Through InterNations, an on-line expat club, I met a lovely young woman who works with non-profit organizations and who offered to take me to the orphanage. The director explained the lengths they go to in order to protect the 15 children in his care from child trafficking rings, and the challenges keeping them all fed on a meager budget. I've offered to volunteer a couple of times a week, and am waiting to hear back from him.
|What is this precious child thinking about?|
|Can eyes get any bigger?|
|Most of the children were very outgoing and didn't hesitate to come to me|
|This little girl was quite a loner|
|The little boy in front of me grabbed my hands, and didn't want to let go|
|The school opened in 1974 through the Lion's Club funding. Since then, involvement has been limited and fundraising is crucial. What do they need most? Food.|
I noticed several albino children and learned there is a high incidence of albinism in sub-Saharan Africa. These children are at high risk on many levels. Not only because of health issues including blindness associated with albinism, but the fact that albinos have been killed in order for body parts to be used in witchcraft, and the misguided belief that raping an albino woman will cure a man of HIV/AIDS.
|The Jacaranda tree brings beauty to the grounds|
|One of the classrooms. Where are the books?|
|Crops of maize are grown in the field|
|The girls dorm showing the new bunk beds|
|There are usually 2 children per bed so the bunk beds have made a huge impact. More are being made and donated.|
|The dining hall|
|Door to the office - the headmaster is also blind and it was fascinating seeing him use a Braille typewriter to record information during the meeting.|
|The only piece of playground equipment|
I learned about the dangers many African children face, and held hands with the lucky ones who are safe. Roger and I may not be sitting down to a Thanksgiving turkey dinner this weekend, but we will give thanks for many things.
"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."