My Arms Wide Open’s purpose is to rebuild communities through supporting mothers, children and youth to break the chain of their parents’ past prejudice, to create community and preserve their culture. Through this process, they learn to think and make decisions for themselves. As mothers nurture their children, they support them to take control of their lives by engaging in activities that support family and community. Ultimately, this means establishing and creating socially and community responsible, beneficial and profitable businesses.
The goal of My Arms Wide Open is to empower the people of South Africa to grow with, interact and embrace those around them in a positive, compassionate and understanding way and to create value within their communities. This predisposes individuals to focus on the good in the people around them.
My Arms Wide Open creates an experience significant enough for an individual to make a change at the fundamental level of their beliefs. We first work with changing mindset – we help them work from their heart, rather than from their tummy and head. In other words, we help them understand why working towards family and community sustainability, rather than short term coping, is important. We help them grow as individuals. We work closely with them to change their self-image and live as their authentic selves. The real power lies in their ability to become strong, confident individuals while embracing the individuality in others.
We believe that we are all created in the image of God – however we might each define God. The power of being human is that each of us is given the gift of free will. These choices shape our circumstance. When children learn to make choices for themselves, they can define their own lives; how they grow and how they define their beliefs about themselves, their environment, their communities and their culture. Knowing they can confidently make their own choices builds their understanding and compassion for the choices others make.
The Power of the Spirit is the ability to focus on the "good" or "light" in an individual or circumstance for as long as it takes to outshine the "shortcomings" or "darkness".
At an economic level, we promote a belief system and environment to replace the current imposed “wealth-based contracts” with “values-based contracts”. These values-based contracts provide community-wide wealth and honour, supporting the people, strengthening their spirit and developing the mosaic of South African cultures.
We believe in the development of Socially Responsible Enterprise. We support the creation of a model that embraces people for their whole life, not just their productive life. By working with mothers, and through them with their children, we are able to connect with the men of South Africa to create a broad understanding and acceptance of the importance of men as contributors in their community.
Ultimately, My Arms Wide Open will be the catalyst to empower South Africans to disengage from economies that are rooted in wealth-based concepts and beliefs that benefit a few individuals and artificially create wealth. Economies will be built on values-based concepts and beliefs that embrace community and social responsibility in its broadest form. These values-based contracts will support reciprocation, cultural values and community development as well as personal development and, for the benefit of all, the freedom to reclaim their land and culture . It will be an environment and model that is not directly affected by the current western wealth-based economic model and market forces but will operate in its own economy and environment, parallel to the traditional Western economic model.
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