Small Gifts, Big Changes, Thanks to You!

02/07/17

During the Christmas season (and beyond!), many of you gave to COTN's children through our gift catalog—generously showing God's love through everything from cows to Bibles. Thank you.


Below are the stories of three children in Sierra Leone whose lives have been affected by some of the gifts you gave—things that we might take for granted but that make huge differences in their lives.

 

notebooks

 

"This Is My Best Year in School"
Ibrahim lost his parents three years ago. He is now 16 years old, living in Ngolala Junction, near COTN's ministry center. Life became very difficult for Ibrahim and his siblings after the death of their parents, and Ibrahim stopped going to school. He spent all his time working for neighbors, trying to earn enough to eat, while his brothers and sisters moved to a different part of the country.

Ibrahim came in contact with COTN–Sierra Leone through his aunty who works in COTN's Children’s Homes. In 2011, he started attending COTN’s school, and he is now in the junior secondary school (junior high). When Ibrahim was asked to describe his first day at Mallory Jansen Memorial School, he said, “This is my best year in school, and [I] am so happy and thank God for COTN for giving me this opportunity.”

However, Ibrahim had to wear an old pair of shoes to school. And he didn’t have enough paper to write on for his classes. He was trying to use one notebook for three to four subjects. This demotivated him but never stopped him from coming to school.

Recently, because of generous donors like you, Ibrahim has received a pair of nice black shoes, eight notebooks, and a lunch bowl. He now has the supplies he needs to succeed in school. Thank you!

 

backpack


“Thank God for the Nice, New School Bag”
Theresa is 11 years old. She lives in Jimminga village, Sierra Leone, with her father and three siblings in a small hut. Theresa’s oldest sister is the breadwinner of their family. Her father has undergone major surgery, which has left him unable to do any hard work to provide for his family. He constantly struggles to provide daily food for his children.


Education was not a priority for Theresa’s father, so Theresa wasn’t attending school regularly until she connected with COTN. She is now attending Mallory Jansen School and is enrolled in COTN's Village Partnership Program.


Theresa is the only one in her family going to school. Education is so important to Theresa that she wants to be a teacher when she grows up. Recently, thanks to your donations to COTN, she was given a backpack, shoes, books, and pens and pencils! Before she received the school bag, Theresa was carrying her books to school in a black plastic bag. Theresa says, “Thank God for the nice new school bag I have to put my school materials.’’ She is very happy and proud to carry her new bag to school. She says, “I want God to continue blessing COTN with more sponsors and donors so that they can help us to make a better life.”
 

 

shoes


“My Feet Will Be Safe”
Memunatu lives with her four brothers, some of her stepsisters, her stepmother, and her father. Her birth mother abandoned her when she was two years old. Memunatu’s stepmother is a petty trader who struggles to meet all the needs of her children and stepchildren.


When Memunatu’s father and stepmother heard about the COTN school in Ngolala, their family moved to Ngolala Junction and Memunatu started attending COTN’s school. Among her siblings, she is the only one who has been enrolled in COTN's Village Partnership Program.


Memunatu had no slippers to wear at home, which caused a lot of injuries to her feet. Cuts on feet can become infected very quickly. This is particularly a danger in an area where the most common means of travel is walking.


Flip-flops from donors like you were recently distributed to COTN's nursery school, and Memunatu was fortunate enough to receive a pair. She also received school materials for the new academic year. Memunatu says, “When I received the slippers, I was very thankful because my feet will be safe from wounds. I thank God and COTN. I want to become a teacher in the future. I pray to God for more donors and supporters for the organization.”

 

Thank you for providing school bags, notebooks, flip-flops, and more to children in need. They may seem like small gifts, but they make a world of difference!