I first met Marlon 14 years ago on my first trip to Belize. He was a cute and shy little two year old living at the King's Children's Home (orphanage) with 50 other children. I had no clue what had brought him there, when I would see him again, or what impact he would have on my life. I left Belize feeling changed for having met him and hoped I would see him again.
Little did I know how our two stories would become intertwined, allowing us to play a major role in each others lives.
I felt called back to Belize to continue serving at the Children's Home where Marlon lived and decided to make it a regular part of my life's work. I started leading teams of high school aged volunteers to Belize every February. We focused on building projects that would help the orphanage, and building relationships with the kids who lived there. I love all of the kids at the orphanage, but my bond with Marlon has always been very special. I knew when he was still very young that I wanted to be one of the few constants in his life as he grew up, and help him in any way that I possibly could. He was being raised by the amazing "mom" who ran the Children's Home, and I quickly became his second mom. I made it a priority to see him at least twice a year, walking with him through the early days right up until today. When he was little, I got to bring him toy cars and tuck him into his bunk when he fell asleep on my lap and I got to proudly watch him graduate grade eight at the top of his class. Through the teenage years I got to teach him to drive, watched countless hours of basketball in the backyard, and was stood proudly as he crossed the stage as a high school graduate.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
I have been working through the long and complicated process of bringing Marlon to Canada to further his education. He has desired deeply to pursue higher education, and knows that the best opportunities for him may be outside of Belize. With the blessing of the mom who raised him at the King's Children's Home, Marlon and I began to make plans and I encouraged him to continue dreaming big! Upon completing high school in Belize, he has become very interested in studying Physiotherapy at the Univeristy of Saskatchewan. This will all start with finishing high school classes here in Canada, and will continue on to the U of S once those requirements are met. He is registered and will begin those classes as soon as he arrives!
I have finally collected all of the documents needed from Belize and am ready to begin the 6 week process of applying for his student visa. Getting to this point has been a long, stressful and expensive endevour. I feel called to help Marlon achieve his dreams and attend the U of S, but I can't do it alone. I know I am a part of an amazing community of people who love and support me and I need your help.
Many of you have travelled to Belize with me and already know Marlon and love him too. I am asking if you will help contribute to his future. Your donation will go towards his life here in Canada, including travel and living expenses, as well as saving for his Univeristy tuition.
It is well known that it takes a village to raise a child. I know that I cannot bring Marlon here without the help and support of my village. Marlon is my family, and having him here has been a dream of mine for 14 years. I am willing and excited to bring him to Canada and invite him into my family and community. Thank you for your consideration in supporting Marlon. He is one of the most incredible people that I know, and I am so honored to invite you into the story of this amazing young man.
- Diane / Rusty Ashworth
- Janelle Koop
- Emma Champ
- Meagan Crocker
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