“It has always been my belief that each person has the ability to help those who have less. Whether it be a time when you give a word of encouragement, a hug if needed, or something that says I care. ”
Those are the words of John Carrol, an American citizen now residing in Botswana, as he launched his foundation, The John Carrol Foundation Africa at Botswana Craft on Thursday.
As if adhering to President Ian Khama’s ‘Build a House’ campaign, the foundation’s primary aim is to build houses for the needy and provide sponsorship for children from less fortunate backgrounds.
Carrol is quick to point out that the foundation was not inspired by the president’s call but rather by his own experiences.
“I hope he graces one of our activities one day to see what we do,” he says. “But my inspiration must have come a few years ago in Afghanistan when I was serving in the US Marines. The sight of people being killed and houses being burnt must have subliminally triggered the concept. But had somebody told me at the time that I would be doing this kind of work a few years down the line I would not have believed it .”
Carrol calls on everyone, including big corporations, to lend a hand and help the less fortunate. As one way to raise funds, the foundation will soon launch a clothing line with all proceeds going into the project.
“All profits from the clothing line go into this initiative so when you see this logo, when you see that shirt, hat, suit or dress, you know in Botswana a house is being built,” Carrol says.
The clothing line’s lead designer, Aobakwe Molosiwa, says the clothing line will be launched in October with a full-on fashion show.
“The audience will have the opportunity to bid for items on the runway. We are talking accessible couture, by buying the clothes people will be supporting a great cause while benefiting at the same time; everybody wins,” he said.
Molosiwa says they intend to sell the line on a global scale.
Carrol is currently sponsoring the project from his own pocket.
“I am not a Bill Gates or Warren Buffet but I am willing to share the little that I have with the less fortunate. I have recently bought into a winery and 65 percent of the profits will go straight into the foundation,” he said.
Besides the clothing line, the foundation will also be shooting a movie the soundtrack of which will be done by local artists.
The John Carrol Foundation Africa will donate their first house to a mother and her six children in Mookane Village later this year. The foundation is working in concert with Zen Promotions.