My One Cent: Ruth Brasier
“It feels good to be able to do good for people.”
November 8, 2017
Ruth Brasier is one of CARE’s strongest Texas advocates. Originally from Rwanda, CARE’s mission motivates and resonates with Ruth because she knows the people it benefits personally. This is Ruth’s My One Cent story:
I am originally from Rwanda and I’ve been living in the U.S. for 14 years. I work at Catholic Charities as associate director of engagement and I’ve been with them for five years. I have a husband and two kids. My little girl just turned two and my older boy is six.
I first connected with CARE when I was a senior at the University of Southern Maine. One of CARE’s advocates came to our international student association, talked about CARE’s work and encouraged us to attend their annual national conference. I loved CARE’s mission - so I helped organize a team of 12 to 15 students and did fundraisers to get the money to come to CARE’s conference. At the Conference, there were hundreds of people who have the same values I do, who are fighting for the wellbeing of other people around the world. It really touched me and I made a decision to try and make every single conference every year. So far, I’ve kept that promise.
Foreign assistance is important to me because it helps CARE do the work that we do. Without it, a lot of CARE’s projects would not take place. We need funding to have the capacity to help poor and marginalized communities around the world.
Coming from Africa myself, I have seen poverty and the work that NGOs such as CARE do to eradicate poverty. I grew up in a missionary home. My parents worked in very rural and poor communities, so I grew up seeing them work, bringing orphan children into our home and providing clothing and food to communities living in extreme poverty. That inspired me as a child and I always wanted to do something to help those women and girls I grew up with.
When I came to the U.S., I thought I would get my education and someday, go home and be able to help them there. Very quickly though, I realized that by being here, I can talk for them. I can be the voice for those I’ve left behind, for the women and girls that I have seen growing up, for the orphans who lived in my home. There are so many and there is so much need.
My sister works for a European organization that works with women who live in poverty and empowers them to have their own businesses and buy a goat, chickens or a cow. Seeing the impact on their lives and families truly inspired me too. In my heart, I wanted to be able to advocate and do something for people too, so being introduced to CARE was one of those moments when I felt like, “this is it!”
CARE provided the platform and opportunity to advocate and do what I’ve always wanted to do. It helped me fulfill that childhood dream.
Advocating for the poor is also an important part of being a Christian. My advocacy work is based on my faith and the values my parents instilled in me. The Bible calls us to speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves and to defend the rights of the poor and needy. That has always been my mission and I feel privileged to be able to do that with an organization that can utilize my voice. I truly believe in the work CARE does and I truly believe that it changes lives. It feels good to be able to do good for people.