Today’s blog post is written by guest blogger, Kathy Wong from Moeloco
It was just one of those moments. The day that changed everything. I woke up in February 2014 with an incredible desire to make a difference. I know it sounds clichéd, but it’s true.
I tried super-hard to ignore it (as you do!) but we all know how that works. The more you avoid, the more you get chased. And that’s what happened to me.
But let me tell you my back-story quickly. I’m an Australian-born Chinese who grew up in Sydney, the oldest of three children born to migrant parents. My parents instilled in me the value of family but also the importance of hard work, honesty, respect and kindness.
Watching my father work so hard in so many jobs and then eventually manage his own business, I knew that one day I would also own my own business.
And that I did.
I completed a degree in design and got two jobs as an art director before my illustrious 16 month career of working for someone else ended with me starting my own design business from the bedroom of our family home.
I loved what I was doing for the 19 years I was an entrepreneur but during the last three to four years, I burned myself out and was totally out of balance. I walked along a pathway of discovery that led me to better health, wellness and seeking out spirituality.
There I was down at the beach having a sun bake when I decided to create thongs (or flip-flops as they’re called outside of Australia), which could carry messages of inspiration while leaving an imprint in the sand too. Thongs remind me of good times at the beach, holidays, relaxing and they’re fun.
I always feel calm and happy when I have my thongs on!
The Universe kept connecting me with like-minded individuals wanting to support and help me. It was through one of these connections that I discovered the Hope Foundation which runs orphanages in one of the poorest areas in the world, Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta) in India.
I always knew Moeloco would be about parallel giving. It is a social cause brand based on a one-for-one business model. This means that for each pair of Moeloco thongs we sell, we donate a pair of school shoes to a child in poverty through the Hope Foundation. The Hope Foundation are on the ground in India and the local staff have access to purchasing the shoes for the kids. The shoes that they need for school.
Something so simple can create such an impact.
I was heartbroken when I became aware of the devastation caused by children living without shoes. The physical side was awful to hear about but the implications of not having shoes can result in the kids missing out on educational opportunities.
Education is one of the ways those kids can break the poverty cycle.
I am honored to be working with the Hope Foundation and I am counting down the days until I head to India in October this year to take part in the big annual Hope Foundation fundraiser and Children’s Annual Cultural Celebration where thousands of street and slum children attend a program of performances.
700 of the children perform too. They celebrate joy which is so humbling. Beautiful children so young who have suffered so much hardship yet are so eager to celebrate the good things.
That’s called perspective. And that’s why I do what I do.
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