In pursuit of my African Dream – Ask and you shall receive . . .

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged and my followers must be wondering what in the world has happened to me. Well, let me tell you.

 I’ve had a few topics these last few weeks which I’ve wanted to blog about but just never got around to doing so. The last week and a bit I’ve been extremely busy trying to find sponsorship and a venue for the workshop I have to facilitate before the end of August which forms part of my Portfolio of Evidence (PoE) for the Facilitators Training Course I’m doing for Disabled People of South Africa (DPSA).

 In my search for a sponsor for my event, I agonised at how easy it is for government departments to have events costing millions of rands (tax payers money – our money) and yet, when a little fish like me is looking for funding, we get every excuse in the book thrown at us.

 Here I am, trying to make a difference in my community, running training courses to empower disabled women, and all I get are doors shut in my face all the time. How does one stay calm and motivated to continue?

I hate asking anybody for money – I hate asking for anything for that matter. Even as a child, I used to hate asking my parents for money (or anything else for that matter). I would wait until they gave out of their own. If they did not give, I did not ask. My dad always used to tell people I’m “low maintenance” meaning that I don’t ask for much. I speak when I’m spoken to – otherwise you don’t hear me. If I’m not given, I remain without – why?

 Is it maybe because I grew up in a time when my parents did not have much to give and I was told, “we will give you what you need, when you need it” – I did not always get what I wanted, but got what I needed (or at least what my parents felt I needed). As a Psychology major (1st year), I still need to understand how and why this has affected me in my adult life. Why do I still, as an adult, find it difficult to ask for anything whether this is physical help, monetary help or any other kind of help?

 Is it maybe because it was drummed into me from a very young age that if you don’t ask for anything, you don’t owe anybody anything because people never give without expecting anything in return?

 On the rare occasions when I do pluck up the courage to ask, I ask for the bare minimum and do my best not to waste any of what I’ve been given. I will spend wisely and will feel guilty if I have any “change” because it would feel as if I’ve taken advantage of your generosity.

An ex-Manager of mine, on hearing that I was not able to find a sponsor for my event, generously offered to deposit some money into my account for my event. This was totally unexpected – not asked for but most definitely appreciated beyond words, yet, I still feel guilty. Why? This same person has also suggested that instead of trying to find a Corporate sponsor, to make use of my existing network of people – to start a list and ask everyone to contribute whatever they can afford to give towards my cause. I have very sheepishly written letters to a few prominent people I know and sent the letters off today, but I feel guilty for asking – why?

Whatever money I receive will be spent 100% on the workshop I am facilitating. Should there be any money left afterwards, I will separate this from my own money and keep it towards the next workshop I need to facilitate – so what do I have to feel guilty about?

Parents – do you realise what damage your words can do on the minds of innocent young children in your care? Please select your words carefully because once uttered, you have no idea how what you have said (or how you have said it) will affect your children later in life when they become adults.

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