In Kenya, East Africa youth ages 15 to 24 struggle to find gainful employment even when they have an education. With limited financial opportunities in many rural areas where the bulk of the 45 million people in Kenya live, creating new services and offering new products that fill a need is vital. Working in this part of the world for seven years, I have personally helped thousands of Kenyans with chiropractic care, massage, school sponsorship, sports donations, sports development, and more. I've made efforts to not place band-aids on problems but to discover a way to solve the problem. As a result, one of the recurrent things that kept surfacing time and again was the ongoing request from young people ages 14 to 24 looking for sponsorship or a scholarship to continue with their education. Though public education is now available past the eighth grade, the administration, tests, books, and uniform costs, along with boarding fees are often too costly for families who earn just a few dollars per day.
Further, another epidemic problem I knew needed a solution was the amount of physical body pain and disability people suffered from because of their hard physical labor jobs and poverty. My trips to Kenya to teach and provide chiropractic services just didn't seem to be enough to really impact the problem. While locally, the lack of doctors trained in rehab, manual medicine, massage, and physical therapy also left a huge gap in available therapeutic body services. My concern and love for the people in Kenya and other distant places in the world with similar problems led me to develop the BuffEnuff® with my partners so we could solve part of these problems. We recognized we needed a tool that was easy to use, that anyone could learn in a short time, the techniques for healing. We also knew it would have to be portable and adaptable to various electrical systems like 220V.
When I began using BuffEnuff® abroad, our initial plan was distribution through sales, donation, and subsidizing their purchase to the poor. However, the problem of the unemployed youth and their need for training and a way to earn a decent wage so they can attend high school, technical schools, universities, etc gave me inspiration. Thus, we introduced a youth empowerment program partnered with Dreamweaver International (www.dreamweaver911.org) and the Gear for Goals (G4G) sports program. Dreamweaver, an international charity I lead which focuses on transformative change through education, healthcare, and compassion, has a mission to "Help the Needy Become the Needed."
Hence, Percussion Fitness® donated five BuffEnuff® Power Massagers to the local youth in Kimana, Kenya and they were trained in our specialized methods and gave five-minute massages called "Revive in Five" for 50 shillings (about 50 cents USD). While 50 cents may not seem like much in the United States, in Kenya the average low-income wage earner hopes to earn $2-3/per day. With this program, unemployed youth were able to earn three dollars in only a few hours, even on the initial launch and the unfamiliarity with the way BuffEnuff® can help people still requiring education and experience from users.
However, I am hopeful this program will have an impact in the community as we make plans to open a small massage shop in the town, offering percussion massages, health items not available for sale in rural areas, and knowledge on healthy lifestyle choices. There are tragically too many people uninformed and seeking hopeful alternatives to either no healthcare or a healthcare system that is providing no choices other than potentially dangerous medications with a plethora of side-effects. A natural approach is welcomed by people and they are thrilled to help their youth. It was extremely gratifying to see the way people embraced the opportunity to give to their young leaders and also receive the gift of health, they provided in return. The Gear for Goals (G4G) Youth Empowerment Program can be one of the ways we solve poverty and impact the world.