Becoming the somebody.
My friends Paul & Mary Triller run the Propel Initiative which works in Serbia to serve Europe’s most despised and mistreated people.
It was Paul's first exposure to the world of the Serbian Roma people that had a lasting impact on him. The streets were mud and the houses built of scrap lumber, metal, plastic, or anything they can use to try to keep the weather out. As he stood in the middle of a ghetto locally referred to as “The Big Pit”. The vision of that place started to haunt him, as did the question…
Why doesn’t somebody do something?
They became the somebody! The Propel Initiative became the something!
In an effort to “do something”, without simply making people’s poverty more comfortable, they decided providing an education was the best way to help rewrite futures. This is how and why Propel’s Sponsorship Program was created.
They started by supporting 4 kids in 2016, but now for the 2023-2024 school year they have 118 kids being kitted out with textbooks, school supplies, backpacks, sneakers and more. Some have even gone on excursions which for many is the first time they have ever left their villages. Education gives these students a much better shot at a poverty-free future!
Amazingly, despite visiting the Big Pit starting this journey, it was only this year they’ve been able to make the right connections to support children from there too. As a closed Roma community with its own tribal government, headed by a king, it’s very difficult to gain access. It’s such a rough neighbourhood, even the police won’t go in.
This year as a result of faithful prayer and God’s provision of the right connections , they’ve finally been able to make a breakthrough and received the names of the children they could support. Initially they planned to help 15 children, but ended up supporting 28! Even before they had the final go ahead, they raised the sponsorship needed with the faith that this breakthrough would happen. When the doors finally opened the funds were already in place. That’s faith at work!
On top of this, they also asked the school where the children from the Big Pit would attend if there was anything they could do to support them. The schools response was they couldn’t afford to supply the incoming first graders with the usual gift bags. So the Propel initiative agreed to supply these too. When the school year started, 210 children received a gift bag containing the supplies they needed to start school!
What an amazing couple and an awesome organisation which inspires us to ask how we can become the somebody that does something?
The Propel initiative continues to meet families who need help and currently have around 65 children in need of a sponsor.
To help or to find out more, Please visit their website