Archive for October, 2009

My new project

October 27, 2009

After much thought, a good friend of mine and I have decided to put our talents together and raise some money!  I am going to put together an NGO to start education scholarship funds for kids in Africa.  We haven’t ironed out the details, but we our goal is to help children with the expenses for their education.  In a previous post, I talked about the cost of education for these children and how many of them do not attend school simply due to lack of funds.  No child should be out of school due to lack of money.

Instead of asking people for money, my dear friend and I are going to sell greeting cards.  We make beautiful cards 🙂  (yes, I’m biased!) and thought this would be a great way to make money for our cause.  If you would like to help us start this scholarship, let me know!  To look at the cards, please visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/39918223@N07/sets/72157622670974110/ The price is 6 cards for $12 or 12 cards for $20.  Think about it, pray about it and let me know if you would like to place an order!!!

New thought

October 7, 2009

A friend of mine told me she pays 85 Rand, which is about $10 (after I cut it in 1/2, cut in 1/2, cut in 1/2…thanks Bob!) for 1 of her nieces to go to school for 1 year.  She takes care of 2 kids.  She pays $20 a year or so for her 2 nieces to attend school for the year, plus each child must have the proper uniform and proper books.  I’m guessing it costs about $50 or so for 1 year.  She makes 35 Rand/hour at her 1 day a week job.  She might only work a few hours here and there and make 140 Rand.  That barely pays for tuition.  She does recieve some assistance from the government but that might pay for food for a few weeks.  Throw in your bills, clothes, etc…and you have children that are not being educated due to lack of funds.  I can’t tell you how hard this is for me to grasp.  I find it absurd that children are not being educated in our world due to lack of a uniform or money.  I truly believe the only way to better yourself and change your path is through education.  If I was not given the chance to play the recorder in elementary school and then the flute, who knows what I would be doing right now.  Probably mooching off my parents 🙂 

So, my new mission in life is to start scholarships for these children.  I have some ideas on how I would like to do this and am open to your thoughts/suggestions.

Students walking home from school in their uniform.

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One step at a time.

October 4, 2009

It’s really hard to come back from a trip and jump back into your life.  Not only is the travel long and tiring, but your emotions are all over the place.  Part of you feels guilty for living like you do and the other part is missing the friends you made.  No matter how hard it is to return from a mission trip, I will continue to do them as long as the good Lord allows me. 

I can’t tell you how many people have asked me why I do these trips and why I pay so much money to do so.  I don’t feel that anyone in this world should live in conditions that some of these people live in.  Everyone should have a safe, dry place to sleep and eat.  No one should live in a shack without a stable ceiling or running water.  We all breathe the same air, look at the same sun and feel the same rain.  Before you ask – YES, I also do domestic mission trips for the same reason!  TShongwheni is a special place though.  These houses are built for AIDS Orphans and their caretakers.  It’s so disturbing to hear the percentages of people affected with HIV and AIDS.  Most of these people are living with the “tribal” views of years ago and they believe some things that are detrimental to their health.  One myth they believe is that if you are infected with HIV/AIDS and you have sex with a virgin, you will be healed.  Now you have 4 and 5 year olds being raped and infected.  It’s such a sad, sad thing.  The positive of this is that this village is learning.  We are building a community center behind the church that will be used for education, family events, and so on.  I am so excited to see the completion of this center and the great things that will be held inside.  Shara, a missionary from Arizona, is currently living in S. Africa for 2 years and one of her main goals is to get this center up and running.  I am so excited for her and ask that you all keep her in your prayers.

I believe that things will be changed and these precious children will have a better life.  It’s just one step at a time.

A picture is worth a thousand words….

October 2, 2009

I thought it would be best to show you what I did all week.  I’ll do my best to capture each picture!

Picture 1: This is the foundation of the house we built.  We started to build a house for Margaret.  She has a house in the village, but it is too close to the community center that they are building (which is just fantastic!) so she is getting a brand new home!

Picture 2:  We had to carry these heavy, heavy blocks up to the foundation which is on a hill.  This is my awesome mom!

Picture 3:  My favorite job – mixing the daka.  4 wheelbarrows of dirt, 1 100 lb bag of cement and water. 

Picture 4:  My mom laying a block.

Picture 5:  Margaret at her old house.

Picture 6:  Margaret’s 1 room – kitchen and bedroom.

Picture 7: A typical house in the village.  Hopefully soon everyone will have  safe, warm house.

Picture 8:  Me and some local boys.

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That’s it for now.  I will post more pictures this weekend.  I hope this gives you a better idea of TShonghweni and the beautfiul people!