Director of transforming Africa mission, Mike Reznik, was sharing about the ministry to orphans, explaining the transition of self-financing, as well as the mentality of Africans.
The problem in Kenya is known to many, but there are few who are willing to devote their time and money to help the long-suffering continent. We met with the head of the Transforming Africa project, Mike Reznik, who actively helps African orphans, by doing everything possible to change their disposition, to give children a brighter future!
Mike, each of us has set some life priorities for ourselves. Of course, they can change, but what is currently your most important priority?
Currently, the Transforming Africa project is my prime concern. I have dedicated my life and my time to God. Of course, in time, new goals and objectives will come up, but so far, my sole focus and current attention is on orphans in Africa and the assistance we can currently provide if we join forces, knowledge and resources.
Are there any sacrifices that had to be made in your life when making Africa first priority?
There are always things that must be sacrificed. In my case, having a personal life and career prospects in the US. After having stayed in America, Africa, and Ukraine, I have already formed a certain image of their differences in my mind.
Tell me, what circumstances or qualities would you change in each of these countries?
In the US, I would add more sincerity, openness and communication. Most people are quite self-centered in the United States because they focus on their own achievements and successes, rather than noticing the things happening in the lives of others. In Africa, I would add honesty, stability, and punctuality. And in Ukraine, I would eliminate the corruption that has penetrated into all spheres of life, and add unity.
To help everyone, is a dream that cannot be made reality. In Africa we are often faced with situations where it is necessary to refuse help to someone, making the difficult choice between those who you can and cannot provide with aid.
How do you mentally carry out such difficult choices?
I am guided by one rule "A person must help those, whom he has decided to help."
I've made my choice in favor of the orphans and my projects are aimed towards helping them. In my opinion, there is no point to put effort towards numerous projects. Many actions will have taken place, but the outcome is not as great.
In order for you to be self-sustaining in your Transforming Africa project, you've created a farm where you grow poultry and a bit of small livestock. How was such an idea born, and what success do you have in that direction?
Before my trip to Kenya, I had already began thinking of the need for such a project in order for the ministry to be self supported. We have bred chickens, pigs, and rabbits. It's important for me to set up this process, so that even in my absence, the work we've begun may continue to develop and grow.
Many people applaud such stories as your own. After all, seldom people are willing to exchange their comforts of the American life for the dangers of the African continent. What motivated you to make the decision in going out to help the orphans in Kenya?
The point was not Africa itself, nor did I take a random gamble toward my choice. Every project that I've ever done was important to me and I received moral satisfaction in seeing positive results through those activities. At 20 years old, I realized that it was essential for me to be socially active, and I realized that helping others is the only way to do so. Without it, my life has no meaning.
What set plans do you have for the end of 2016?
First, I would like to open one more orphanage. Secondly, I hope to open 15 churches. Besides finances, we have all the tools and people to make these projects happen.
Do you believe it is possible to change the mentality of Africans? Why do you think people are unenthusiastic about donating to charitable projects being done in this continent?
I hope that the lessons we teach the people, the Commandments which we emphasize in our preaching, and the example we show will be able to change something in the minds of Africans, to better their situation. The things we are doing are just a drop in the bucket, but we're making someone's life better as we sow seeds of kindness, love, and support.
When it comes to providing aid to people, we all have our own opinions on the subject. Some believe they are to help those who live around them in their homeland, which they left many years ago. Others are reaching countries in Latin America, especially Mexico. Africa often remains a distant view, mysterious, difficult to go to, and financially costly. With that, few people make the decision to serve in Africa or support it financially.
We often encounter differences with the younger generation. Can you name one of the main differences in children's upbringing today versus how you had been brought up?
The value that was emphasized in my upbringing was sense of purpose. Due to limited resources, I strived to work purchase only the certain more important necessities to me. Children having a greater variety of options than we had, struggle more with temptations. However, I believe that very much depends on parents and their approach to disciplining the younger generation.
Mikhail, name of the top three things your project is in need of in this dire moment?
Firstly, we are in need of people who are willing to provide monthly support to a child. An amount of $60. In return, our partners receive all the details of where the finances were spent, reports of our ministry, and continued communication and mentorship to the child whom they support. Secondly, we need assistance in paying for school, a total of $35 per quarter. And lastly, as I had mentioned before, we are collecting finances to open a second orphanage, an estimate of $7000 which we've collected $330 so far. This total goes toward room rental for three months, registration, repairs, and construction.
Which three things would you change in the world today if you had the chance?
Though it may sound contradictory, I would not change anything. After all, actions that take place have a reason and aftermath, therefore, it depends on us to create the big picture of what happens in the world today.
In conclusion, what would you ask our readers today?
My wish to the readers - be humane! I won't ask you of anything, as I don't want to agitate you in asking for assistance. It's a heart issue, therefore each of ourselves evaluates for ourselves what we've read, and whether we should assist such project or not.
Phabian and Brigite
When you listen to their stories, hearts naturally begin to tug. Though they've not yet lived long, they've experienced lots of suffering. Their father abandoned them and their mother recently died of AIDS. Fabian has also inherited the disease from his mother. He daily has a handful of pills he has to intake. Bridget was luckier, as she was Born healthy. Fabian is eight years old and Bridget is three. Children unfortunately grow up quickly in such cases.
Fabian is serious and reserved. Being a responsible brother, he loves to take care of his younger sister. When Bridget was sick with malaria, he would sit beside her bed and care for her.
Recently, Fabian had a surgery and has a big scar on his stomach. This happened in December. The boy was sick, very weak, and fell as he was walking down the street. A motorcyclist crashed into him, who, thank God didn't leave him, but immediately drove him to the hospital. As a result, an operation was necessary.
Fabian should be in the second grade currently, but because of all the circumstances and lack of money, education was not an option. He is very intelligent and mathematics is his favorite subject.
Guess who he wants to be when he grows up? That's right! A pilot, like most of his peers. He loves to race with friends and eat a lot! His favorite dish is "umucheri" (and African dish that contains rice and meat).
Bridget is our youngest child. Immeasurably cute, with big beautiful eyes, she wins over everyone's heart. She's a very affectionate and quiet little girl who has become the favorite of many. Bridget began attending nursery school, but because of her mothers she was unable to continue. She loves to play teacher and dreams of going back to school.
When Bridget grows up, she wants to be a doctor, but you need lots of schooling for that! Her favorite color is white. Her favorite dish is spaghetti. Bridget and Fabian love to spend time together, race one another, and it seems that together, they are never bored.