When we’re kind to people we know it strengthens our connections with them and provides a source of support. We may benefit from giving support more than those receiving it, and we’re also more likely get support in return when we need it. This may not be like-for-like support, or even from the same person, but being kind to others builds a wider support network which increases well-being all round.
Doing kind things for “strangers” helps build co-operation, trust and a sense of safety in communities. It also helps us to see others more positively and empathize with them. These are the foundations of a thriving local community and a flourishing society. Recent research into brain functioning has confirmed that we are hard-wired for love and compassion. So it’s not all chasing about individual success, our communities and society flourish when people look out for each other.
Kindness can be as simple as a smile, a thank-you or a word of encouragement. It’s a way of connecting, even if only for a brief moment, with those we pass in our daily lives. It doesn’t have to cost anything or take much time, what’s important is that it’s an act of genuine care and thoughtfulness for another person. Kind acts can be spur of the moment, like when we notice someone in need, opportunities to be kind pop up all over the place. Kind acts can also be thought through in advance, planning to do something for a friend, neighbour or loved one or because we want to spread some daily joy. There are unlimited ways to be kind to others, we only need to keep your eyes open and pay attention to those around us to start seeing opportunities to help.
To be kind, it’s important for us to be aware of the people around us, and to notice their needs and feelings.
We all have an innate compassion but sometimes it takes bit of time for us to tune into it. As the Dalai Lama says: “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible“.
Development Connect consider it its obligation to give back to people and communities. For us, it’s not “just a tax write-off” or a way to boost our public relations, we believe that that nothing feels better than earning money on hard work, sweat and tear except, perhaps, giving much of it back.
We trust that what goes around comes around and with kindness it really does. Research proved already since long that being kind to others increases our own levels of happiness as well as theirs. What’s more it has a knock-on effect, kindness is contagious, so it makes our communities nicer places to be. When we give to others it activates the areas of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection and trust. Altruistic behavior releases endorphins in the brain and boosts happiness for us as well as the people we help. Studies have shown that giving money away tends to make people happier than spending it on themselves (Journal of Social Psychology, Berkeley, 2015).
Development Connect will (and already does) sponsor individuals, youth and (football) teams, and it will support families in need to allow and encourage their children, especially girls, go to school, get educated and advance.
In the course of the year we will develop “sponsoring, donation” procedures and guidelines and we will set a financial threshold target % that the business will commit itself to for “doing good” for and to others.
Development Connect, in its strategy, already set out to create national staff posts for Kenyans at the onset, out of which the majority will be women. We have set targets and a projection for the first 12/24 months of business operations. We shall take undertake intensive capacity development investment and coaching on the job training of our national staff with a view to empowering them in our service line areas. We will strive to hire professional staff to ensure we deliver high level quality services and product but we will be firm on our approach to peer up and mentor junior, young, relative inexperienced, but eager to learn, staff and (sub-) contractors.
Sponsoring football teams at CGIAR/International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Nairobi, Kenya.