to an Italian consul, he took her to Venice, Italy, where
she ran away to the convent. Evidently there was a court case,
and the nuns won, and Bakhita was freed. She became a nun and
on October 1, 2000, she was proclaimed a Saint by Pope John
Paul II. Now, this school is another of the good works
inspired by this remarkable woman.
Many of the people I meet talk about wanting to make a
difference in the world, but aren’t sure how to do it. In
this column, I try to find people who are pioneers in finding
ways to share our wealth. What I love about this project is
that it is already up and running. Management is simple. Funds
go directly to the school. Kids are getting a chance to learn
and live in a healthier environment. I believe education is
the key to self-determination and creativity and self-esteem—all
necessary for life and positive development. I was
particularly moved by the idea that few girls are able to
attend school, as families’ slender resources are usually
given to educate their sons. I decided to sponsor a girl.
Throughout the year, the children will send drawings and
letters and school notebooks to communicate with their
"adopted" parents. My friend, Giulia Amici shared
two drawings, each with a row of seven different trees, that
she received from her two students, Riziki Chako and Baraka
Kahindi. In the background of one drawing is a big red heart
planted in the ground like a little tree.
Here is a letter which I received recently from Giovanna
Cescon, the secretary of the foundation, Luce Universale in
By adopting a child from Majungu through the Distance
Adoption program, you are ensuring his/her maintenance and
schooling. However, it is important to note that all the
children will get benefit from your gift: the money sent by
you will be used to purchase food, clothing, exercise books,
pencils and books, for the entire school.
The minimum contribution required is at least € 210.00 a
year. We are kindly requesting you to help your child to
complete the first five years of primary school, but you may
also cancel your participation at any time by informing us
through a letter addressed to Luce Universale.
After you have submitted your application to Luce
Universale – ONLUS and sent this small amount of money, we
will send you a Distance Adoption Certificate and a photo with
the biodata of the child.
From that moment on, you will be in contact with the child,
who will write or will send a drawing to you regularly. In
case you wish to personally meet your adopted child,
Luce Universale – ONLUS will be glad to make your wish
Ass. Luce Universale onlus
One can visit the school and also have a seaside vacation
at the adjacent resort. Cerquetti told me, "We wanted a
place where we would be able to invite people to visit Africa,
be near the children, and stay in comfortable surroundings. We
think it is important to focus on creating fun, relaxation,
and joyful living to set an example that doing good in the
world doesn’t have to mean sacrifice and suffering. We also
wanted to provide a livelihood for the families so that the
school is not dependent on constant fund raising."
If you’d like to join me in making sure these kids get a
chance to learn and grow beyond their circumstance, please
send an email to Giorgio Cerquetti at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you wish to speak to him (he speaks English!) about staying
at the Resort call him on his cell phone (Italy is 9 hours
ahead of Pacific Time) at 011 39 338-8400 483. The resort has
thatched roof bungalows, swimming pools, tennis courts, and
all the comforts of a large hotel on the beach. A stay of nine
days and seven nights from July 20th to March 30th
costs about 1,200 Euro—(a percentage of this amount goes to
the Gerard Primary School.) I think you can even set up a
Safari with the resort if you want to explore the area’s
wildlife. To get there, you fly to Nairobi and then take a
flight to Malindi, which is on the Indian Ocean just above
Mombasa. If you speak or read Italian you can visit www.luceuniversale.org
or send an email to Giovanna Cescon at email@example.com
or call them at 011 39 041 5351436. If you are seriously
interested in going to Africa, we might even go as a group, so
let me know by email, and I’ll see how many people are
interested. Go ahead, make a difference! And have some fun for
yourself in the bargain.
© Copyright 2003 Carol Adrienne, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved.
Carol Adrienne, Ph.D.,
is an internationally-known workshop facilitator and
author whose books have been translated into over fifteen
languages. Her latest book is When Life Changes, or You
Wish It Would. Oprah hailed, The Purpose of Your Life:
Finding Your Place in the World Using Synchronicity,
Intuition, and Uncommon Sense a must-read. She is also the
author of The Numerology Kit. An electronic copy of Your
Child’s Destiny—a numerological guide for parents is
now available at www.CarolAdrienne.comm.
Carol is available to for keynotes, workshops, and seminars
and can be reached at Carol22@sonic.net
or (510) 528-2226 weekdays 10 am to 6 pm PST.
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