THE SECRET TO ABUNDANCE IS IN GIVING
The World celebrated International Widows Day on June 23rd with the theme of ‘Sustainable solutions for widows’ financial independence.’ The intention was to draw attention to the voices of widows, highlight the problems they faced and galvanize the support that they needed.
The founder of Cause Capitalism has for years paid attention to the silent voices of widows, understood their problems and galvanized a charitable foundation to address some of their needs.
The success of The Goat Foundation’s philanthropy is evident to any curious inquirer. A visit to any community that previously hosted Steve Down and his partners reveals a sort of economic revival. Widows and their village mates alike will regale you with stories of flourishing small businesses, bountiful crop harvests and thriving children around the house.
Give With a Joyful Spirit
While donating goats to widows, Steve Down always emphasized the wealth-creating potential inherent in charitable acts. In his book, The Mountain the Man and the Compass, Steve Down writes, “…you can give generously to meet the needs of others without becoming needy yourself. The more you give the more you receive.” Widows who after receiving a pair of goats, gave the first offspring from this donation to a neighbour in need soon experienced an explicable rebound in their economic fortunes.
For almost three years The Goat Foundation received donations and partnered with family and friends of Steve Down to donate goats to widows and orphans. These efforts were the brainchild of Mr Down in the philosophy of Cause Capitalism. Mr Steve Down visualized a social enterprise whereby for-profit businesses pledged a percentage of their gross earnings to a non-profit whose mission was humanitarian Aid.
Wealth is Not Earned. Wealth is Created.
After arriving in Kenya, Mr Down set up a financial literacy company, Financially fit Africa which pledged a percentage of its earnings towards The Goat Foundation. As months went by, widows in remote communities started receiving a pair of goats (male and female) and this was accompanied by the message of hope, caring, giving and charity.
The sustainable aspect of this donation was that the widows received the tools with which to practice generosity and wealth creation. By raising these goats and giving away sired offspring and sharing their newfound economic means, the widows were bound to prosper beyond their wildest imagination. “Wealth is not earned. Wealth is created” was the principle bestowed during the goat handover ceremonies. Mr Steve Down believes that scarcity attracts scarcity. When the recipients of these donations adopted the principle of abundance and started to practice the art of giving, the inexhaustible abundance of the universe soon opened up for them and enriched them freely.
Bountifulness Through Giving
Wangui, a widowed mother of two from Nunguni, Makueni County, is one such example. After receiving a pair of goats in early 2021, she donated the first two offspring to a struggling neighbour. At her home, she freely shared her meals with the children who came to play with her own kids. Within eight months her goats had sired two more kids, and the potato farm she tilled doubled its output. She sold these proceeds at the local market and used the money to open a grocery shop.
Today, she is a thriving businesswoman and has hired two assistants to assist in running her shop. She still gives generously that around the village, everyone understands that you can always get your vegetables on credit from Wangui.
Her bountifulness keeps growing and some even whisper that her Mzungu donor must be sending her cash on the side. As demonstrated on multiple occasions, the secret to Wangui’s success is in her generous spirit and prudent management of her resources. Mr Steve Down considers this and other success stories an organic outcome of a genuine effort inspired by the need to help others.
As the world sat to consider the progress made towards addressing the plight of widows, Mr Steve Down and his partners at The Goat Foundation once again drew plans for the next phase of making donations to widows.
The universe’s store of abundance is inexhaustible. It is time for another harvest!
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