Because International was started by Kenton Lee. After graduating college from Northwest Nazarene University in 2007, Kenton lived and worked in Ecuador and Kenya for a while. As he was walking down a dirt road in Kenya with kids from an AIDS orphanage, he noticed something. A little girl beside him wore shoes that were insanely too small for her feet. She kept smiling and laughing, innocent to the fact that she deserved better than this. The orphanage director told Kenton that they receive donations from America, but since the kids continue growing the shoes do not fit after six months. Kenton thought to himself, “Why are we donating things that don’t make sense for these kids? Why are we still doing the same old thing if it doesn’t work as well as it needs to? Can’t we do this a better way?”
That experience opened his eyes and heart to the fact that we can do a lot better with international humanitarian aid. We need to do a lot better. There is not enough innovation in the humanitarian aid sector. We have been too complacent doing the same things to try to fight these same issues. But there is more that we can do to fill the gaps between ‘what we are doing’ and ‘what needs to be done’. For-profit companies in America are constantly making their products and services cheaper, faster, better, and more effective. If they did not innovate, they would quickly be out of business. The humanitarian aid sector needs to have the same mindset. We need to innovate – for those in need.
And so Because International was formed in January 2009 as an organization with a new youthful voice and a fresh message of innovation to bring better help and hope to the world.