Monday, December 26, 2011

Sweet little ones who are not forgotten

The last few days have been lovely spending time with family and appreciating the gift they are to me.  My thoughts often turned to 32 little ones living on the other side of the world in an orphanage and 82 bigger children living in foster homes that we also help support.  I wonder what their christmas is like?  It would be celebrated as mostly a religious holiday, spent in church, and eating a meal together.  Even at the orphanage it is custom to spend a little more and have a party.  Often families of the children that live near by are invited to eat together with the children.  Last year I was able to visit the kids shortly after christmas.  That was a special treat.  It was fun to share a special meal with them, eating at their small tables, them falling asleep in my lap.

Christmas, last year.

We need to raise funds for the second trimester of school fees due in the end of January for the 82 children who lived in the orphanage from infancy and then moved out when they turned 4 years old.  Some moved back with their fathers, others into informal foster settings.  Some are treated well, some aren't.  Rarely can the families that accept them back pay for their school fees.  This increases the likelihood of a life in servanthood or menial work (and destitute poverty).  Education doesn't guarantee a lift from dire poverty, but it gives you a chance.  We work together with the orphanage to help give children this chance.  School is not free, and if you are an orphan, you have to work harder than the other children.  We firmly believe that education is a basic human right every child should have access to.  Would you consider helping us by giving a donation this week to help us pay for the school fees for these children?  The cost is $5/month for children in primary school and $10/month for the children in secondary school, their are six older children who are now attending their first years of college locally and their fees are $44-72 every three months.  We are hoping to raise $1200 by the end of January to help contribute to the school fees of these children.

Would you consider spreading the word to help us raise the funds?  Feel free to link to my blog.  We are helping supports 115 children in eastern DRC.  These children are vulnerable, all of them lost their mothers (most lost them when their mothers died in birth).  They are not direct victims of war, but they are victims of the poverty that is a result of years of instability, extreme poverty, wars, insecurity, transient populations movements, crop failure, poor infrastructure, poor health structures and on and on.  Their mothers die in birth from preventable causes (like hemorrhage).  These children all have names and faces.  I have met about half of the children and look forward to meeting the older ones in the years to come.

They are the faces of hope in a place that has much darkness.  They reflect the Light of the Christ child whose birth we just celebrated.

Would you consider remembering the sweet children of the Save the Children Orphanage this year?  Please follow this link to donate to Tumaini.  Thank you.

Even blurry, it's hard not to smile looking at Ziruka's joyful face.

Sweet Noella, born days after christmas.

Ganza, smiles all around.

And two of the older boys who come to play with the little kids (they grew up in the orphanage and now live in foster homes/with extended family).  We help pay their school fees.

(Please pray for sweet Theo, who was adopted from western DRC and very soon after coming to the states was diagnosed with cancer and is very ill.)

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