Lives on the Line
Amy Stokes in conversation with Tom Zara
Some say that it takes a village to raise a child. So what happens when there is no village? If you’re Amy Stokes, you create one on a global scale. Her groundbreaking initiative, Infinite Family, connects some of Southern Africa’s neediest children with mentors half a world away through video conversation offering them the adult support they lack at home.
Infinite Family staff with mentees at the launch of Tsogang Sechaba Community Projectin Soweto Township, Johannesburg, February 2010.
Amy Stokes on problem solving
Really, I came to believe that having a vision for something that doesn’t exist and then figuring out how to make it exist, that there has to be a concurrent flow of how that works, no matter what industry you’re in.
Amy Stokes on creating bonds
The question was how can we use technology to build critical relationships that don’t exist, but should and need to exist for the benefit of not only the kids, but for the people who will learn from these kids as they grow up.
Video conferencing bridges physical distances to bring at-risk children together with much-needed mentors.
Amy Stokes on being determined
And so the entire endeavor has been about the idea that we could create the infrastructure for these relationships to happen all around the world, and that we shouldn’t accept that it can’t happen, because it can. We just have to make it happen.
Amy Stokes on her children’s future
My daughter said, “I don’t know, mom,” and I said, “What do you mean?” And she said, “I think what you do is really important, but you work too hard.” She’s like, “I don’t think I want to work that hard.”
Infinite Family staff with the first group of mentees from Alexandra Childcare Support Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, February 2010.
Amy Stokes on her big idea
The term Infinite Family comes from our dream that someday there will be a way for all children everywhere to get what they need to be successful, and to not be left behind because they are in the wrong neighborhood.