Living a life of purpose with your kids

Top 10 CNN Hero, Derreck Kayongo, shares advice for parents on how to be consistent and live life with a purpose to set an example for their children
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Living a life of purpose with your kids

Living a life of purpose impacts children not just mine but I think all kids. I think in today's world where we have so much information coming to them through the internet and all these other places, it is very easy for kids to be distracted. If they do not see somebody who is consistent and who is not all over the place it is easy for them to be all over the place. It is easy for them to be medicated immediately. "Why is my kid all over the place?" Why because they are listening to and seeing so many things and this is not something new. I think that this time around in human development and society we have so much information coming to us. So I think living a life of purpose also means have a steady cruising predictable consistent life. For example, if you say I am going to devote to the girl scout project don't then devote to the girls scout this and the boy this and do this. Then you have 17 things that you are doing in the household. That they are trying to follow. Get 2 or 3 things. Let that be your purpose. Now they can do little smaller things on the side but make sure that you communicate to them that "Guys, this is our goal. This is my goal as Daddy, and this is what I am doing. Mom is helping me." So they see teamwork. The word teamwork comes into their word purpose. Then they need to see a timeliness of things actually happening. You do not want to communicate big goals and visions and they are going to happen in 40 years. Who is going to be patient that long. Share with them the vision and break it down into small bits for them to see. "Guess what next time I am going to buy a machine for us to make more soap." Then you buy the machine. "Next time we are going to have 30 volunteers," and there is 30 volunteers. For the kids, they need to see smaller goals happen.Yeah? As these small goals happen then they start to see the vision, the tapestry start to make sense. Do not give them the tapestry and say this is the whole thing. "I am only 5, Daddy." They always say. That is what I do in terms of living a life of purpose. I break it down into small purposes that fit into the larger vision. They follow that very, very well. My kids love that very much. Is it easy for kids sometimes-

Top 10 CNN Hero, Derreck Kayongo, shares advice for parents on how to be consistent and live life with a purpose to set an example for their children


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Derreck Kayongo

Parent with a Purpose

Derreck Kayongo is a social entrepreneur and the founder of The Global Soap Project. An executive and development expert, Derreck Kayongo has more than 15 years experience developing strategic social campaigns within organizations for cause-related advocacy, public policy, issue management, and community organizing. His work has made a profound contribution in raising awareness aimed at realizing permanent solutions to global poverty.

Kayongo’s journey from child refugee to fearless visionary is filled with moments of inspiration (along with the benefits of good, old-fashioned sweat equity) that make him one of the most popular – and authentic – speakers on the circuit today. From Africa to Atlanta with nothing but a dream and tenacity, Kayongo beat the odds, earned an education, and has served in leadership roles in some of the world’s most respected non-governmental agencies (NGOs) since 1994. Today, he shares his vivacious spirit and invaluable experience in the areas entrepreneurship, environmental sustainability, global health, social justice and professional engagement with audiences in both the corporate and not-for-profit worlds.

Derreck Kayongo’s ability to motivate others to understand the role their work and skills can play in problem solving is one of the many reasons he was chosen as a finalist for the 2011 CNN Hero of the Year AwardAdd to that the mantra of being a voice for the voiceless through his noble work of giving back, including dedicating his life to improving the lives of marginalized and vulnerable people across the globe: he has worked with the American Friends Service Committee as Program Director for the Southeast Peace Education program; joined Amnesty International as the Director of the Southeast Region; and currently serves as Senior Advocacy Coordinator for the Southeast region with CARE International.

In 2009, Kayongo and his wife Sarah embarked on a new journey pursuing their life-long passion of starting an NGO of their own. The Global Soap Project focuses on repurposing partially-used soap from hotels into new soap for needy populations, particularly in Africa. To date, The Global Soap Project has been able to donate 9,000 bars of soap to Swaziland, 5,000 bars to Kenya, 10,000 to Ghana, 1,000 to Uganda and another 3,000 to Haiti.

Derreck Kayongo is a proud naturalized U.S. citizen. He has been recognized as a 2011 CNN HEROES finalist and a COX Enterprise nominee; honored by Congressman John Lewis with a Certificate of Congressional Recognition; is currently writing his autobiography; has been featured in more than 20 news stories in the U.S., featured on Fox News as part of the Real American story series; featured on CNN with Fredricka Whitfield.

Since 1994, Derreck Kayongo has given more than 300 speeches on key issues related to poverty reduction in Africa; mainly on water and sanitation, soap, HIV/AIDS, Child Soldiers, Health and Sanitation, Impact of Landmines in Africa, Countries in Conflict and role of basic Education for Girls in Africa.

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