Before Beekeeper Parade, we created Baby Tree Projects
The reason I get to read and write, to articulate my story on my terms, to have the ability to build business, to draw my dreams, to write into existence a future and a life, worth living. Is because of one undeniable fact.
I had access to quality education.
And that was made possible because of another undeniable fact. All those years ago, people in Australia decided to help a faceless 3 year old child, half-way across world, a child they will never meet. And they did it because of this belief. That their small act of kindness here, had the ability, to save another person's life there.
And I have never forgotten this fact. That in you, in me, in us. Is the ability to create change, make positive impact, move mountains, move hearts even! And together, change the world. Greater than any superhero's powers imagined. And it's in us.
So in my twenties my dream and passion. Was to say thank you to all those people. Who, without being dramatic, but it's truth. Gave me extra time to live in this amazing world of ours. And I decided to do it by trying to get children in rural Cambodia access to quality education.
I won't dwell here. But it took an enormous amount of something in me I never knew I had. Over a decade of my life and we managed to build 4 schools! Raised half a million dollars!
But one thing became apparent. Grant writing (we were shit at it), fundraising and asking for donations wasn't sustainable. No longer fun. I was spending all my introverted energy faster than I could grow it again. We were sliding. Still fighting, but losing.
So my little sister (Sophia) and I looked out into the world. Saw all these amazing businesses and thought, why can't we be one of them! To never ever have to beg for money again. Instead, put everything we had, into making our own. Surely, this was a better more sustainable way of doing things. I miss how innocent we were. How simple we made things then.
So the Beekeeper journey began. I will pause in this moment to say. I could not have imagined or expected what happened to us next. Already, my fingers shake, as I write. But my romantic view of the world came crashing down on me. And I broke.
Like a poisoned arrow, guided by some god, because I must have angered them somehow, to earn such hatred. Like it was forged and let loose even before the stars were made. The arrow found its mark. Hitting us square in our hearts. It's splinters fracturing every single person in our lives. And we fell. We dropped.
Recovering from this fall is what I plan on not talking about today. Except to say, my sister drew a line of light for me to to follow, and finally I followed.
After. When grief turned to anger. I channeled it into growing Beekeeper. It’s true, there were many days, when my anger wasn’t enough. But as it turns out. It wasn't anger that I needed. And Beekeeper Parade began to grow.
Growing in a way, that no longer needed to rely on donations to the support the schools we had built. This March we will be building a library. And very recently, one of our beautiful Keepers, Junjira, got to help us deliver 252 new school uniforms, in The Sophia Saly School Project, our fifth school. We plan to deliver more this year in our other schools.
I look at these children attending our schools, wondering, what they will do with their lives. I wonder if they will recognise the kindness sent to them, from half-way across the world. And how that kindness, is nothing, compared to what they have taught me in return.
For me, my lesson is this, kindness can be given, without cost, and immediately. To friends and strangers, today. And that is another, undeniable fact.
Thank you so much for reading this blog. If you wish to help us grow…you can do so, by doing an act of kindness now! Haha. Share our story with friends, like and comment. And if you need a present or bag, consider us.
We hope we brought a smile to your face by reading.
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