It has been a long time. I’ve been busy and could tell you of some great highs and great lows. And I could use all the excuses in the world, but honestly, I have just been ignoring my blog. I have not written because I just thought no one was out there, reading the blogs, but then over the last month I have had so many people ask me about the blog.
So, here I am. Waiting again for a letter from a department, and as I sit here trying to think of a subject it came to me…I’m going to talk about money.
Now some of you will be freaking out, and honestly, blogging about sex or politics seems easier and less offensive, but I’ve never been one to shy away from things at the risk of offending some.
So here are some cold, hard facts of the projects we run here (yes, we don’t just take in orphaned and vulnerable children. We do more). Now when you see what money we have raised over two years you will think, wow that really doesn’t go far.
Apart from the 80 (small) cans of formula (monthly) which is mostly all you can buy here, the rent, the wages, the food, the doctors and hospital visits, the cleaning products (which today I spent USD100 on), we have projects.
We empower women through training, and provide start up materials for small businesses so they can financially help their families (by the way, these are households headed by single women). We sponsor children who are from the poorest of the poor families (it’s important to remember they live with their families still), and we pay for schooling, uniforms and materials for children who can’t afford to go to school. We reunify street children when they present themselves to police stations and want to go home. Oh, and these are just a few things. On average we look after 400 women and children and this does not include the children in our homes.
So when you see how much I’ve raised from the most supportive and generous donors, and you see the beautiful homes we have created for those that live with us, please remember none of this comes for free. We use second-hand and local goods wherever we can. I personally have spent all my savings and have debts up to my eyeballs so I can help maybe one child.
And when I freak out and stress about paying wages or rent or buying formula and am wondering if I am doing the right thing, all I need to do is wander to the house next door to look at Bereket or Alazar or Aschelew, and see their smiles and their joy, or see the babies that were 1kg, now 3.5kg, or the nannies that would otherwise have no job and I think (mostly with tears in my eyes), “this is why”.
So when we appeal for money and ask people to be a part of this “something amazing” that we are doing, you can know it’s worth it. It’s worth it for you to go without a Starbucks or a Costa coffee once a week and do a regular donation of what that would cost. The money donated, no matter how big or small, makes a huge difference to the lives of those here at grass roots level.
So folks, whoever you are reading this, we have rent due for the next six months (USD 2500) and formula to buy (USD 1000) and wages to pay (USD 2100) and… and… and…
What can you spare, no that’s wrong, what can you give to change a life?
Off home through the traffic, with the letter, and going to put the kettle on and have a cuppa before I go to see our kids next door for cuddles.