Can you really make a difference? This was a question Holocaust survivor Hilde Back probably asked herself in the mid-70’s when she donated to an organization that helped pay the schooling fees for poor Kenyan youth. Hilde had no idea just how much of an impact she would be making.
Hilde’s donation sponsored the education of Chris Mburu. Chris’s family could not afford the secondary school fees necessary for him to continue his education. Instead, thanks to Hilde, Chris obtained a law degree from University of Nairobi. He continued his education as a Fulbright Scholar at Harvard, where he obtained a master’s degree in international human rights law.
After Harvard, Chris worked toward advancing human rights in many difficult parts of the world. He now heads the anti-discrimination unit at the United Nations Human Rights Agency in Geneva, Switzerland.
But Chris never forgot how he got to where he is today. He wanted to start a similar scholarship program in Kenya for top Kenyan students who can’t afford to continue their studies. When Chris finally found out who the generous benefactor was that financed his secondary school education, The Hilde Beck Education Fund was born. Chris finally met Hilde and the two are close friends today.
The rest is history, but this story was turned into an inspirational documentary called A Small Act. I watched it today and it really struck a chord with me. The story is so wonderful and hits on so many of the things I strongly believe in.
In the documentary, Chris says “You have to do something. You have to say ‘I know that I cannot provide support, relief, and help to all the suffering that is around me. But I want to do one thing, take one action, that will work toward relieving that situation.'” Isn’t that the truth? It really is that simple. If we all did a little extra to alleviate a little suffering around us, the world would be an immeasurably better place.
The trailer for the documentary is below. Take a look and share your thoughts in the comments!