Helping Hands: Our community’s exceptional volunteers find unique ways to give back

When Fotemah Mba planned a visit to his mother in their native Cameroon in January 2014 after living in America for 17 years, he asked her what he should bring for the children at the private school she founded.

“Bring pencils and pens,” she said. “Lots of pencils and pens.”

It wasn’t until he saw the joy on the children’s faces that he realized what a precious gift pencils are to kids in a country where millions have never set foot in a classroom. Of those who do attend school, many have never owned a book, and often 10 or 20 share a single text.

He vowed to find a way to help.