Saturday 4 April 2015

A Good Egg

"My goal is to strive to make the world a better place for young people - full of hope, happiness and opportunity - through choice......"

Chris Connors.

Not a name you're unlikely to have come across. Chris is a local chap who owns and runs three successful hairdressing salons. He's built the business up from scratch and has won awards. The staff are trained inhouse and when you look at the study programme there's an unusual section called "personal development" and this is where the story veers off at a tangent.

Chris's philosophy is simple "anything is possible" and this is not just restricted to the business sphere. In 2009 a staff member confided in Chris that he wanted to work with children in Africa. He threw down the gauntlet and Chris picked it up and ran with it.

Research brought him into contact with the Ubombos Children's Care Centre which houses twenty orphans. These children are HIV+. They were not born this way but were infected by adults in the most horrendous way between ages 2 and 6. That hideous thought you have just had tragically is correct but this is not a story of sorrow.

Initially he took a young team of his hairdressers over and they built a much needed half way house designed for the children who are new to the orphanage. This building provides them with a transitional space before they are moved into the main building. Once completed the intention was that this was to also be the end of the project but the volunteers found that not only had they changed the lives of the orphans but they too had changed and their commitment to the cause remains. Since then return visits have been made and fund raising efforts continue a pace so that the lives of these children who have nothing can be enriched. If you want to read more of this amazing story details are here

By the way Chris doesn't come from a privileged background. He's an ordinary chap like you and me who left school with few exams. I remember asking him when he was a teenager what he wanted to do when he left- he talked vaguely of maybe working with dogs in some capacity. Chris though has a vision and an ability to facilitate the change in those around him to realise that vision. How do I know him? Why he's the kid bro of one of my oldest friends!


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