Joy Transcending Circumstances
When my daughters were in high school, I spent my spring breaks with them in Puerta Penasco, Mexico as part of a sister city service group called Caravana Mexicana. Its task included building shelters, irrigating parks, maintaining playgrounds and painting schools. One year our group put together a large play structure at a Mexican orphanage. The whole week, we watched the Mexican orphans entertain themselves by playing soccer with a flat, beat-up soccer ball… Kefi is a Greek term that translates as "finding life's joy – especially in trying times and difficult circumstances." You may live in a Mexican orphanage but, as the kids proved, you can still have fun. It doesn't take much. A soccer game on a dirt field with makeshift goals and a deflated ball is still gratifying and joyful.
But it would have been even more joyful, I thought, if they had had air in their soccer ball! So the Kefi Foundation was born. Our mission is to promote the kefi spirit by providing underprivileged children with the instruction and equipment they'll need to both lose and find themselves in art, athletics, dance, drama and/or music.
Kefi is about finding moments of delight. Even those living in unfortunate situations are capable of having unforgettable moments of satisfaction, even bliss. It doesn't take a whole lot to pursue a passion. But it does take something – a ball, a hoop, an introductory lesson… The Kefi Foundation is about making more moments for those whose only joy is found in those moments.
In the rainforest of Nicaragua, we (KEFI volunteers and Nicaraguan children) play a game of fútbol. Despite the less than ideal conditions - rain, lack of equipment and a sloping pitch - there was great joy!
During a KEFI Foundation's trip to Nicaragua, we learned about Maritza's handmade jewelry business. We "exported" and sold her jewelry at the Fremont, CA Art and Wine Festival, netting her over $1,000 (triple her annual income). This is her reaction to KEFI associate, Mina Close.
The KEFI Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization.