I am so happy to be going back on March 18 to visit the 28 girls at the Reveil Matinal Orphanage. My first trip was incredibly life changing. The girls were so loving, smart and grateful -- I knew when I left that they were going to be forever in my life.
One of my goals for my visits is to continue to instill in them a sense of pride in who they are and what they have to offer their communities and society. My favorite part of the trip was sitting with them in a large circle and sharing hopes and dreams for their futures. From being a doctor to a teacher to a shop owner and a mother, these girls are no different than I was at their ages. I remember all the women who supported and cheered me on to believe in myself, and I want to do the same for these girls.
I have a few activities planned for us, all of them focus on building self esteem, respect for self and others, team work, giving back and sustainability. From arts and crafts to a writing workshop to planting a vegetable garden and caring for their own chickens, I want to show these girls that with some hard work, inspiration, determination, hope and dedication -- they can do anything.
On my last trip, I aslo saw the need for an emergency fund. One of the little ones had to go to the doctor after four days with a high fever. They hesitated taking her to the doctor initially because they had no money. I was able to use money from my last fundraiser to pay for the doctor's visit, her medication and also replenished their almost empty first aid kit.
For this visit, I have a personal goal of helping them raise one month for their food budget ($1000) and create an emergency fund ($500). In addition , to help increase their food supply and teach them sustainability, I want to fund a vegetable garden and purchase some chickens for fresh eggs ($200).
For their well-being and hygeine, I want to provide a first aid kit for each room (there are four rooms with 7 girls in each) and replenish basic OTC medicines for the orphanage. I also want to purchase underwear, bras and personal hygiene items for the girls and ship them with me on my trip ($500).
My last hope is to help them create happy memories. Other than school and church, these girls leave the orphanage once or twice a year as funds allow for special outings. I would love be able to plan a special outing for them this time to celebrate their good grades in school ($300).
On a final note, the girls do not have a place for their own personal items. Some use small suitcases that they store under their beds for their mementos and such. If anyone in Los Angeles has carry-on luggage they can donate, please send me an email and I can arrange to pick up them up.
I thank you so much for helping me help these girls.
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