In April, Marci Stacey created the Wholistic International Self-Sufficiency (WINSS) foundation. Her goal is to help people in Africa become self-sufficient and independent.
“Feed a man a fish, he eats for one day, but teach him to fish and he will eat for forever,” she said.
The idea behind her foundation is to help people be empowered to know how to fish.
In January, Stacey went with a group of people to Africa and fell in love with the people and culture there. She knew she needed to return and help them, so she went back three months later and started WINSS foundation. She has spent her time in Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya.
One thing she noticed, was that people have good intentions to send food and clothing to Africans. However, this only helps sustain them for a short period of time. She believes we need to spend money on microeconomic businesses, which will in turn help others become self-sufficient.
“When we don’t invite others to become a part of their own change they don’t learn how to be able to take care of themselves,” she said.
When she goes to Africa, she sits down with the vulnerable populations and assesses their needs as individuals and as a community and helps them create a business plan.
Many of these people just want something better, she said. They want to come to America because of the opportunities. Managing their own small business will teach them the value of hard work and the results that come because of it. She said this will help them value what they have much more.
“This is what’s going to help the entire country get out of poverty,” she said.
Going to Africa hasn’t been easy. Some of the hardest things for Stacey have been police corruption and the stories she has heard from the people she’s met. She feels it is important for people to hear these stories so they can understand what is happening to people throughout the world.
This week, Stacey will be showcasing different pieces of her art to help others become aware of the work she is doing in Africa. It’s an opportunity for people to ask questions and donate if they would like.
On July 18, she will be at the Villa Coffee House in Downtown Idaho Falls, on July 19 she will be at Blackrock, Winery and Brewery, and on July 20 at Cardamoms. All art exhibits will start at 6 p.m.
Stacey is grateful to all the people who have helped her in her journey. She is grateful that God trusts her to do this work and hopes she can make Him proud.