It’s kind of hard to believe but it already has been five years since my friend/neighbor Tina drafted me onto the Board of Directors for her 501(c)(3) non-profit organization Mission Health & Education in Communities & Congo (or MiHEC for short).
MIHEC’s mission is to reduce social injustice and poverty, to improve health, and to enhance availability of education for vulnerable communities—particularly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is one of the world’s most impoverished countries. It also happens to be the African country where Tina and her husband Ben were born and had grown up in, explaining why this cause is near and dear to Tina’s heart.
Most of our efforts in recent years have focused on collecting donations of medical, school, and children’s supplies and shipping them to hospitals and orphanages in the DRC. To spread word and build support for this cause, in April 2018 we hosted a couple of free presentations as part of the the Poudre Library District’s International Night Series. We held the first one at the Old Town Library and the second one at the Council Tree Library, both in Fort Collins, Colorado.
My part in the event was to present interesting facts, history, and trivia about the DRC. Due to being ridiculously busy with at least a half-dozen other high-level commitments, I actually outsourced the research of such information to my friend Mel, and then pieced together a PowerPoint presentation. This saved myself a few hours of work and I think Mel did a great job of finding the information I wanted.
Then, it was showtime. Amber, being the super sweet woman that she is, came to watch and support me during the presentation. Ben—Tina’s husband—took video, so you can watch it below and learn a few things about the Democratic Republic of Congo yourself.
I was pleased with how the presentation went when it was all said and done. A couple people came up afterwards and generously remarked that it was “impressive,” but the nicest compliment came from Amber.
“You did so well,” she said. “You walked around the stage, you made people laugh and didn’t need notes. There were times I was wondering ‘how is he remembering all those numbers? Is he reading them from somewhere?'” (I was not; I just happen to have a good memory when it comes to numbers and statistics.)
I had a good time giving the presentation and it seemed like the audience enjoyed it as well. We may be giving a few more of these presentations in addition to holding donation drives and even an African fashion show (2019, probably).