Davie project inspires village in Africa...
If today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders, this story brings a bright promise for the future.
Two groups of teens, half a world apart, have taken it upon themselves to serve their communities in unique ways. At fifteen years old, Kayla Roscoe is a Davie County Resident and an award recipient of the first annual Davie Respect Initiative (DRI) Challenge. As one of the ten, $1000 local winners of that challenge, she is empowering her peers along the way.
As winter turns to spring, these young adults are cleaning up the yards of seniors who need help. This volunteer effort was sparked by one question, “How can we increase the demonstration of Respect in Davie County?”
It has given new meaning to both their hands and their hearts.
On her DRI application, Kayla wrote, “My idea is to go out in the community and offer to do yardwork for those that cannot do it themselves or have difficulty doing it themselves. I think this will show respect for elderly people and also let them know that people are thinking about them and are willing to help.” Kayla’s DRI crew, members of her church’s youth group, were eager to give back by doing this yard work for free. Offering seniors a list of projects to choose from, they collected the supplies needed to fulfill those projects and got going!
They've already completed a project for Lynda Seymour. She had just lost her husband, and did all of the yard work.
"My friends were happy to help in any capacity that they could," Kayla said. "I asked friends at school and also the youth group friends. I go to a church that is very service oriented so it was not hard to find volunteers."
Seymour's husband was a Vietnam War veteran, and predisposed to prostate cancer due to exposure to Agent Orange.
"I know the Seymours and she mentioned being overwhelmed and wishing that her yard was fixed, but she did not have time to worry about it then. I asked her if she wanted us to come and do some yard work for her and she was so happy."
Helping Kayla were: teens Sally Boger, Savannah Jones, Kaitlyn Roscoe, Logan Wagner, Jaxon Beaty, Connor Rains, Chandler Alford, and adults Amy Roscoe, Greg Baity and Robbie Roscoe.
A few months later, who could have imagined that something similar would arise across the globe in Zimbabwe? Lamiel Phiri, the youth overseer at the Church of Central Africa, Presbyterian, Rugare, has visited the US several times. He received a copy of the Davie Enterprise with the DRI story on the front page from a friend.
Inspired by the idea of bringing respect into their small community, he refocused his efforts to inspire local youth.
The Davie Respect Initiative has inspired the creation of the Zimbabwe Respect Initiative. The ZimRI began by cleaning up a church building and its grounds and other local projects. These young people are finding that service done for free can be energizing and inspiring. The church’s minister had difficulty getting help from his mostly older congregation. When the ZimRI offered to get involved, all he could say was, “I am humbled and short of words. In this era, I never thought we could find a group of young people who can come together and help out at my church and community.” When the young volunteers returned the next day, three of his youth members were already out slashing grass.
The joyful work of raking leaves, pruning trees and helping seniors has given these young people, a world apart, an experience of serving others.
Can we imagine where else this example of respect may lead?
For more information about the Davie Respect Initiative, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was first published in Davie County Enterprise Records on 3/28/2019
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