How a Revolution Begins

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HaitiLiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) has had many incredible moments over the years. We have met people all over the world, many of them quietly and consistently creating a revolution on their own terms: through love, compassion, hope and generosity. Nikki is one of those people and she is an inspiration for many of us who know her. Nikki first joined us on a Hero Holiday in Dominican Republic the summer of her high school graduation. Having seen an LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) presentation in her school the preceding year, something inside of her was quickened when she was offered the opportunity to join us and make a difference. That something is how a revolution begins.A revolution is defined by “a radical and pervasive change in society and the social structure, especially one made suddenly and often accompanied by violence.” In the world in which we live, many revolutions have resulted in lives being lost and change being brought, but at a very high price. However, there is one remarkable characteristic that has often been overlooked: many of the world’s revolutions have been led by the youth. Often times, those who are the most impassioned for change are the emerging generation. However, being passionate for change is one thing, having an outlet to make that happen is another.In the DRNikki came home from Dominican Republic a changed life. Not only did she experience all of the emotional moments of encountering poverty and exploitation, but she also saw past that and realized that she could turn her life into a life that reaches out where it is most needed. Realizing that she had the ability to raise funds on her own to continue to do what she felt she needed to do, Nikki created a blog designing business, Blogs for a Cause. Through her work with creating blogs, Nikki raised thousands of dollars for both her own travels and to donate to many international projects that she was passionate about. But it wasn’t just about finding ways to raise money that made the revolution in Nikki’s life; it was about being the change right where she was at: her trip with Hero Holiday also inspired her to meet Haitian refugees in her community. Every Wednesday and Saturday Nikki volunteers with refugees, mostly Haitian, helping to teach English, show them around the city, offering free babysitting, and reaching out to them in compassion. Because she has seen the power of child sponsorship and how it brings hope to so many lives, Nikki also personally sponsors 5 children around the world, all while putting herself through university.Since her first trip with Hero Holiday, Nikki has been back to Dominican Republic four times, has led her to Ethiopia, and inspired by LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute)’s work with Haitians in Dominican Republic, this past year, Nikki and a fellow Hero Holiday alumni, Melissa, went to Port au Prince, Haiti. There they joined up with the Missionaries of Charity, a Catholic charity that ran a malnutrition clinic in Delmas, one of the main areas of Port au Prince. Nikki and Melissa helped out where they could, holding the children and helping to feed and take care of them. It was raw and shocking: of the 100 children in the charity’s care, they lose an average one life per day to poverty’s cruelty. Nikki held 6 year old Frankel, who was still the size of a baby, with hair falling out and was literally skin and bones. Little Frankel left an impact on Nikki and his young life inspired her to return to Canada and to continue to work to help raise money for the charity there.When I asked Nikki why she is so passionate about what she does, this is what she said:Ethiopia“People that I met through Hero Holiday are among those I consider my favourite people in the world; people that I can be myself around, feel comfortable with, and learn from. Hero Holiday taught me the value of education in poverty stricken countries, and so in the months that follow the earthquake I am going to try to raise money and awareness to build up the schools that have collapsed and make education possible for all of the children in Haiti who do not, or cannot, attend school.”At first, I wondered how she was going to do that; but I should have known better. Of course she had a plan! She has designed a fair trade shirt, available on her blog, One Tiny Starfish, and the proceeds are going towards rebuilding Haiti, one life at a time.And that is how a revolution begins…LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) is now starting to do Hero Holidays to Haiti. We will be focusing on rebuilding efforts in Port Au Prince, to help counter the orphan crisis, as well as looking towards building projects for education and medical care in Cap Haitien, one of the main cities receiving refugees from the earthquake. You can help! Check out”Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek”. ~ Barack Obama

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: February 7th, 2010