Reflections on Skyping with Justin Grider

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Reflections on Skyping with Justin Grider

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Reflections by the Pencils for Africa Team after the Skype call with

Mr. Justin Grider, Member of the Pencils for Africa Advisory Board

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Nicolas, Editor-in-Chief

Justin Grider is a part of an organization called Village Enterprises.

The goal of the organization is to provide basic business education to poor villages in Africa so that they can make a living on their own. The organization provides 14 weeks of training of about 1 to 3 hours a week to the participants. Most of the participants in this program are women, which is very important because the program, Village Enterprises, is giving women the chance to empower themselves.

Mr. Grider is the evaluator of Village Enterprises. He evaluates how the program has affected the participants. For many, their lives have been changed for the better and their small business are flourishing.

The important part of this organization is that they give a hand up, rather than a hand out.

This means that they teach the participants skills that they need to work the business themselves, rather than the workers Village Enterprises making the money for them. This can help benefit in the long term so that the participants can continue to make a living after the program.

I really enjoyed having a Skype call with Mr. Grider. The most important thing that I learned during the call was to always ask questions. Mr. Grider told us that asking questions will take you far in life. If you can ask questions to learn more about the world around you, then you will be able to change people’s lives. That is the most important thing that I gathered from the Skype call.

We are now happy to call Mr. Grider a Pencils For Africa Board Member. We are very glad to continue working with him in the future

Mr. Grider told us that asking questions will take you far in life.

If you can ask questions to learn more about the world around you, then you will be able to change people’s lives.

That is the most important thing that I gathered from Mr. Grider.

— Nicolas

Colin

Colin, Deputy Editor

Justin Grider is a very inspirational person that used his advantages to help people make their way in the world.

His work in helping the poorest of the poor start their own business shows that anyone can do well if they have enough economic support.

Justin is giving people the chance to start their lives over with an opportunity to succeed. He does not merely give them money and send them their way, but he provides them with business training and money that they can use to start their business.

This idea also related to his wheelchair access work, because with a little support the disabled people in Ethiopia were able to get a job and make money for themselves.

I liked his advice about how we should be involved in something we are passionate about. Without passion, anything anyone does is bound to fail, no matter how much financial backing it has.

Justin has done a lot of work to make the world a better place, and he is very inspiring.

Justin’s work in helping the poorest of the poor start their own business shows that anyone can do well if they have enough economic support.

Justin has done a lot of work to make the world a better place, and he is very inspiring.

— Colin

Carly

Carly, Assistant Editor

Meeting with Justin was an inspiring experience I learned from greatly.

First, I admire him for devoting his life to help the poorest of the poor create a sustainable business. He took on the challenge of helping the people who needed him most.

Justin trusted in those he worked with to grow and start a business of their own. He gave them the start they needed.

Justin trusted in those he helped and gave them the opportunity to change their lives for the better. He is a role model for the Pencils for Africa community and me.

Justin trusted in those he helped and gave them the opportunity to change their lives for the better.

He is a role model for the Pencils for Africa community and me.

— Carly

CharlottePFACharlotte, Assistant Editor

I thought it was so inspiring to Skype with Justin because his group, Village Enterprises, is just like PFA giving pencils to Africa.

We are giving pencils to kids who desperately want an education and Village Enterprises is giving money to those who worked hard for it.

We are helping kids get an education and Justin’s group is helping people start a company.

Also, I loved the way Justin talked about “giving a hand up not a hand out.”

So many groups that I have learned about in PFA have talked about this concept and it truly inspires me. For example, If you gave someone solely a tractor, pretty soon it would break down and then they would have nothing to do with it. Giving a hand up would be to give the people a tractor and the tools to fix it so they can use it for a long time, repairing it when they needed to.

I loved having the opportunity to Skype with Justin!

I loved the way Justin talked about “giving a hand up not a hand out.” 

So many groups that I have learned about in Pencils for Africa have talked about this concept and it truly inspires me.

— Charlotte

BlancheRBlanche, Assistant Editor

I thought Mr. Grinder was a very inspirational man doing great work in Africa with Village Enterprises.

We were grateful that he took time to talk to us, knowing that it was midnight where he is living in Africa.

We have been working on changing the narrative in Africa by meeting people and listening to their stories. Mr. Grider is one of those people who are doing work to help change the narrative in Africa by all the hard work he is doing to help others.

The work he is doing helps me understand how important it is to be giving and to think of helping in the world, and most importantly, how important it is to give of yourself. He helps people by giving them the respect to help themselves and to learn about business in the process. The work he is doing helps me understand how important it is to be giving and to think of helping in the world, and most importantly, how important it is to give of yourself. He helps people by giving them the respect to help themselves and to learn about business in the process.

The work Mr. Grider is doing helps me understand how important it is to be giving and to think of helping in the world, and most importantly, how important it is to give of yourself.  

He helps people by giving them the respect to help themselves and to learn about business in the process.

— Blanche

Lucia's Question

Lucia, Assistant Editor

Justin Grider is an inspiring young man in which all young people should take after.

Hearing Justin’s point of view was like nothing I have ever heard. Working with a business model to give a hand up not a hand out was the main point of this talk.

Teaching that a hand up is more empowering than accepting a hand out.  Asking questions was another point that Justin talked about and being confident.

Justin told us his story about being confident with yourself, when he first got to Africa. He wasn’t sure how he was going to relate, not speaking any of the African languages. The kids laughed at him because he could not speak the language but, he said that soccer was his common language to start communicating.

I asked the question, “What is the definition of ‘poor’ – is it financial or the way the person views themselves?”

It could be both or it could be one.

This Skype conversation that the PFA team had with Justin, had a sense of commonality with the way we look at Africa. We have been taught through the many different people and their experiences to think positive and believe that a good education is the right for every child. Soon I hope the rest of the world will look at Africa the way we do.

This Skype conversation that the PFA team had with Justin, had a sense of commonality with the way we look at Africa.

We have been taught through the many different people and their experiences to think positive and believe that a good education is the right for every child.

I hope the rest of the world will look at Africa the way we do.

— Lucia

ShannonPFAShannon, Assistant Editor

It was so intriguing to talk to Mr. Grider this past PFA meeting.

I really enjoyed learning about his work in Village Enterprise.

I am so impressed that Mr. Grider, a smart, educated, able man, chose to go and devote himself to helping others instead of only helping himself and making money.

Mr. Grider helps people in a very smart way too, he gives “hand-ups, not hand-outs”.

I love this recurring idea, not just in PFA, but in so many wonderful organizations like Village Enterprise and Bicycles Against Poverty, of giving a helping hand and a tool for people to help themselves out of poverty, not just a handout like money. I am glad to be working with Mr. Grider and I look forward to future interaction.

I am so impressed that Mr. Grider, a smart, educated, able man, chose to go and devote himself to helping others instead of only helping himself and making money.

— Shannon