Part Three: IntroductionIf You Build It, They May Not Come: How to Get Purpose Right

By Craig Kielburger, Holly Branson, and Marc Kielburger

Our caravan plane descends onto the remote edge of the Maasai Mara grasslands. It's nothing but lush green carpet for miles. The only sign is a handpainted rock, propped up like a monument stone, that reads “Bogani Heimark Airstrip.” We disembark and are greeted by Wilson Meikuaya, a Maasai warrior and our guide. He's outfitted in the tribe's traditional plaid shuka and armed with a machete to fend off black mambas—lethally poisonous snakes native to sub-Saharan Africa. We pile into a lorry to visit Kishon, a local medical clinic.

The building had stood empty for two years, abandoned by a corporate development project. The clinic's first benefactor had covered the cost of a structure and the great fanfare of an opening ceremony. Representatives cut a ribbon, snapped a photo, and left. They neglected to hire doctors or partner with local governments to ensure that the clinic was actually operational. The result was a shiny new building, still with plastic coverings on the door handles—and zero medical care for the community. Still, the villagers were hopeful; they pooled money to pay a gardener to maintain the grounds. For two years he kept it up, fighting the unruly grass with a machete (lawnmowers aren't easy to come by in rural Kenya). ...

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