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Features Student volunteers with African missions

Student volunteers with African missions

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Kimberly Doctor sits with the children she met in Africa while on her mission trip. Doctor spent her time there teaching the young women how to crochet. -Courtesy photo
Kimberly Doctor sits with the children she met in Africa while on her mission trip. Doctor spent her time there teaching the young women how to crochet. -Courtesy photo

Kimberly Docter, a junior marketing and international business double major at The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park campus, began two months of mission work in Kenya and Uganda April 28. 

Docter was connected to her missions through Know Think Act. Know Think Act is an online community that connects people to the needs of others living in extreme poverty.

According to Know Think Act’s website, “When you help us meet a need, you become part of that project and receive updates when the money is fully raised and wired, as well as photos and stories when the project is completed.”

Docter is a personal friend of Chris and Katie Sasser, international coordinators of the community.  Through this community, Docter was connected with Action Ministry in Kenya and Bringing Hope to the Family in Uganda.

“Working with Action Ministry in Kenya and Bringing Hope to the Family in Uganda made me more aware of the need for people to be more community-minded in the things they do and be more intentional with education,” Docter said.  “Here, education is kind of a right of passage for most but in these African countries education is a precious privilege.”

Docter spent much of her time overseas teaching women how to crochet as a source of income.  The goal of teaching the skill of crochet was to offer women, young and old, a way to break the cycle of poverty.

She taught crochet for four weeks in Kenya and spent two weeks at a vocational school in Uganda. In Kenya, she also took part in the church drama programs every Sunday.

“The most priceless moment would have to be in my vocational class in Uganda,” Docter said.  “I was feeling very overwhelmed with emotion because it was a few days before I was flying home; and with only spending two weeks with these 26 girls in class, I really didn’t know how much they would really have learned by the end.”

She said she left for 20 minutes and arrived back to find all of the women had finished their projects.  Docter was very happy and was then able to share her story with them.

“After that, they all stood and sang me a goodbye song and some shared their dreams of going (further) in education and in their lives,” Docter said.  “It was a blessing to know that in just two weeks, I was able to impact those girls for a lifetime.”

Know Think Act was founded by Travis Gravette, after he spent his Christmas break volunteering at an orphanage in Africa.  

According to the organization’s website, Gravette said it was difficult to find an organization he could volunteer through.  He then discovered Bringing Hope for the Family, an organization founded by Faith Kunihira, a Ugandan woman. 

Bringing Hope to the Family provides healthcare, meals, education, homes and many other things for the impoverished children of Uganda.

The two months Docter spent abroad helped guide her in the decision to continue working in missions full-time after college.

“This summer impacted my life and future plans in so many ways,” Docter said.  “Before the trip I did not have a clear focus on what I was going to do with my degree or even if I wanted to finish school.”

Docter encourages all students to take part in some sort of mission work whether it be within the United States or abroad.

“I know so many people who have taken one leap of faith to go on a trip like this and it shaped them to be who they are today,” she said.

For more information on Know Think Act visit www.knowthinkact.com.

Mary Sergeant
Writer and Photographer for the Student Printz at the University of Southern Mississippi

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