VisionForce

What's YOUR Heart's Vision?

How Not to Learn Entrepreneurship

Posted by on Oct 1, 2014

Morning coffee in hand, I walked from the convent this morning out into the sprawling hilltop campus here in tropical countryside of Western Uganda. I pass by the young man who makes the chapatis and greet him, “Chipati Man! Ay!” After conversing I’ve got a new word for the day. “Olira” in the Rotoro language means Have you eaten? There are many students studying in the morning sunshine all over campus. I greet some of my student friends, and then ask them if they’ve eaten. But for sure they’ve eaten! They wake at 4am here for studies. At 7am they take their porridge made from corn. Same routine Monday through Friday. Saturday and Sunday they sleep in until 6am or so. Rugimba’s younger brother, also named Rugimba, calls out to me. I go and greet him, and remark how fortunate he is to study in the midst of such stunning nature. I see what he and his friend are reading, a book about Entrepreneurship. “Can I see?” He hands me the book and I scan through it. It’s full of business terms and their descriptions, and that’s it. I learn their job is to memorize the information to pass the exams, and I feel a fire rising in my chest. This is no way to learn the joy of entrepreneurship! It’s the way to kill any possible passion for it. I don’t want to criticize the way they are teaching kids here, but I feel I have to say something. I have to do something. I tell Rugimba there’s a much more fun and exciting way to learn entrepreneurship. And that’s by just starting a small service business, and then studying about entrepreneurship. This way everything you learn has the potential to help grow your business. But talk is cheap. That’s why we’ve been working hard to get computers and Internet here at this school of 600 village kids, and when that happens, they’ll have the world at their fingertips–and they’ll have the opportunity to engage in business through the Internet. Wait til these kids make their first dollar through a computer! Entrepreneurship will suddenly become exciting. Help us make this...

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Honoring Jacob George: Soldier of Conscience, Visionary Peace Maker

Posted by on Sep 24, 2014

The Human Cost of War: IVAW Testimony ~ Jacob David George from First Unitarian Church on Vimeo. Last week this inspiring young man took his life after Obama announced that we are going back to Iraq for more war. He was a 3-tour Afghanistan veteran turned activist, who was committed to riding his bike cross country until the wars end. He was a soldier for conscience and a visionary peace maker, walking his own path and standing for peace. And he was a friend of mine. I’ll never know all that Jacob had witnessed. What he endured. What he faced inside himself every day. In fact, other than sharing a few emails, I only met him once–at the IVAW (Iraq Veterans Against the War) conference where I was presenting the Honor Window work with Thad Crouch. Jacob had volunteered to fight after 9-11. I imagine he’d wanted to stand for our safety and freedoms, and to be a protector of his people. He was willing to risk his life to stand for people and values he felt were worth standing for. But after three tours enduring and witnessing the human toll that war brings, when his younger brother was called up to go to war, he had a change of heart about these wars that wouldn’t end. Maybe it was when he looked into his younger brother’s eyes and saw a life that might be taken that he came face to face with the insanity–not know what we were fighting for any more, not knowing feeling it was worth the life of his brother? From what I understand, that’s when he withdrew from the path honored by the military, and began on a new mission. A mission for peace. A mission for human life. For his brother’s life. For the lives and souls of the men and women being injured on a soul level due to war. He would ride his bike across the US–until everyone came home. A big commitment, and a bigger one than I was willing to make. I too was disillusioned by the seemingly endless wars. I too was angry that so many soldiers and veterans were turning to suicide or being left forever morally injured. Jacob had ridden his bike to Austin from Houston, I believe, to be at the IVAW conference with his younger brother. He joined Thad and I at a lunch...

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Ice Bucket Challenge Here In Uganda?

Posted by on Sep 18, 2014

A few weeks ago, Clovis and I received the “Ice Bucket Challenge” from Thad Crouch. But where we are in rural Uganda, there is no ice water, let alone ice or clean water. In fact the water we drink and bathe with comes from rain water harvesting and/or is pumped from the ground by hand daily. And even uploading video can be quite a challenge. So… We got creative (see the video, especially at 1:03 of the video). To see PART TWO of our video, please donate $1 or more to our ‘What If’ Computer Center campaign on September 18th, and help us get good internet here at the school for our 600 students. Everyone who donates will see Part Two: Michael & Clovis take the plunge! And if we reach our goal, we’ll make the video available to the public as well. THANK YOU! PLEASE SUPPORT & SHARE OUR CAMPAIGN...

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My First Day at Ave Maria!

Posted by on Aug 7, 2014

After the beautiful welcome to Ave Maria secondary school, Clovis showed me the campus and then I entered the convent where the nuns were not sure what to make of this crazy mjungu!  I washed up and enjoyed a welcome feast of local Ugandan fare with Sister Rose, Sister Rose Junior, Sister Restatuta, Sister Oliver, Sister Agnes and Sister Mukaka. The next morning after an early breakfast I joined my young friend, “Master Clovis,” for a discussion about vision and entrepreneurship with students from A-Level (post-secondary, pre-university).  See clips in the video above. These are mostly people from local villages in rural Uganda.  Some have never been on the internet and some have never met a Westerner.  University is often their greatest hope for achieving their dreams, but very few make it into university and even then a job is a difficult thing to find. It’s always fun to introduce such folks to people like Bill Gates, Michael Dell and Steve Jobs, who made the computers and software in the computer center where they gathered.  They assume all these men must have been great students and finished university, and are always surprised to discover that the were not and did not. To bring it closer to home, I told the story of my younger brother who never finished secondary school, and the staggering sum of Ugandan schillings he’s likely to make this year–working for himself, using the internet.  When they heard many of Clovis’ stories using his VisionForce education and inspiring vision to raise money for entrepreneurial projects over the years.[link], it hit even closer to home. Still, I imagine that most of these students and faculty see the possibility of leveraging the internet to grow their school and achieve their dreams as a far out fantasy. After this conversation Clovis shared an idea with me:  What if we show the nuns, the faculty and the students that it really IS possible to get their inspiring projects funded through the internet?  For them this will be like pulling a rabbit out of a hat, and they will have to consider that far more is possible for them than they may have ever imagined. In the afternoon we ventured into the nearby town of Kyenjojo to access high speed internet at the cyber cafe… and take on the challenge of creating a miracle!  That’s when we uploaded this...

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A Miracle In Uganda! WHAT IF?!

Posted by on Aug 4, 2014

Thanks to the generosity of a few VisionForce friends, I have just arrived safely in Uganda, where I was welcomed by long-time VisionForce ally, Clovis Ategeka! After a 12-hour bus ride from Kenya followed by a 3-hour drive into the countryside, I arrived at Ave Maria, the secondary school of 600 students, where Clovis is now Dean of Students. As you can see in the video below, I did not believe that the students had gathered on the road to welcome me! HELP US MAKE A MIRACLE! Only about 50% of university graduates find jobs here. To have a chance in the job market these days, these students need computer skills, but 600 students must share only 3 computers! You may remember some of the miracles Clovis created through the years with the help of VisionForce. I have come at Clovis’ invitation to show the students and faculty how much is possible with vision, entrepreneurial thinking and internet technology, and I need your help! Let’s help him create another miracles, and show these 600 students what is possible. We want to raise $460 in less than 48 hours! This will buy his school: – 1 new computer ($340) – 1 modem ($30) – 1 month of internet access ($30) – A 500 GB external hard drive ($60) ====== $460 More importantly, it will infuse an entrepreneurial spirit here at the school and launch their budding computer center and entrepreneurship programs! ANY amount helps – $2, $5, $25 or more!  Just send your contribution via www.PayPal.com to michael@michaelskye.com ALL donors will receive some special videos and photos from the 600 students! UPDATE: We’ve now received enough for THREE computers, thus DOUBLING the size of the budding computer center here! It’s not too late to send your contribution… THANK YOU in...

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Have You EVER Been Welcomed Like THIS?

Posted by on Jul 30, 2014

I recorded this last week at of the key stops on our VisionForce Safari is Morris Thuku’s home and school in Elburgon, Kenya. Watch this beautiful welcome we were given, and allow yourself to RECEIVE it fully. FEEL your WELCOME to this world, to LIFE, to Africa, to Kenya, to your heart! Have you ever received such a beautiful welcome?  Tell me about it in the comments...

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