Before I graduated from grad school, I was given the opportunity to go on a humanitarian trip to Swaziland, Africa. I joined a team of students and professors from the psychology department at Nova Southeastern University. The trip was sponsored and organized by the non-profit organization, Saving Orphans through Healthcare and Outreach (SOHO). We assessed children and adolescents at care centers and schools and provided group therapy, art therapy, and psychoeducation.
During our first visit to a childcare center, I met a woman–real-life hero–who voluntarily looked after more than a dozen orphans with only enough resources to feed three children daily. In my eager and naïve attempt to help her, I gave her the snacks I had in my backpack that day. I quickly realized I had to mentally and emotionally prepare for the realities I would encounter on the rest of this journey.
I met students who continued going to school after being expelled for not being able to pay tuition fees because it was safer to be at school than at home. During group discussions, the students shared personal stories of trauma and substance use which indicated psychological stressors due to violence in their communities. I asked students where they felt the safest and they replied, “Church and school.” We visited a squatter camp where most of these students lived. I was shocked to find homes with no electricity, running water, or security. I later learned that many of the students living in these communities are left to parent themselves and are at risk for being trafficked.
During an anonymous questionnaire class activity, I received the inquiry, “How do you still love someone who has killed your parents?” The only words that came to me were, “There is power in forgiveness.” This student’s willingness to love the person who left them parentless was a testament to their courage and resilience. Although we all felt defeated, our professors reminded us of the importance of instilling hope. “Planting the seed of hope can make a big difference in a child’s healing journey.”
Eventually, I, too had hope. I watched orphaned children play and laugh as if they had no worry in the world. I met preschoolers who walked miles on empty stomachs for the chance to be in school and have a hot meal. When we handed out donations, I was in complete awe of how excited the children reacted over mini toy cars and bubbles. My heart melted as I watched children devoted to their prayers. I witnessed children caring for children. I was blessed to experience humanity doing its best, even in the most unfortunate circumstances.
Now, LET’S BUILD A SAFE HOUSE near schools for children who don’t have a safe home or environment in which to return. The cost to build one safe house is $14,000, but since anonymous donors will be matching donations dollar to dollar, our goal is to raise $7,000!
Thank you so much for your time and attention. I’m so grateful that you are considering donating and sharing this campaign. Your generous donations will go to:
1. Building a safe house.
2. Fertilizer and seeds for school gardens.
3. Providing these children with the peace of mind they so deserve.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.” –Margaret Mead
DonationsSee top donations
- Jacqueline Lee
- Shannon Isaacs
- Nzinga Young
- Keith Axelsen
- Alina Marmolejos
The Crossings, FL
Saving Orphans Through Healthcare and Outreach Inc
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.