THE SEEDS TO UPLIFT
Updated: Nov 26, 2019
By Francesca Blu
A tear streams down my cheek, but my heart is smiling a broad, joyful smile.
I think of that little girl who kept playing the game of finding abandoned babies in public garbage bins, by churches’ doors, or in hospital parking lots so she could help them and give them a home.
That little girl who was mesmerized and deeply touched by the one family in her small town in Venice, Italy, who adopted two little African boys, Marco and Daniel. From the very moment in which she learned about them, she knew what she wanted ‘to be’ when she grew up; she wanted to have a family just like that one. That little girl who fast forward several years, enrolls in college to study Hindi and oriental languages, with the sole motivation of modeling after Mother Teresa and venturing through the dusty roads of Calcutta to address hunger, misery, and social inequality.
Now, why am I so touched? Several reasons. Yes, that little girl is me and to my delight, today my husband Micheal, is the founder of Upliftnation; a global nonprofit foundation with the mission to offer immediate help to communities in drastic conditions and enable them lasting tools to become healthier and more self-reliant.
Was it a premonition, a form of goal-setting, or simply a true mission in life? For finding a way to help children and the underprivileged has always been a constant in my life.
Meeting my husband and my soulmate Michael, a creative, selfless, and most nurturing soul, only added spark to that hearty burning desire.
On September 9, 2016, we decide to start the adoption process from a country in dire circumstances closest to our current hometown. That country is Haiti. Sitting on the west end of the island of Hispaniola, this gem of the Caribbean is not only a beautiful land with great potential, but also a magical and utterly meaningful place to us.
It remains the temporary home of our daughter Islande, and is the place that permanently touched our hearts and gave us the inspiration and momentum to take action and make a difference in the world.
When you hear stories, watch the news, read travel guides, and watch documentaries, you may think you are ready for Haiti. You pack some deet-bug-spray, protein bars, your least favorite clothes, and a sun hat. What you do not pack is a reality check, a wake-up call, or a space suit to face the other planet. A planet in which peoples’ eyes pierce through your glance and convey rich wisdom, intense emotions of solicitation, and a plea. Their smiles are mouthfuls of unconditional hope, true appreciation, and faith. A planet in which contradiction abounds and despair prevails. Beautifully groomed children in matching uniform, black hogs, skinny cows, broken down cars, unpaved bumpy roads, dust, big juicy mangos, and random car horns fighting for the right of way. Children sitting on the side of the roads under vendor tables during school days, naked toddlers in dirty puddles, black tires burning, and garbage everywhere. And that is only the drive from the airport to the orphanage…
But what a worthy drive, because in those orphanages lies your real reward; the children.
Haitian children are hungry, happy, curious, simple, humble, and playful. Haitian children are affectionate, astonishingly beautiful, deep, sensitive, sensible, caring, respectful, and gracious. Haitian children share their ‘treasures’, their last bite, or the first toy they have ever had. It is with the utmost respect that Michael and I have given the word ‘generosity’ and ‘watch for your brother/neighbor/friend’ a new meaning. Haitian children have taught us what it means to give, the joy of giving and have awakened the unquestionable instinct to equally divide what you are given and distribute it among your community fairly.
Living the need, feeling the authentic scream for help, sensing the extreme circumstances, and witnessing the huge discrepancy between that planet and our comfortable lifestyle, Michael came home from his latest visit to our daughter with a contagious, unstoppable drive to take action. He gathered his skills, resources and opened the door to like-minded entrepreneurs to create a tool that can endlessly perpetuate help for all the ‘Children of Haiti’ of the world.
At last, our thirst to find a way to make a difference is quenched through Upliftnation. Within a short amount of time, this charitable organization has attracted the most amazing talent in sectors ranging from business to finance to blockchain technology, sharing in Michael’s and my wish to give in a way like only a Haitian child can.
My tear is of pride for my husband’s relentless work and determination to create a legacy in the form of a mean to provide to millions of global communities immediate and lasting resources.
My tear is of anticipation, to finally have our little girl home with us and our two boys and begin at last to pour the love into her that we have been growing for the last 3 plus years.
My tear is of gratitude for all the love and support that is flowing to Uplifnation through all the talented individuals that give time, competence, and wisdom to bring this vision to fruition.
Finally, my heart is smiling because the seeds that were planted are sprouting into a strong beautiful nation that uplifts with pride perpetually, Haitian style!