The Story of Brick by Brick
The story of Brick by Brick is a simple one. It's what happens when people see poverty beyond understanding, and then realize that something, even if it is something small, can and must be done to bring change.
After a trip in 2008, Sue Steines, Kathy Simone and Mark Simone began to believe that we could be one of the agents of change needed in South Africa. It was then that we began the process to create Brick by Brick: Building Futures Home and Abroad. As a 501 (c) (3), non-profit agency, we are hopeful and determined to create and execute programs which will assist and enhance the lives of South African women and their families. In that culture, it is often the woman who is overlooked the most. Yet in her hands she holds the future for her children and influence with the men in her life. Our focus is to assist women in creative ways so that these women may then help themselves. We look to create a culture of change in which women and their families can take hold of their lives and move forward.
Sue, Kathy and Mark are all live and work in the Chagrin Valley in northeastern Ohio.
Sue is the President of Brick by Brick. After lengthy discussions with South African women in leadership, and much soul searching, she was inspired to do her part to create opportunities for women and their families. As a teacher, Sue understands that children are best assisted when their mothers’ needs are being met. Sue brings to us a vision for the whole family, based upon the health and well being of the primary caregiver – the mother.
Mark is a pastor, college professor, author and speaker, as well as the Secretary/Treasurer of Brick by Brick. It was through his first trip to South Africa in 1998 that many of the doors for Brick by Brick were opened. While Mark often focuses on the spiritual needs of people, especially children and youth, he understands that when stomachs are hungry and families are fragmented, there can be no security and stability in the family circle. Mark continues to visit South Africa frequently, and has led some 8 work camps to South Africa for youth and adults, introducing over 180 Americans to that great nation through these work camp trips.
Kathy is our Vice-President and also a teacher. Kathy is a trained artist and believes that the creative well being of all is essential. As an educator, Kathy believes that new and better information bring transformation of mind, body and spirit. Yet, when basic needs are not met, there is no room for creativity. Kathy has an eye for seeing needs and loves developing programs that connect resources with those who struggle without the basics.