Most people wake up in the morning, sip on their coffee before heading to work, to then come back home after an eight hour shift at the office, and do the same, day after day. We succumb easier than ever to routines, meetings, quick lunches, and little time to think about much else. Once a year during holiday season is the longest many people have to disconnect from these cycles we call life. At this rate, is it even possible to just stop and reflect for a minute about our dreams and aspirations? What do we really wish to do with our lives? Is fulfilling our lifelong dream even a possibility?
The answer is YES, without a doubt! My friend of 25 years (or maybe even more), Yaiza Morales, is living proof. Eight months ago, Yaiza left her job as a teacher in St. John´s School, Puerto Rico, to set about the greatest journey of her life. She saved money during a year and decided to buy a one- way ticket to South East Asia alongside her best friend, Alexandra. The twosome blended their love and talents for teaching and creative art and design, and founded an organization called the One Chance Project to help people, animals, and NGOs in need. Ever since she was a little girl I remember Yaiza speaking about wanting to change the world. Little did we all know she would actually personify her aspiration through this initiative several decades later.
During these past eight months abroad, Yaiza has travelled extensively throughout numerous Asian countries such as Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Nepal, and most recently, Sri Lanka. Besides getting some awesome ink on her body, visiting the most breathtaking spots, temples, and enriching her travel journal with exotic stories and excentric people along the way, Yaiza has been able to make a huge difference in the world. Through the One Chance Project she has volunteered at elephant shelters, orphanages, taught English to poor village children, collected donations to buy school materials, medical equipment for the sick, funds for surgical procedures, held workshops for teachers in ashrams, and so much more! With every change of scenery, she researches on her next country, finds out what the greatest needs are, what organizations are already out there, and makes a plan of action in order to begin helping out. Much of the money she has spent on her volunteering projects has come from her own pocket, although the rest has been received from generous donators that from a distance confide in her initiative and want to lend a helping hand. Here’s a short video she recently posted from Sri Lanka. Although I would love to support her organization and help her in person, I am all the way in Poland and unable to do so at the moment. This is my own personal effort to create awareness and help Yaiza to continue helping the world out, one project at a time. What’s yours going to be?
(For donations: firstname.lastname@example.org)