Making the Heart Bigger

“Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart bigger.” – Ben Okri

We have so much good stuff happening at The Mama Ada Foundation. To name a couple things…


Last month, the five-person Mama Ada Ag Team (pictured here with Kenyan friends) finished their two-week stay with our friends in Ziwa and around. We will be telling you more about that remarkable visit, as it was an enormously exciting time that generated lots of ideas for positive change for farmers. We are also planning our annual fall fundraising gala in Minnesota (please come to the event, please give donations!!!).

And, we are continually blessed with stories from farmers and students and friends in Kenya…..these stories give us hope and strength to carry on together, knowing that many lives are positively changed by our work.

But speaking of stories….this topic has recently held my interest. A few days ago I began to think about how I tell static stories about some things or parts of my life: these stories can be filled with negativity and challenge, rather than hope for change. I also met with Lewis Kamiri last week (one of the agriculture team members). His eyes simply shown with excitement, as he shared ideas from the ag team’s time with our partners and the farmers in Kenya. Part of their realization was that the farmers (just like all of us in our lives) might continue to do something because it has been done for a very long time (instead of because it works really well).

At The Mama Ada Foundation, we like stories. We like to tell them and we like to hear them. I’d encourage all of us to look in our hearts and to hear in our conversations the stories that we are telling ourselves and one another. Are these stories ones that we can or need to change, a little or a lot? Or, are these stories ones that we like and want to keep telling in the same way? Are they life-giving stories that lead us on a courageous journey, or are they stories that predict a dire future that stops us in our tracks? What stories do we tell about our larger world, making broad determinations about “what is possible and what is not?” Mark Zuckerberg recently declared that the Internet can conquer poverty – now there is some big, out of the box thinking, and a new story!

“Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart bigger.” - Ben Okri
Of course, our very favorite stories at The Mama Ada Foundation are the ones that come to us from students and farmers in Kenya. For these stories see the possibility of hopeful change, through a simple gift of seeds and tuition. Thank you for helping make these new stories possible for the farmers and the students, through your generous support of our organization. And to all our friends in Kenya, please keep telling us these extraordinary stories!


- Julie Keller