Community connections: Non-profit agency fair showcases volunteer spirit
The name LittleDrops, Duze explained, comes from the fact that “Little drops (of help) add up — you don’t have to start with a million dollars.” The organization helps impoverished children with immediate needs such as food and water, but also long-term needs.
“We let kids express who they want to be when they grow up,” said Duze. “Most wanted to be a doctor, a pilot or an engineer but most end up as a seamstress or apprentice. Where do their dreams go? I didn’t want it to be like the commercial with the Trix Rabbit — ‘Silly rabbit, dreams aren’t for orphans!’ We help them to say, ‘I’m gonna work hard, I’m not going to cheat, I’m going to do my homework.’ We help them go to college because they deserve to be there, or if not college, a trade school. We prepare them in high school with tutoring, so they can succeed.”
Orphans Group Helps Kids One Little Drop at a Time
Charles Duze always had a plan to help others just as soon as he made it big. Then one day several years ago, he realized that by waiting to “strike gold,” he’d been taking the wrong approach. “I was like, ‘Wait a minute, I am not rich. But I don’t have to strike it big to make a difference. Little drops here and there can make a huge difference,’” said Duze, a software tester for the Outlook group.
For African Orphans, Little Drop Of Mercies
Charles Duze (pronounced dóo•zay) could not believe his eyes: Children just like him–some even younger–rifling through trashcans behind his high school cafeteria, lucky-dipping for food! Charles was enrolled at Federal Government College, Enugu, in Eastern Nigeria. Long after Nigeria’s Civil War ended, early in the ‘70s, ‘Coal City’ still bore scars of the internecine feud that left many families in tatters. A generation later, their inheritors were yet to recover lost grounds.
“Seeing this, day after day, unlocked something in me,” Charles recalls. It triggered an epiphany. “That was when I developed a real understanding and grew a passion for the plight of orphans.” There had been previous encounters pointing him to his calling. It’s all coming back as memories of his parents taking him on visits to orphanages and motherless babies’ homes in Benin City, tucked away in Nigeria’s Midwest, where he spent part of his childhood. On his own, he continued the pilgrimages to orphanages in Enugu.