I can honestly say that writing and editing the TPRF blog for the past 18 months has been an exciting, enjoyable, and unpredictable journey.We began with a mandate to cover the developing story of the third Food for People facility planned for construction in the small village of Otinibi, outside of the metropolitan city of Accra in Ghana, West Africa. I had very little experience with social media, a slight familiarity with TPRF’s proprietary Food for People program, and no background information on the country or people of Ghana.
Somehow, these obvious drawbacks did not inhibit the expansion of the TPRF blog from a single story into an international forum reflecting stories of enormous hope through efficient and inspired humanitarian initiatives undertaken by TPRF and its partner organizations around the world.
Our first posts covered the Ghana Food for People projectin detail beginning when the facility was an undeveloped piece of land awaiting governmental approval of the documents transferring title of ownership to the local charity set up to manage and run the FFP. We have literally watched the facility rise up out of the ground, culminating in a triumphant opening one year later. The FFP in Otinibi has materialized thanks to the dedication of mostly local volunteers, an expert construction team, funding from TPRF, and donations from individuals following the story on the Internet.
Five hundred children and adults will be fed nutritious meals every day in Otinibi. The same thing happens at two other Food for People centers which opened in 2006 and 2009.
The logistics and effort required to establish and keep the FFP facilities operating boggles the mind. Yet it is happening. It is a privilege and a joy to make these stories about people who benefit from the Food for People program and the individuals who volunteer to make these daily miracles occur available to our readers.
Six months after our first post, we decided to open up the scope of the blog to other feature stories while still reporting on the progress of the project in Ghana. We covered the other two Food for People facilities located in the villages of Bantoli, India and Tasarpu, Nepal. I began to see the profound effect the program has on the people it touches.
Now, children go to school instead of doing manual labor (like crushing rocks to support their families.) The nutritious daily meals allow the children to grow and develop normally. Plus, they learn proper sanitation habits and enjoy watching educational television programs while eating.
With healthy bodies and the opportunity to learn in school, these children have a vastly improved chance to realize their dreams later in life. And something more. I have seen through these stories that Food for People is an oasis for these children, a place where they can flourish and enjoy their precious childhood.
The Food for People program is only one example of TPRF’s life-changing work. We regularly cover stories about TPRF’s Peace Education Program in prisons, independent fundraising efforts, disaster relief, clean drinking water initiatives, and other humanitarian efforts undertaken by TPRF’s carefully-selected partner organizations.
The voice of the TPRF blog that we searched for in the beginning has become the many voices of hope and positive change as stories continue to stream in from around the world.
As Prem Rawat’s message of peace continues to reach more people, we hope to keep pace by allowing more voices to tell their stories spontaneously in an even greater diversity.
The new blog will present stories from regular contributors, expressions from blog subscribers, people involved in the work of TPRF, and others involved in independent humanitarian efforts. In time, regular contributors and TPRF partners will be able to post directly to the new blog template as stories break.
Photos Courtesy of IRD and Premsagar Nepal