I’m an educator; I’m an entrepreneur.

All students need leadership that includes support and empowerment.

#GivingTuesday with Simiyu House will attempt to address that need in two totally different countries this year! Locally, in Indiana, the type of leadership that’s needed is digital leadership. Digital leadership is coming alongside and showing students to communicate positively on social media. It’s showing students that they are connected to the world through social media; that they can be global citizens, global students, and global leaders on and offline. It’s showing students to actively seek opportunity instead of passively waiting for it.

Internationally, in Kenya, the leadership that’s needed is at a much more basic level, but it’s made up of the same elements: support and empowerment. We’ll show support by meeting the basic needs of orphans, re-enrolling them in school, and giving them a safe place to be if they need one. We will empower them by putting them through school through graduation, spending time with them on a regular basis, and building upon already existing life skills.

Imagine 500 middle school students from Kouts and Chesterton uniting on social media for one month to provide a full education through graduation for two orphans in Kenya! Their basic needs will be met for the next seven years. Tuition, uniforms, and lunch will be completely paid for. Imagine when their teacher goes to Kenya this summer with me to personally meet these kids, bringing back their experience and making an even bigger impact next year! These are the goals, This is the story, and this this could be reality on November 29th, 2016: Giving Tuesday.

Although we’re ultimately raising money--the focus is truly on education, supporting and empowering children and teaching them one of the greatest lessons of all: the power of giving.

By Eric Smith