When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous I Have a Dream speech in Washington, D.C., he was leading a demonstration for the humanitarian causes of racial equality and justice. Excerpts of this speech inspire and propel visionaries toward their goals of raising human standards. On this day that we pay tribute to Dr. King, we thought it would be fitting to introduce our Humanitarian Footprint Series. This collection of stories personalizes the impact of our humanitarian work and of your generosity towards these projects.

Meet Elvis: Hear his dream

Elvis has always had a dream of his own –  to build a carpentry business in the Northwest Region of Cameroon, West Africa. The problem is that Elvis lacked the introductory knowledge he needed to get accepted in to a technical school.

Elvis took a step in the direction of his dream – he attended the apprenticeship program at our School for Carpentry and Construction in late 2013. He worked hard, applied the lessons, and successfully completed the course, easily graduating and earning his certificate.

Elvis knew what skills he needed to gain in order to get into the technical school so during the course, he payed special attention to woodworking finishing techniques, the use of moisture meters and learned all about the importance of working with seasoned lumber. He also learned practical skills in office management, estimating jobs, and working with office staff.

Elvis steps closer to his dream

Elvis successfully graduated from our apprenticeship program and was accepted into the local technical school! We are confident he will do well. Once he graduates, he plans to open his own business where he can attract his own customers, build quality furniture that will enable him to earn a living, and eventually take other carpenters under his wing, like the Himalayan Institute did for him. We are proud of Elvis, and so many other students who have used our Carpentry School to advance their skills. We hope to see Elvis again: for a visit, to refine his skills, or even to train his own students!

A Footprint of empowerment

Creating this cycle of empowerment is our version of uplifting the human condition. It is our yoga in action. We invite you to join us in this work and with your support we can create a greater humanitarian impact, leave more footprints like this, and makes more dreams come true.

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