Ever wonder how one small idea can kick-start a movement to make a difference? Well no one knows this better than Mariama Bah, a junior here at Indiana University who started a non-profit organization called Lend A Hand. Bah is double majoring in International Studies and Near Eastern Language and Cultures (NELC) in the School of Global and International Studies (SGIS) with a Global Health Promotions minor from the School of Public Health (SPH). She became inspired to start the organization as a way to help those who are less fortunate in her motherland, Guinea, a country located in Western Africa.
For now, Lend A Hand is mainly geared towards women and children, so she is collecting clothing, hygiene products and school supplies.
“Over 50% of the population lives below the poverty line and some people [can] survive with at least $1.00,” Mariama answered when asked about her motivation to help others. She also cites Professor Andrea Siqueira from SGIS and Dr. Kay from SPH here at IU among with many peers and friends as people who have played part in fueling her motivations. She envisions expanding her organization to help other countries in Africa, India and those in South America who suffers from similar poverty problems.
With the help of many individuals and organizations like La Unidad Latina Lambda Upsilon and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated Epsilon Iota Chapter as well as the Centerstone Christian Fellowship, Mariama was able to amass about 500-700 number of supplies as well as $225.00 out of the four hundred needed to ship these items. At this time, she is still collecting donations on this link, but is immensely grateful to the individuals who have already donated.
You see, it doesn’t take much to make a difference in the lives of those living in Guinea. And as a way to honor the youth and social services month of December here in the School of Public, you can find small ways to give back to the community because it only takes a small hand to make a big difference.
Just trying to live my best life in one fabulous pair of shoes at a time.