We pulled up by the church we were to visit. Immediately, over 40 women, all with a baby in their arms or on their back, cheered loudly and ran out the door to greet us warmly.
We are heroes to them because we represent the help they’ve been given during their baby’s first year of life.
These moms are a part of the Compassion Child Survival Program. I cried happy tears today because these are some of the first healthy babies I have seen all week!
Sponsored children can begin the Compassion program at the age of 4. Several years ago, however, Compassion decided to create an initiative to give babies a healthy start in the first year of life. They called this the Child Survival Program and it is also an outreach of the local church.
Let me tell you that this is working. I saw it in the mother’s faces, the way they interacted with their babies and by how healthy the babies looked!
I cried when I addressed the mothers because I was touched that mothers are mothers no matter where they live. Some of us just have more opportunities than others. Those of us who have more opportunities can bring hope and joy to a mom by partnering with her in providing for the needs of her child. That is what child sponsorship does!
These mothers meet once a week where they encourage one another, but more importantly are given education about nutrition, parenting, and the importance of stimulation and interaction. They end up in a close relationship with one another…this becomes their very own moms group!
The women were so proud of their resources at the church. They showed us their stimulation room and put their babies in it so we could see them play. This is such a new concept for these mothers!
After visiting the center, we visited one of the mother’s homes where she proudly showed us her sewing machine and the items she sews. Through micro-lending, which is available through the Child Survival Program, she was able to start her sewing business. Now she has the ability to provide for her family.
My heart is very full today. I’m amazed at how something as little as $38 a month can literally change a life. Not just a life…but a family!
Will you be someone’s hero?
There’s a child that needs you. What you don’t know, though, is that you need them too.
(You can see other pictures from our fifth day in Africa here!)
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