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Africa’s Silk Road

Posted in Roger's Newsletter with tags , , , , , on November 15, 2007 by XL Results Foundation

I hope you have had a wonderful summer and are now preparing for an exciting 2008. As always, this newsletter aims to bring context to the many things happening within the world of XL, and how they may be relevant to you. While I was in America at the Clinton Global Initiative, this concept of context cropped up again as I came face-to-face with America’s preoccupation with the inequities in Africa. “What about Asia?” I asked. This month’s newsletter is about the answer to that question, and what things look like when we change our direction of focus.

AFRICA’ SILK ROAD

Do you remember Bono, Live 8 and “Make Poverty History” in 2005? At the G8 meeting two years ago, the world’s richest countries agreed to write off $40 billion of debt owed by the poorest African countries. Yet in this year’s United Nations progress report on the UN Millennium Goals, the change in Africa’s poverty levels is almost non-existent. Asia, on the other hand has halved its poverty levels in many areas, driving down poverty averages globally. While Africa has seen little progress, Asia’s success story comes despite receiving little relief. What happened?

The answer can be found in Wuhan. It can be found in Chongqing, in Tianjin and in Shenyang. Each of these Chinese cities now have populations approaching five million. Each houses more people than the entire population of Singapore, and they are growing fast as more Chinese leave their farms and head for the city. By attracting global flow, China has been urbanizing its population at a phenomenal rate, and the rising productivity from farm to factory have taken over 300 million out of poverty.

While the 2005 Bono-and-Geldof-inspired $40 billion debt write-off generated press headlines around the world, China’s annual flow has mushroomed by over forty times that amount without the same fan fair. China’s global trade doubled from 2001 to 2004, reaching $1 trillion in 2004. It is on target to breach $2 trillion in 2007. Through this process, its population has been migrating from an agricultural economy to an industrial one. Steel production has grown from 140 million tons in 2000 to 419 million tons in 2006. Unwittingly, the West has done far more to take China out of poverty than Africa. And it has done it by simply buying more of China’s products.

“Be still like a mountain, and flow like a mighty river.”
– Lao Tsu

Why could the west not do the same for Africa? ‘Effective Giving’ is about following the path of least resistance: Following flow. As western countries have migrated from industrial economies to technological economies, they have naturally imported what they are migrating from – from industrial economies. This has been to the benefit of the industrial economies of Asia. Surely, then, this would mean that as Asian countries migrate from agricultural economies to industrial economies, they would also import what they are migrating from. This means importing agricultural goods and commodities from Africa.

If we follow flow then, it will be Asia – and not the West – that will take Africa out of poverty.

The flow has already begun. What was a trickle five years ago has already become a raging river. Trade between China and Africa quadrupled from 2000 to 2005, reaching $40 billion. Chinese Vice-Premier Huang Ju has now announced China’s plan to reach $100 billion in China-Africa trade within five years. This trend is not just with China. Exports from Africa to all of Asia have tripled in the last five years. This year, Asia overtakes Europe in trading volume with Africa and is likely to pass USA in the next year, making it Africa’s primary trading partner.

Last year, the World Bank published a report titled “Africa’s Silk Road: China and India’s New Economic Frontier”. The report’s author, World Bank Economic Adviser Harry Broadman said “If you take a snapshot of today, the overwhelming bulk of Africa’s exports to Asia is natural resources. But what’s new is there is far more than oil that is being invested in – and this is an important opportunity for Africa’s growth and reduction of poverty because Africa’s trade for many years has been concentrated in primary commodities and natural resources.”

Asian countries are ramping up not just their trade but their investment in Africa, enabling it to produce the goods needed within Asia’s production cycle. As Broadman says, “This is allowing Africa for the first time to enter into this network of more sophisticated third-country global exports.” This has led to an explosion in Africa’s enterprise culture. In just six years, the number of companies quoted on 14 stock exchanges in Africa has grown 800% to more than 500.

Last month, an IMF report titled “Drivers of China’s increasing intervention in Africa” by economist Jian-Ye Wang revealed direct investment by China into Africa is again on target to double in 2007, having increased 60% in the first six months alone. The case made in the report is that the power of commerce far exceeds the effectiveness of public aid in contributing to Africa’s wealth.

“The growing role of China in Africa is not transitory. Bilateral economic relations are increasingly dominated by commercial ties, rather than by public aid considerations.”
– Jian-Ye Wang

The power of redirecting global flow will always wash away the blocks that pressure groups often unwittingly reinforce. While much of the western media continue to shine a spotlight on the inequities in Africa, Africa will increasingly trade its way out of poverty by turning to the east. While the advocates who focus on trying to unblock blocks between the west and Africa will continue to chip away at brick walls, the entrepreneurs who accelerate the flow of wealth through Asia will wash away Africa’s inequity with equity.

Like a rising tide, the process won’t grab headlines, but like a rising tide this flow will float all boats. The $40 billion debt relief that resulted from all those Live 8 concerts and pressure groups, impressive as it appeared, was just matched by Asia’s trade volume with Africa in the last four months, and the four months before that, and before that.

Today’s sky-high commodity prices and the power of Asian trade may be causing headaches for the west, but it is exactly these factors that will lift the world out of poverty. American and European consumers and businesses are aiding Africa far more with dollars that flow not eastward to Africa, but westward around the globe – through Asia – and into Africa. Often it is not the shortest route which proves to be the path of least resistance.

So where should your efforts go? It should go in building the prosperity in the East, empowering Asia’s 500 million poor to lift themselves out of poverty and, in turn, lift Africa’s economies and 300 million poor to naturally follow. It should go not in canvassing for buckets of aid from the west, but in building a sustainable plumbing system of commerce from the east.

“I have come to believe, deeply and firmly, that we can create a poverty free world if we want to. I came to this conclusion not as a product of a pious dream, but as a concrete result of experience.”
– Muhammad Yunus

In our lifetime we will see an end to global poverty. We all have the power to accelerate the process – not by swimming upstream, but by digging downstream. We do not need to create flow. We simply need to go to the flow, and be the channel.

“Life flows on within you and without you.”
– George Harrison

World Wide Wealth

I’m proud to say that we now have 316 companies participating in the XL Social Enterprise Accreditation Program with a total of over US$53 million in pledges received. We can now add to that the US$5 million commitment that XL Group just made to the Hunger Project at the Clinton Global Initiative. Congratulations to Brisbane and Sydney who currently top our City Rankings, followed hot on the heels by Auckland, Perth, Singapore and London. Thanks to Irene and all the WWW Ambassadors for the great work that is taking place throughout the network and the effective giving programs organized for the coming months. You can have a look at the current City Rankings at: Link

New XL Countries & Cities

In October we held the XL Global Leadership Meeting in Bali, attended by over 60 Country and City Managers. With three regional mission controls, three regional heads in Michelle, Paul and Mike, and so many new City Managers stepping up, we are currently launching a new city somewhere in the world every week.

Welcome to all the new XL Cities, including Johannesburg, Cape Town, Vancouver, Calgary, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Manchester, Cardiff, and Cambridge. In 2008, we will continue opening a new city each week and we now have a 2008 calendar of over 2,000 events spanning the globe. All our Life Members can now access our new membership section on our website, keeping you updated of all the developments in all countries with XL and World Wide Wealth: Link

Welcome To Our XL Executive Team


Welcome to the members of our new XL Executive Management Team, who will be co-ordinating all activities within XL Results Foundation and Wealth Dynamics. Michelle Clarke is taking on the role of Head of Global Teams, and will be overseeing all XL country and city leaders, co-ordinating our global schedules and activities together with Paul Dunn and Mike Handcock who are leading the Asian and American regions respectively. Gail Metcalfe is our new Head of Operations, overseeing the smooth running of XL, the three regional Mission Controls and our online activity. Eric Edmeades is our new Head of Training, working with Mike and Dave on the global coaching programs and overseeing our speaker teams and speaker tours. Daniel Priestley will be working closely with the team in his role as CEO of XL Events, leading all our major events and delivering world class event management tools to each XL country.

This team, led by Ian Grundy as XLRF CEO and myself as Chairman, will work alongside the XL Group board to support the growth of XL in 2008. Each team member began as an XL Life Member and each has consistently stepped up for the benefit of us all, so thank you and congratulations!

Our New Wealth Dynamics Master Practitioners


In October we held the first of our Wealth Dynamics Master Practitioner training. Congratulations to the 85 Master Practitioners who attended, and to the many who stepped up into leadership roles. These included seven leaders elected into roles to represent the WDMP community: Annemaree Cotterell (WWW Champion), Carl Bates (Product Innovation Champion), Phillip Krieg (Systems Flow Champion), Harriet Penhey (Knowledge Management Champion), Martin Dowson (WD Experience Champion), Deb King (WD Community Champion) and Jo Ward (Media & Comms) Champion. Congrats to all of you, together with our team leaders, members of the book publishing pilot team and practioner pilot team.

With the many books, boardroom clubs and master classes planned, it’s going to be an exciting year in the world of Wealth Dynamics! For those seeking to integrate the Wealth Dynamics principles into your enterprise, keep an eye out for the support coming your way from this community of trainers.

A Taste of XL Media


In the last two months, we launched XL Radio – our 24 hours inspiration station. Congrats to Poonam and Ian for the work that went into this. You can listen in at Link

We have also now launched XL Extra, our b-monthly newsletter for Life Members, and XL Magazine is increasingly becoming the global authority for effective giving. The most recent editions have featured the Dalai Lama, recent nobel-prize winner Al Gore, and Bill Clinton. You can view articles from all copies of the magazine here: Link

Entrepreneur Business School


Thanks again to our mentors for another magnificent EBS: Paul Dunn, Eric Edmeades, Martin Jimmink, Margaret Loh and Mike Southon all added enormous value into the event, and Mike Fabgere’s live performance with Mike Handcock on the last night was one of those moments no-one will forget easily. Andrew and Julie Matthews won the EBS Challenge with their growth plans for their business, based on Andrew’s best-selling books.

Thanks, as always, to everyone who attended and put 100% into the program. We have four scheduled for next year, and I’m looking forward to seeing many of you back as crew, along with many new faces! You can see photos from the EBS here: Link

The Pioneer Club


A group of 50 of us, together with our families, will be heading to India in January as the XL Pioneer Club. This is part of our $5 million commitment to the Hunger Project and, in this trip, we will be visiting Delhi during Mahatma Gandhi’s 60th Commemoration, travel on safari and see the Hunger Project in action.

This will be a transformational adventure, and I thank everyone who has stepped up and become part of a program which will train up 50,000 locally elected women to take 15 million people out of poverty. To find out more about the program and to get involved in the trip of a lifetime, email Therese at Link

AND FINALLY…

Two years ago I shared a story with many of our members of how my eldest daughter, Kathleen, started a business making cushions, and how my second daughter, Theresa (who was 8 years old at the time) became upset when she heard – because she didn’t have a business as well.

The resulting story, of how Theresa ended up secretly starting a notebook decorating business, and then becoming upset that she did not generate any business (mainly because she had kept it a secret), became a sequel to the first story. Now, two years later, comes another installment.

At the Wealth Dynamics Master Practitioner program last month, I saw Theresa taking orders for her notebooks. On the third day, Les Gordon from Hong Kong came up to me and let me know that he had become Theresa’s sales rep and had already generated 100 orders for the book. Of course, being a concerned father, I asked him if she could deliver that many. “Oh yes,”, he said “I’ve asked her and she has said it wouldn’t be a problem and I’d have them by Thursday night”.

Thursday night was the next day! Concerned about over-promising, I asked Theresa if she had made a promise to deliver 100 completed notebooks, given that she also had homework to do. “Oh yes, I said I could do that” she replied. “But by tomorrow night?” I asked. “What? Tomorrow night?” she exclaimed, “I thought he said Thursday the ninth, not Thursday night?”

“Thursday the ninth of what?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” she replied, “He didn’t say…”

As it turned out, Theresa did a rush sample order and the rest of the notebooks are on the way. But it did make me think. Children, like the universe, are often innocently honest with their answers. The question is not are we getting the right answers. The question is – are we asking the right questions.

So in the months ahead, what dreams do you want to achieve?
How big, how much… and by when?

“Dreams are today’s answers to tomorrow’s questions.”
– Edgar Cayce

Make magic

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Roger Hamilton Newsletter – August 2007

Posted in Roger's Newsletter with tags , , , , , , , on November 5, 2007 by XL Results Foundation

Every August, I write an update to our XL 2020 Vision – where we aim to be in the year 2020. As a reflection of our growing collective consciousness, this vision of World Wide Wealth is turning to reality far faster than any of us thought when we launched XL five years ago. Thank you to all our Life Members, Country & City Leaders, partners and XL team for the rainbow we’re painting. Heres the update:

 

XL 2020 VISION

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”
– Nelson Mandela

What will we accomplish in our lifetime? What will be our legacy?
In 2020, how old will you be? This is our vision. This is XL 2020.

WORLD WIDE WEALTH

In 2002, the United Nations Millennium Declaration, signed by all 191 UN member states, set a target to halve world poverty by 2015, and to end world poverty altogether by 2025.

In 2002, the same year the declaration was signed, XL Results Foundation was launched to help make World Wide Wealth a reality. We set a goal to create a world wide foundation of learning and networking resources for entrepreneurs to accelerate their ability to create and contribute wealth. The aim of this global, self-supporting network is to provide an ongoing cycle of creation and contribution through social enterprise.

We are now five years into that journey.

Whereas the classic learning institutions of the 20th Century were united by pride of place, we see the learning networks of the 21st Century to be united by pride of purpose. The purpose of XL Results Foundation is World Wide Wealth: A concerted and simultaneous creation and contribution of wealth, with 10% of new wealth created each year being contributed back collectively – towards the sustainable prosperity of the environment and our next generation.

By 2020 our goal is to have reached $1 billion of new wealth created annually with $100 million being contributed and leveraged to end poverty and environmental degeneration.

How are we making this happen? Where are we now, and where will we be in 2020?

A Network of Entrepreneurs

When we launched in 2002, we had a vision of entrepreneurs connecting with each other through a global network, with information, knowledge and opportunities being exchanged daily. The right network dissolves the illusion of limited resource. It strips us of the excuse that we don’t have enough money, enough knowledge or enough time. You don’t need money if you know the people with money. You don’t need knowledge if you have the mentors with the knowledge, and you don’t need time if you have the team committing their time.

By 2020, we will have an international network of entrepreneurs, connected from the youngest and the newest to the most seasoned and accomplished. We will be conducting over 150 monthly events with leading speakers and entrepreneurs sharing their knowledge and stories around the globe. Any individual committed to growing their power to create and contribute will find an environment and support base in every one of the top 100 economies in the world.

In our first five years, we have grown to 50 of these 150 cities, with regular networking events in Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton, Tauranga, Palmerston North, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Dubai, Paris, London, Manchester, Birmingham, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Vancouver, Toronto and Mexico City with Osaka, Kyoto, Beijing, Guangzhou, Penang, Delhi, Pune, New York, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bristol, Monaco, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Beijing starting in the coming months. We manage Ecademy Asia Pacific, connecting Asia Pacific entrepreneurs with 100,000 others in the World’s most popular online business forum, and we connect our network to 7 million others through LInkedIn, the World’s largest online business directory. Our team now facilitates the exchange of over 350 connections and opportunities within the network every week.

A Global Learning Institution

“Economists call ideas nonrival in the sense that one person’s use of an idea does not diminish the ability of others to use it as well. This is why we can envision a world in which everybody achieves prosperity.”
– Jeffrey Sachs, in The End of Poverty

When we launched in 2002, we had a vision of entrepreneurs learning the latest strategies and skills for success, not from academics but from other entrepreneurs who were walking the talk. We envisioned a core team of Life Members who would be our success stories and our resource base, providing coaching, mentoring and leading by example in each country.

By 2020, we will have an international network of centres providing hard skills and soft skills training to entrepreneurs on all topics from finding the right team to building the best systems to setting up effectively in new countries. We will have an unrivalled international business mentoring network allowing new entrepreneurs to tap in to a collective knowledge base on business and personal growth. We will have a network of International Schools to instill a culture of empowerment and entrepreneurship in our next generation.

In our first five years, we have built a base of 2,500 Life Members across 20 countries. We have established the widest reaching coaching certification program with monthly modules being conducted throughout Asia Pacific, with over 40,000 hours of coaching taking place within the certification program in the last 12 months. In 2007, we sponsored the National Achievers Congress, the Global Speakers Summit and the Global Entrepreneur Summit, bringing together the leading entrepreneurs, educators and leaders together. In 2007, we launched XL Cafe, XL Preschool, and XL Hotels, which now join XL Vision Villas as a series of global venues in cities, suburbs and resort destinations worldwide to host the meeting and learning locations for our network to connect.

A Self Financed Foundation

When we launched in 2002, we had a vision of entrepreneurs becoming a sought-after community for sponsors and advertiser, financing the activities and resources to help new entrepreneurs to help themselves. We saw our core group of Life Members becoming stakeholders where their early investment in our vision would lead to a lifetime return in value funded by the corporations supporting entrepreneurship.

By 2020, we will have an international base of more than five million entrepreneurs, the world’s widest reaching publications on social enterprise, Global Summits and Conferences, and networking events taking place on any given day. Revenues from sponsorship, advertising and promotions will fund a large portion of this activity. Being part of this collective force, a self-employed entrepreneur or small business owner will be able to benefit from the same global buying power that today only multi-national corporations can achieve.

In our first five years, we have become the leading path for corporations to reach entrepreneurs and small businesses, with a global network of over 60,000 entrepreneurs. XL Magazine, the world’s first magazine dedicated to Social Enterprise, has featured leading entrepreneurs and leaders including Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey, Bono, Al Gore and Nelson Mandela. The magazine and our Global Summits have attracted world class advertisers and sponsors, including major banks, airlines, hotels, telco’s and service providers. In 2007, we launched XL Radio and XL TV, giving us a global voice and self financed platform.

Entrepreneurship Decoded

When we launched in 2002, we had a vision of entrepreneurs accessing a community organized to build businesses around each individuals strengths. In the same way that Hollywood enabled people to get into movies whether they were a script-writer, actor, director, producer, distributor, agent or technician, XL Results Foundation would enable people to become entrepreneurs whether they were a creator, deal maker, trader, mechanic, star or supporter. Using the Wealth Dynamics profiling system, business owners could identify the team they needed, the value they delivered and the strategy to follow.

By 2020, over one million people will be taking the Wealth Dynamics profiling test each year. We will have an opportunities exchange that follows the hierarchy of the eight stages of business growth, with international markets to find, offer and exchange ideas, brands, patents, contracts, licenses, franchises, agents, management teams, financing, companies, properties and assets based on the Wealth Dynamics system. Entrepreneurs will be able to access communities of mentors, coaches, resources and fellow entrepreneurs supporting and following their specific profile. Entrepreneurship will not be about doing everything, but about doing what you do best and doing what you love.

In our first five years, we have established Wealth Dynamics internationally as the only profiling system providing specific strategic direction to entrepreneurs. Over 100,000 people have attended seminars to learn about the Wealth Dynamics Experience has become the widest reaching event of its kind worldwide, taking place in twelve countries. In 2007, the online profile was attracting over 600 tests per month, with this number doubling each quarter. Over 100 Wealth Dynamics Practitioners are now coaching, training and writing a niche book as part of the Wealth Dynamics book series.

A Global Accreditation

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
– Winston Churchill

When we launched in 2002, we had the vision that, in the future, consumers would contribute more to charities from buying through social enterprises than giving directly to charities. We had the vision that charitable causes would eventually receive more from corporations passing a percentage of their profits to them than from their own charity drives. We had the vision of the Billion Dollar Challenge – where we would play a vital role in facilitating this movement by driving and measuring the wealth created and contributed by social enterprises, with the goal of achieving $100 million in contributions from $1 billion in profits from participating social enterprises each year.

By 2020, we will have reached and surpassed our target of $100 million contributed each year out of $1 billion in profits. We will have established a universally accepted definition of a social enterprise as a company giving at least 10% of its profits to a charitable cause. Our Social Enterprise Accreditation Program will be internationally regarded as a trusted system to recognize social enterprises publicly. Our Social Enterprise 500 will be the authoritative ranking of the top companies world wide ranked by their level of giving. Our annual Social Entrepreneur Award will give international recognition to the leading social entrepreneurs, providing role models and inspiration to the entire network.

In our first five years, we have put in place the mechanisms for the Billion Dollar Challenge, and the XL Social Enterprise Accreditation program. Through this accreditation, companies are publicly recognized as a Social Enterprise, with a nominated charitable cause that they are committed to giving at least 10% of their profits to. Through this program, the Social Enterprise 500 will emerge, and we will have specific measurable data each year contributing to the Billion Dollar Challenge. By August 2007, over 270 companies have already registered for the program with over US$52 million pledged to charities globally.

A Force For Giving

When we launched in 2002, we had a vision that, in the future, each of us would have as much education on how to contribute our money as our current consumer culture gives us on how to spend our money. We had a vision of the emergence of the ’enlightened consumer‘, who would want their dollars spent to go to both consumption for them and contribution for others. We had a vision, shared by many, that as consumers found more meaning in the power of their money, knowledge on where to give and how to give would become increasingly valuable and important.

By 2020, we will be an authoritative source on effective giving. The collective knowledge we will have accumulated on the difference that each dollar makes within different causes will be published in our annual XL World Wide Wealth Directory. The partnerships we will have created with the non-profit organizations around the World will enable us to link the networks of wealth creation and wealth contribution. Our non-profit network will match our profit network in breadth and depth. The XL Social Enterprise Accreditation program will enable us to rank charities by the number of enterprises that have nominated them providing a gauge to the public of the causes that fiscally conscious corporations are supporting. The collective result of these initiatives will be to give individuals – from consumers to entrepreneurs – the power to make more informed decisions and see more tangible results in the difference they are having on this planet.

In our first five years, we have featured success stories, highlighted causes and promoted charities in XL Magazine, at our networking events and through our online network. Our Extraordinary Lives Award and Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award have highlighted the extraordinary work of individuals within the network. Our World Wide Wealth Ambassadors champion causes in cities throughout the world. We have established a sister site, worldwidewealth.org, which will feature charities from across the region, enabling effective giving at multiple levels, from individuals to enterprises.

“Wealth is not how much money you have.
It’s what you’re left with when you lose all your money.”

When we leave this planet, no matter how much money we’ve made, if we leave it in a worst state than when we got here, that’s not wealth. We each have the ability to make more, and we each have the ability to contribute more. Each of us has the ability to transform our personal wealth. Collectively, we have the ability to transform World Wide Wealth.

There are two pivotal events that will occur in our lifetime. One will be the end of world poverty, where our wealth networks will raise us all above the bar of pure survival. The other will be the beginning of environmental construction, where the effect of our human presence on this planet will equal a net constructive result on the environment each year, from the present net destructive result we have been having for the last 2,000 years. These are both historic sea changes – and they will occur in our lifetime. What part will you play?

When we launched in 2002, we had a big vision. The big vision has become bigger, because we have gotten closer. We have gotten closer not as a result of the vision moving, but as a result of the world moving. The world has become more uncertain, more challenging, more exciting. We have become more connected, more informed, more empowered. Entrepreneurs are appearing at an accelerated rate. Social Enterprise has entered the global lexicon. People are ready to make more of a difference today.

By 2020, our vision will have become reality. It will have become bigger, and clearer. As the Optometrist said, Wealth comes from 2020 Vision. Vision opens the door to our potential. It gives us sight of who we can become, individually and collectively. We each have a power inside that, when combined, can and will change the world.

In our first five years, we have made baby steps towards this vision. This is a long-term vision being built day-by-day, and it takes patience and perseverance. In our first five years we have built an internationally recognized network that is already changing the lives of individuals daily.

We thank you for your contribution towards everything we are trying to achieve, and we ask that you continue to seek the ways to create and contribute more effectively. After all, it has only been four years, and we still have another fourteen to go!

In 2020, how old will you be? What will you accomplish in your lifetime? What will be your legacy?

This is XL 2020. This is our vision. We invite you to make it yours.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
– Helen Keller