Sunday, June 28, 2015

Living a Life with Purpose: Jenn Hooper

One of the things that has been really incredible over the last few years, is meeting people (either in person or virtually, as the case may be) who are truly living their lives with purpose. Living their lives beyond themselves and taking their own experiences to help others. The sort of people who are living the kind of life that is remarkable and inspirational, the kind of life that is humanity at its best.

Jenn Hooper, Charley's mom, the founder of the Action to Improve Maternity in New Zealand is a remarkable woman (also on Facebook). As a result of lapses in care while she was pregnant and delivering Charley, her daughter was born profoundly disabled. A heartbreaking tragedy - Jenn and her family were failed by New Zealand's maternity care system and her daughter paid the price and faces a lifetime of disability. The kind of situation that is overwhelming and crushing - that destroys whatever expectations a person has about how life should be. What is remarkable is how Jenn has taken the reality of her life, as it is, with what has happened to her daughter - and through Action to Improve Maternity New Zealand has tirelessly worked so that other families might be spared the same outcome and so that other families who are failed by the system and facing the prospect of raising profoundly disabled children have the support they need.

Jenn is also an amazing mom, Charley, due to her disabilities lacks core stability. As a result, Jenn created a brace for her daughter, the "Charley Wrap" and in doing so made a product that helps other children. It is clear, that Charley is truly loved, and that Jenn does what she can to make Charley's life as best as possible, but also seeks to make the lives of others better, in whatever ways she can.

Jenn and her family - her husband, and her two younger sons - spend their winters (as they are in New Zealand, winter is June, July, August) in Bali. While they are in Bali - they employ a nanny to assist with Charley and the baby (Jenn recently gave birth to her youngest son). Once again, Jenn is seeking to help someone else. This morning Jenn made the following Facebook post:

Sulikah is Charley's much loved nanny while we are in Bali. We have known her and her family for a good few years now after meeting her as she did her normal daily job of collecting bottles and cans from the rubbish tips and bushes along the beach and roads near our rented home. She needs to collect 100 small water bottles to make 60c and 60 cans to make $1. They have nothing, and ask for nothing, but always manage smiles and love towards us and everyone they encounter.

The land their current house is on has been sold and they now have 3 weeks to get out. The landlord has already started demolishing it. Sulikah and her husband now sleep in their Warung (shop) at the front - their heads are about 3 meters from the main bypass traffic. They also don't have beds. They sleep on bamboo mats directly on the broken concrete floor.

They have worked hard in the 10 months since we were here last and have secured rent on another piece of land for 10 years. It came with the very beginning foundations of a small house, which Hasan (never having built anything before) is making into their new home. He's doing it alone because they have no money to pay for labourers.

My mission right now is to gather as much money as I can - even if that means to just keep enough materials coming in so that Hasan can keep working on it.

Please look through the pics and read the comments on each one and consider what life must be like for them. Then consider giving a little (or a lot) and help me to help secure their home and livelihood for the next decade - they so deserve it.

If possible, I'm aiming at raising a few thousand dollars. It may mean that you go without a cup of coffee next time you're at Wild Bean. It may mean a dinner of beans on toast instead of steak one night this week. Or it could mean a day's pay goes to them instead of saving for those extras this Christmas. You might consider asking at your workplaces or through your church groups - every little bit helps.

Donations can be paid into my PayPal account - - or directly into my NZ bank - 12-3278-0004747-00 - and I will get it changed to Rupiah.

You can't change the world, but you can change THEIR world. And God knows they need it.

Thanks for reading


I wish Jenn the best on her mission to improve the life of Sulikah and her family. Jenn is living a life with purpose, and demonstrating that doing so can make the world a better place.

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