Episode 11: $250 and a plane ticket, meet inspirational Paula Hammack and her giveback to the Maasai community
Travel to Kenya with The Talking Story Podcast this week to hear the singular story of a woman who has committed her life to fulfilling the needs of others. Paula Hammack and her husband Sterling spent decades actively searching for ways to serve people in poverty all over the world, with a focus in Sub-Saharan Africa. They were particularly drawn to the Maasai, a people greatly misrepresented by a tourism industry that tended to smooth over the reality of their hardship. Looking deeper, the couple found villages without water, money, adequate schools, or any government aid.
70 plus trips to Africa over the years and growing relationships with Maasai villages laid the bedrock for the organization Paula formed in 2010, after the death of her husband. The Sterling Africa Foundation gives the Maasai and other impoverished people the gift of water, education for their children through individual sponsorship, construction of schools, housing, and much much more. Maybe surprisingly, giving wasn’t always easy. Between different people groups there are cultural gaps to maneuver, and in this podcast you’ll hear some of the strategies Paula used to get people the change they needed.
A significant takeaway from Paula’s story is that, though she has been able to buy homes for needy families, build schools, and travel the world, she started out with just $250 in her pocket. We may feel we have little to give, or wonder what power we have to change someone’s life. One or two dinners out, a few last minute Christmas presents added to the teetering pile…these are privileges many of us enjoy and don’t think twice about, but their prices add up quick. You’ll learn in this podcast how redirecting the cost of a few of these luxuries can completely change the course of a child’s life, or even that of a whole village. Tune in to learn what your dollar and your lifestyle can accomplish!
Visit Sterling Africa Foundation to learn more, and connect with your hosts on Instagram. We want to hear your story!