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Inspiration is something I draw from the things I read, the lessons in life, and the people that cross my path. I met Elissa Farnham, many moons ago, while we were both working at a call centre and going to school. Her journey has inspired me because I see in her an insatiable desire to make her dreams come true.

In the last year we worked together, she embarked upon an adventure that continues to this day. Elissa did a field study in Zambia, while doing her Diploma of Social Work. She was there for a couple of months working with 5 to 12 year olds in the Centre for Orphans and Vulnerable Children. While talking to some of the girls there, Elissa asked them what they wanted to be when they grew up. Many said they wanted to be doctors, nurses, and teachers too, which Elissa knew would be nearly impossible knowing all the challenges that stood in their way, as they strived to reach their potential with such limited economic means. After coming home to Canada, Elissa couldn’t shake the feeling of guilt. She had been born in a country of opportunities, and that alone gave her a privilege that was denied to the girls  in Zambia. Life had not been fair. The feeling of guilt lingered, until it eventually sparked the beginning of a project to help children in Africa through education.

Elissa tells me that people can often feel overwhelmed by their dreams, because we figure that we have to do everything alone, which is not the case. If we believe in our ideas and share them with others, most often than not, people will want to help. She started telling her story and a few friends have already come forward, providing contacts in Cameroon, where she plans to build an orphanage, which she will name Baobab Haven. Elissa is going through the process of starting a non-profit in order to fundraise some money and kick start her dream of helping others.

So, remember my friends, when chasing dreams, we don’t have to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders, especially not when our dreams are in service of others.

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Eli, thanks for chasing after your dreams. You are an inspiration and we are rooting for you!

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Thank you for reading!

^_^

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