THE JOURNEY TO THE VILLAGE
At nineteen Dominique, Founder and CEO, went to volunteer for a year at Mants’ase Children’s Home in Lesotho, Southern Africa. Early on, she began interviewing the children, simply asking them to tell their stories. Listening to the children speak about their own lives, Dominique was struck that they didn’t mention HIV/AIDS, mud huts, violence or other scenarios commonly associated with the lives of African AIDS orphans. Instead, their focus was far more universal and on love for a sibling, sorrow at losing a parent, dreams for the future and fear of being alone. Themes that could be found in stories the world over.
This observation began a four-year journey by Dominique to understand what connects us across seemingly distant social planes. She traveled, interviewing people in Kenya, former children soldiers in northern Uganda, herd boys in Lesotho, veterans and Native Americans in Oklahoma, ‘Untouchables’ in India, and refugees in Palestine and along the Syrian border in Jordan.
Although the people Dominique met were very different, all their stories consisted of the same emotional themes of love, loss, happiness, sadness, hope, and fear. Universal themes that could be found in stories the world over, revealing our shared humanity.
The Village was born out of these experiences, as a platform for us not only to recognise our commonality but also to act on it.