The National Society of Leadership and Success
Building leaders who make a better world

Susana Deku
University of the Incarnate Word

I had great Success Networking Team meetings as a Society member. The enthusiasm of my teammates who were willing to reach out to the community motivated me to give in all my holidays for a good course. We came to the conclusion that as much as we were struggling to achieve academic excellence, we need to reach out to our community. Having had a thorough discussion as to how best to give of our time, I dedicated my holidays for the rest of the year to volunteer at places that needed my time.

I volunteered for Women's Global Connection to raise money to help women in Zambia and Tanzania to start their own small businesses. During Thanksgiving weekend, instead of spending time with my friends and family, I went to help sell baskets (made by the women) with some other volunteers and we made over one thousand, six hundred dollars ($1600.00). This was sent back to the women to start their own businesses and others to expand their businesses such as pig and chicken rearing, Soya beans farming, sewing and basket weaving. One thing I knew was that a life would be changed; a woman's dream of starting her own small business and getting empowered was just around the corner. A woman would be able to take care of her children, feed them well, and sponsor their education. At least a child in Zambia and Tanzania will be enrolling in school next year with some hope for a bright future.

The Christmas holiday was another time for me to reach out to my community. According to William Feather, something that had always puzzled him all his life was why, when he was in special need of help, the good deed was usually done by somebody on whom he had no claim. So I search for some ?William Feathers? and I found lots of them in the Incarnate Word Retirement Home. These elderly state man and women were once nuns, priests, teachers, nurses, doctors, businessmen, military officers, police officers, and politicians, just to name a few. Some of them were so weak that they could not even serve their own meal, not to mention carrying their own trays. What could we also do in return to show our appreciation for building the nation whose freedom we now enjoy? All I could do was to give up my time and energy during the time everybody was with their family and loved ones to be with our old and lonely elderly people, the builders of our nation.

What joyful smiles I saw on their faces every time I was there. All of them were eager to know me and really appreciated the fact that I was neither serving them for community service credit hours nor for money, but for free. They were so grateful to the extent that they kept asking when I was coming back. I had wonderful and fulfilled holidays as a result of giving out my time and energy. It was an experience worth repeating.

For next year, one of my major goals is to sponsor three (3) orphans in Ghana who are between the ages of 3 and 10. I would like to pay for their food, accommodation, and educational needs. I will be selling locally made bags from Ghana to help with this course of action. One of the lessons I have learned from the Success Networking Team meetings was that when we reach out to the disadvantaged in the world, we are directly changing lives and giving hope to somebody who will become useful in his or her community. So let us reach out to the people we know who are in need in any way we can to make the world a better place.