I am not a writer so I will admit defeat before even beginning to describe each of the care points. Pictures will do much more justice to the lovely chaos that greeted us at Kind Hearts. The property is in Addis, though once you pass through the gates it seems like you have stepped into another world. Gone are the fumes, beeping horns (horns don't honk, they kindly beep), and buildings in a perpetual state of construction. They have been replaced by fields of teff, acacia trees and rolling hills. It's an amazing transition.
Upon opening the doors of the vans children are everywhere. It may seem that each child has several extra arms with which to grab your face smothering you in kisses while singing, "Selam!" It's beyond comprehension. Karen warned us, but I scoffed thinking, "Daily I have five children pulling, hugging, sitting on me. It really can't be that wild." It was so much more than I expected. These children were thrilled to have visitors. After the initial greeting, things slowed to a more manageable pace of just four or five children vying for a spot on or near a visiting adult.
These children have been sponsored longer than any that we visited. This time last year Karen was arranging for sponsorship to begin through Hopechest. Since last year several projects have been funded and the care point has exciting plans to become self sustaining. The children are being fed daily, plans are in the works to get a nurse to visit on a regular basis. Sponsors purchased uniforms in the spring so the children could come proudly to school. Things are coming together, but there is still so much to be done!
Before we left, Karen was notified that more than thirty new children would be at the care point when we arrived. Our team scrambled to make sure that these children would have a package to open. They did--and were so happy to have all of the little odds and ends we collected from our incredible group of friends back at home. These children were so happy to have a package of goodies, but they lacked the one thing that was cherished by the other kids--a photo of a smiling family back in America.
Karen has details on her blog for sponsoring a child at Kind Hearts.