My very close friend Tatiana Regan had just about everything which she had set out to achieve from back when we were dreamers at high school. She had just had a promotion within her law firm, her husband also was climbing his way up the career ladder, her two children were doing very well in school and the family had just bought a beautiful home in the suburbs. The year after they bought the home they had planned a vacation, the previous summers just weren’t possible as they were saving for the house. Tatiana took her family to Kenya on safari and then to travel around Rwanda and Ethiopia. When Tatiana came back she called me to say that she needed to see me as soon as possible. We met up for a coffee and she announced to me that they were moving to Ethiopia to set up a children’s charity, I was utterly gob-smacked.
Tatiana’s story is an inspirational one indeed, and here is why she left it all behind, to go and help others.
Tatiana and the family had already seen some sights on their African tour which left them feeling very sad, starving children in some areas and an AIDS hospital which they passed by were tough to watch and a sense of helplessness came over both Tatiana and her husband. The more that they learned about the issues facing these people, the deeper the pain that they felt was, and the deeper the guilt was too. The thing that stuck with Tatiana all of that time was how lucky they were, they won the geographical lottery and whilst she and her husband had worked hard to get to where they had, they were given the opportunities to do so.
Could Be You
The moment when Tatiana and her husband decided that they had to do something to help was when they went to a small village and met a family with two children, the mother was the same age as Tatiana and the father was the same age as her husband. The two kids weren’t the same age as theirs, but there wasn’t much between it. The young Ethiopian couple spoke about what their day looks like, walking miles for water, struggling to grow enough crops and sadly their youngest child had contracted the AIDS virus. Seeing a mirror reflection of a family born on the other side of the world reminded Tatiana and her husband that things could have been very different indeed.
Within 6 months of returning from their trip, Tatiana and her husband had left their respective jobs, sold the house and they were in the process of ramping up donations for the foundation which they were about to start in Ethiopia. We are now 5 years on and the work that these two have done has been nothing short of amazing, both of their kids are still studying here in the US and they can’t wait to go over and begin helping the foundation.