PARTY WITH A PURPOSE
Have you ever wanted to hold a party for 140 children? In a foreign country? With children who speak little English but desperately want to believe in you and how you can help them?
Then come to Rwanda and meet our sponsored children! Children of little to no resources, often orphaned, desirous of a better life and willing to trust you will keep your word and support them.
When we began our child sponsorship program just over 2 years ago, I hoped we could find 25 people willing to sponsor a child for $25/mo for 12 months.
In over two years we have NOT found 25 people….WE HAVE FOUND OVER 170! People are so generous – and have committed to this project. Not all can continue after one year but we have an extremely high retention rate of donors.
Some of the children’s stories are heartbreaking – some breathtaking – all deeply affected by the generosity of a stranger.
The report cards, letters, words of wisdom shared by the donors and the money are all part of the ability to save and change lives.
And then there’s the party! Who doesn’t love to party!!??
The air was electric as Sara and I were joined by Lauren, an American who I met while on my 53 hour trek from Portland to Rwanda.
After greeting the kids, we introduced Sara and Lauren.
We sang the wildly popular “some sailors went to the sea sea sea” song (with hand motions),
interviewed many of the children to send back personal messages, gave some of the children gifts sent with me by their sponsors (including a bike promised a year ago for good grades –
J. Paul almost cried!) ,
fed them incredibly large plates of food,
talked with them about writing to their sponsors and handed out a little bag of goodies which included toothbrushes, pens from Umpqua Bank, pencils, little toys, candy and TWIZZLERS (red licorice)
The kids had never seen licorice and had no idea what to do with it until I popped a piece into my mouth. Enough said!
We also played the Itafari game: Lauren or Sara stood with their back to the kids and the kids chose one side of the room or the other to guess which hand she would raise. Until we got down to two kids and the winner would get a gift.
LIKE THE EVER POPULAR WHOOPIE CUSHION!! The party took seven hours, all of our energy and yet we walked away knowing that to honor these children was to honor all children. That a party whose purpose was to bring joy and laughter was a significant way to spend the day. And that our efforts today will help change the face of Rwanda in the future.
We don’t have the children who need sponsors shown on the website. We bring the books with their pictures and stories to our Pay it Forward events.
If you’re interested in sponsoring a child and can commit to $25/mo for 12 months, please contact me.
Or hold an event for Itafari. A Pay It Forward. Another party with a purpose. We come to you and are happy to travel - just talk to us and tell us what you’d like to do.
To our child sponsors: this party was your party.
Truly your heart would burst with joy at what you have given to them. For the children I say murakoze cyane cyane!