Dear Property Investor,
There comes a time in life when you realise life is bigger than your own reality.
And you realise that having wealth really does allow you to Pay it Forward and leave a legacy beyond your own inner circle of family and friends.
Sometimes you are drawn to something, but other times you are smacked in the head by a life-changing event that is so compelling, that it gives you no choice but to step up.
Well, this is what happened to me.
After years of building my own personal wealth and supporting thousands of everyday Aussies to do the same, there came a day of reckoning that forced me to look at my own humanity.
That day was Friday 13th, March 2015.
It was on this day that Super Cyclone Pam hit the small island nation of Vanuatu, destroying many villages across a number of islands, leaving the infrastructure and the people devastated and without homes.
With roofs gone, no drinking water, no power, no food, roads blocked and/or completely demolished, bridges down and fallen trees everywhere, the local Ni Vanuatu people needed the world to help. But the assistance was slow and the government corrupt causing locals to struggle on their own.
The challenge for the Ni Vanuatu citizens is that they don’t have the money to rebuild their nation. Insurance? Forget it. Apart from being provided temporary subsistence aid from international Aid agencies, they are virtually being forced to fend for themselves.
After the cyclone, I flew to Vanuatu as did Robin Culph (a fellow Australian-expat with the same passion and love for the Vanuatu people) and in conjunction with Stephanie Neilson (originally from New Zealand who has called Vanuatu home for over a decade), we have joined forces to see what we can do to help this ravaged country recover. The challenge for the Ni Vanuatu citizens was that they didn’t have the money to rebuild their nation. Insurance? Forget it.
Apart from being provided temporary subsistence aid from international Aid agencies, they were virtually being forced to fend for themselves.
Days after cyclone Pam hit, my husband and I flew to Vanuatu to offer our help. With 90kg of tarps, a chain saw and food, we started the long and arduous task of helping them to clean up.
The devastation was everywhere and it was a miracle that there wasn’t a massive death toll.
Joining forces with three other ex-pats with the same passion and love for the Vanuatu people, we worked together to see what could be done to help this ravaged country recover.
Little was being done to take the all-important next step of rebuilding the infrastructure that the locals so desperately needed to help them rebuild their lives.
It was this ‘calling’ that led to the creation of SHaRM Pikinini Ecole Foundation, a charity with the sole purpose of rebuilding schools so that the kids of Vanuatu have a brighter future.
Paying it forward, the Mele Maat Kindergarten was the first project undertaken. The success of this project led to a long list of schools approaching SHaRM desperately seeking our help.
Our completed projects included the rebuilding of many classrooms across a number of different schools, building new toilet blocks, providing water tanks, readers, books, school uniforms, and technology.
The Journey Continues…
SHaRM Pikinini Ecole Foundation has become a mission in life, you could say a new purpose and with it comes great fulfillment.
It is possible to make a greater difference to this world, just one step at a time.
I find peace in the knowledge that my day of reckoning (Friday 13th March) led to thousands of children having better, safer buildings to learn in as well as providing cyclone rated shelters for the local Ni Vanuatu people when cyclone season hits.
I am truly blessed and eternally grateful to be in a position to make a life-changing difference to a people I love.
I know that if I hadn’t built my wealth through property, I may never have travelled this amazing journey I’m on.