Today marks the fifth anniversary of Haiti’s devastating earthquake. The disaster killed tens of thousands of people, displaced more than 1 million, and wreaked havoc on Haiti’s infrastructure and economy.
Thank you for making Christmas special for the children in Sierra Leone this year!
Because of the Ebola outbreak, this Christmas was a little different than usual. Public gatherings are prohibited right now, to prevent the spread of disease, so our children didn't have the parties they normally have.
The children in Uganda had a great Christmas, thanks to you! At our Uganda Children’s Homes, we had a special party with a Christmas meal, cake, and other sweet treats. The children also took time to pray and thank God for all He has blessed them with throughout the past year.
The children in our Anai-Okii Village Partnership Program celebrated Christmas with gifts of clothing and laundry soap, thanks to their sponsors. "For an African child, new clothes for a day like Christmas means a lot," says Hadrine Akullo, one of our Uganda staffers. "And they were really excited, as you can tell from the pictures."
Christmas photos have arrived from Haiti! Thanks to all of you, the children had a great time celebrating the birth of Christ. Here's what Marc Antoine Michel, our Haiti country director, had to say about the celebrations:
"After a wonderful week of Christmas Advent with a Venture team from The Hallows Church, we had a beautiful Christmas party with the children this year. They learned the whole story of Jesus’ birth with skits, they had fun with the team, and had a special Christmas meal with special treats, including soda, cake, and Christmas gifts. Enjoy pictures below."
2014 was a big year for the children, as they experienced graduations, improvements to their communities, better health and educational opportunities, and most of all, your love and care.
As we look back on our most popular stories of 2014, we see some recurring themes: concern surrounding the Ebola epidemic; celebrations of new beginnings; and God using you, our partners, to provide above and beyond for our children. Thank you for making this such a great year!
Kelly Melton is a Children of the Nations sponsor who traveled to Sierra Leone this fall with a medical aid organization, helping to set up Ebola treatment clinics. She has graciously agreed to share her trip journal, to give you a firsthand view of how the Ebola outbreak is affecting the people of Sierra Leone. Here is an entry from November 19. (You can read Kelly's previous updates here.)
We spent Friday in the village of Mgwayi, for what COTN dubs “cultural immersion day.” Our team split into pairs, and each pair was matched with a family. We spent the morning with a little girl named Aida and her mother, plus a rotating cast of cousins and neighbors who made their way in and out of our circle that morning. Our mission that day was to simply spend time with this family, learning a bit about the rhythms of their life.