Founder’s Reflections on Refugee Crisis, Loss, & Opportunity

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As this Labor Day week comes to a close and we remember the losses of 9/11/01, I reflect and am so grateful for the fact that I am in a country with opportunity for education and training, opportunity for work and opportunity to build a safe and prosperous environment for my family, especially for my son and his little brother (we’re expecting). Yet, I am saddened about the millions of migrants fleeing Africa to Europe or Central and South America to this country, the United States of America. Fathers and mothers are fleeing wars and poverty looking for a place where they can get a job and a safer life for their children.

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In Cameroon, my home country, thousands of people leave and walk weeks by foot to reach Libya, where they board unsafe boats to cross the Mediterranean, reach the shore of Europe and to an unknown destination. Currently, Cameroonian families who survive the journey wait, stuck and trapped on European shores trying to get in. All because they have lost any sense of hope in their homeland.

Can you even imagine the extreme pain those parents are experiencing? Can you imagine the desperation and love they must feel that would push those fathers and mothers to embark upon such an unimaginable, sad, and risky journey with their children? I grew up in Cameroon, seeing first-hand the extreme poverty and lack of opportunity that drives these women and men to leave their homeland. I was extremely fortunate to get enough education to get out of Cameroon and “make it” in America.

I know and feel strongly that we all need to provide these fellow humans with a better alternative. We need to provide them with what they need to stay home, take care of their family and cherish their homeland and culture. We need to invest in those countries if we can. We need to create jobs, promote education and inspire them that more is possible. The UN calls this sustainable development, and it’s a win-win proposition for investors and the people in those countries!

We can show them thWomen Coffee Farmers in Cameroon 1at true equality, individual responsibility, questioning status quo and innovation are essential ingredients to development. If enough investment reaches that country, fewer families will want to take the dangerous journey to Europe, more small cultural/tribal groups will maintain their languages and traditions, and many young people will have no reason to consider joining extremist groups like Boko Haram.

For me, growing up without these kinds of opportunities, I was very fortunate to have educated parents, who earned the minimum necessary to support our pursuit for education and pushed us. I was able to obtain my Engineering Degree and then come to the US for graduate school. While it is a nice story of success and immigration, I am far from my family, my homeland, and my culture. And, many people in my family and my entire village do not have access to or even want this life.


My wife and I created
Smart Globe International as a way to meet the many challenges described above. It will start 2 organic fair trade farms, for Cameroonian cash crops coffee and cocoa. The farms will create good paying jobs, opportunities for women, and access to technical education while meeting the growing demand for coffee and cocoa and boosting the shrinking supply of both. Additionally, we will contribute to more food security in Cameroon by integrating food crops that provide shade and nutrients for the coffee and cocoa. [The country of Cameroon has already committed to support sustainable growth of these crops as part of its economy and to increasing food security for its citizens.]

The Smart Globe International endeavor, like any well-thought profitable socially conscious investment, will produce these kinds of positive social impacts not only in Cameroon, but in the US and Europe in the long term. 

Please consider the investment in opportunity that Smart Globe International provides as a means to self-sufficiency, safety, and education for those who need. Watch our video and donate here:  http://igg.me/at/smartglobe. Thank you in advance for your donation and for sharing with your friends and family.

https://www.indiegogo.com/project/sustainable-coffee-and-cocoa-farming-in-cameroon/embedded

~Patrick

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