Saturday, October 30, 2010

Camera Scavenger Hunt

We have a totally cool activity for the children that are part of the CHILDHOPE Zambia sponsorship program! If you are sponsoring one of our children, you may want to hear about this:
We are shipping disposable cameras out for the children to participate in a Camera Scavenger Hunt. The children will get to take the cameras home with them, and they will get a list such as this one that is only in draft form right now:

"Do you know how to play Camera Scavenger Hunt? Do you see something on the list? Find it through the window, click the button and take your picture! Color in the smiley face when you have taken the picture of each one on the list. Be sure to keep your fingers away from the window! Don’t forget to put your name on the bottom…do you know your sponsors name? You can write that in too!

See if you can take a picture of…..

 Where you live
Tell me about it:

 Your best friend
Who is this?

 Your family
Who are they?

 Where you go to school
Tell me about this?

 Your favorite place to be:
Where is it?

 What you eat for dinner
What is it?

 Where you sit to study
Where is it?

My Name:


Sponsor: "
To participate, the sponsor only needs to provide for the costs incurred- $8 to purchase the disposable camera and have it shipped to Zambia! Then, in February 2010, it will be $8 to get the cameras shipped back and then off to their sponsors. A total of $16, and you are left with 27 photos that your child took all by themselves! (For Canadian sponsors, it will be $8 now and $10 in February 2010. For all other countries outside the USA, it will be $8 now and $12 in February 2010)
We still need ideas on what kinds of things should be included in the scavenger hunt. What would you like to see photos of?
The deadline to get your child signed up for the activity is November 4, 2010. Great photos to come!
If you would like to sponsor a child, visit

Friday, October 29, 2010

Update on Leydi

Some of you may remember we had a fundraiser for Leydi's birthday. She is suffering from a life-threatening illness, so it was a very important fundraiser. Leydi was able to get a birthday party, hosted by Barbara as well as many other things (that will be posted later). This was her first birthday party, even though she was turning 9 years old. Little did I know at the time just how important this event would be for her.

Shortly after her party, Leydi's last surviving parent, her father, passed away =( It was even more permanent in my mind and heart-breaking when I opened up her child report that used to show her father's occupation- it now shows deceased.

Oddly enough, my father passed away when I was 9 years old as well. I remember the devastation I felt. It was horrible! So, I can completely put myself in her shoes... But, I don't know what I can tell her to comfort her =( Any ideas?

One last after thought... Leydi's grandmother traveled from Haiti for the funeral. She wanted to take Leydi and her sister back with her to Haiti. Luckily, Leydi's step-mother was able to convince her that the girls would get more opportunities if they stay where they are. Whew!

Here is the latest child report I received for Leydi:

Age: 9 Sex: F Date of Birth: 6/1/2001
Height: 4 Feet 2 Inches Weight: 64 Pounds Hair Color: Black Eye Color: Black
2. Attends School: Yes
3. Favorite School Subjects: Art, Mathematics
Favorite Pastimes: Playing with dolls
Chores at Home: Running errands
Talents or Hobbies: Dancing
Languages Spoken: Spanish

4. Approximate monthly income for the family (in U.S. Dollars): $65.00
5. Name of Father: Alberto Occupation:
(If not present, why?) Deceased
6. Name of Mother: Ociani Occupation: Homemaker
(If not present, why?) Deceased
7. Brothers and Sisters:
Name: Chaline Age: 14 Sex: F
8. Child lives with: Relatives

9. Description of Home: Two bedrooms
Construction: Walls: Concrete block Roof: Corrugated metal Floor: Concrete
Cooking Facilities: Gas Stove
Sleeping Accommodations: Beds
10. Facilities and Services:
Water Source: Community faucets
Electricity: Available
Sanitary Facility: Toilet

Friday, October 22, 2010

Owning a Business Free and Clear

At long last, after years of struggling, Diego's aunt has paid off her small buisness loan thanks to Aura's House. The great news about this is that with the refridgerator and extra funds, she can buy the groceries for her business in bulk (instead of daily). This will give her more time to spend with Diego!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Joyce's Fundraiser Thank You

Dear Sponsor,

A wonderful day to you with your loved ones. I want to thank you again for the gift that you sent to me. I was able to buy a pair of rubber and black shoes, undergarment, kitchen wares for my mother, pants, sandals, bed sheet, blanket, hanky, sack of rice and assorted groceries for the whole family. It's a big help for me and to my family. Again thank you for your kindness and generosity. May God bless you more.

Love and prayers,

Mack's 2010 Trip #8 – Jonathan

A post by Mack:
I wasn't lonely at the park because 15-year-old Jonathan was happy to hang out with me all day, along with his 17-year-old brother, Jimi. We spent a long time playing a game I call "Tube Tag", where the person who is "It" tries to throw an inflatable ring over the head of another player. The captured player then becomes It, and must catch someone else. (See the video on LiftOne for a demonstration of the game)(which cannot be properly played while holding a camera). Another favorite game was for us to stand up on the edges of the tubes and try to knock each other off balance.

Jimi was a riot. He loved to playfully harass his little brother, and try to embarrass him. At one point, Jimi communicated to me that I should 'make' Jonathan go and play on one of the kiddie slides. Jon had a "Do I really have to?" look on his face, but Jimi pushed him into the children's area, saying something that must have translated as "Go on. If you're sponsor says you gotta do it, then you gotta do it!" Once Jon was up at the top of the slide jostling the 5-year-olds for a position in line, a grinning Jimi pointed to my camera and insisted that I capture the moment on film.

Mostly, the three of us (or four, when we dragged Wilson along) rode down the slides in one huge tube, but one of the slides required us to use individual tubes. Jonathan insisted on carrying mine up to the top of the hill for me. Jimi decided that if Jon was going to carry mine, then he really should carry his big brother's too. Jonathan looked so cute staggering blindly beneath a whole stack of tubes!

I had fun with Jonathan and his brother, but I hope that Wilson didn't see all the time that I spent with them as me playing favorites. I tried my best to lure him into our games, but he didn't seem interested in joining us. I didn't want to force my company on the kid, but I can't help fearing that he was just shy and was actually hoping to be forced a little. Anyway, Wilson seemed to have a good time at the park, regardless. When he wasn't tagging around after Darwin's sister with his tongue hanging out of his mouth, he seemed to bond best with Carlos' brother. This is strange since they live in different towns and have only met (I assume) one time before, when Victor took everybody to Zizima in January. I wonder why Wilson and Jonathan aren't better friends. They live near each other and they are in the same grade at school, plus they share an awesome sponsor, so I'd think they'd be best buddies. "Why aren't you two friends?" is the kind of personal question that you just can't ask your sponsored kids. Even if I was rude enough to ask, I probably wouldn't get an honest answer (for instance, "We belong to rival gangs at school, and we have to fight the impulse to beat each other up every time you take us somewhere together."). I think the children only tell us sponsors what they think we want to hear. Seriously, am I really expected to believe that all my kids just LOVE doing chores around the house? Someday I'd like to get a letter that says, "At home my job is to sweep the floor, but I really hate doing it because it cuts into my soccer-playing time, and besides the floor will just get dirty again in, like, five minutes. What's the point in even sweeping it, huh?"

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mack's 2010 Trip #7 and #8 – Wilson/Jonathan

These are the only photos that I have of Wilson and Jonathan together. I didn't think to have them pose for one while we were there. I also didn't think to get a picture of me with just the two of them, I never think of this stuff until it's too late! Miriam took a photo of the three of us together on CI's camera, so maybe she will send a copy to me? I don't know, cuz I only got photos from my 2009 visit (both of me and Wilson). Miriam was shocked and horrified when she heard this, so they will probably make a point of sending me a lot this year.

Mack's 2010 Trip #7 – Wilson

A post from Mack:
My sponsored child (teen) Wilson was the first to see and greet me outside of Zizima Water Park. He came over and gave me a hug, and took the bags I was carrying and loaded them into the CI van for me. That was the highlight of our day together, lol.

At fourteen, I guess Wilson considered himself too old to hang out and play with his sponsor. He wasn't too old to want his picture taken with Zizima's monkey mascot, at least, but after we entered the park, I didn't see much of Wilson. I dragged him down one waterslide with me, but he was primarily interested in being wherever Darwin's sister was. Oh well, they gotta grow up sometime, right? I showed Wilson that I approved of his relationship with the girl by taking a series of photographs with them posing together. I don't know if they'd just met that day or if they knew each other from school, since they live in the same basic area.

At lunchtime, I went over and sat down next to Wilson. I wanted to ask him about his likes and dislikes when it came to mailing him stuff. Of course, he couldn't understand my questions. I know the words, but a lot people still can't make out my meaning through my accent and bad pronunciation. So, I asked Irene to come over and translate.

I found out what music Wilson listens to and what kind of books he likes to read. Next, I asked what sort of items he'd most want to receive in packages. When he couldn't come up with an answer, I told him, "If you don't think of something, I'll just send underwear." That threat made his whole family laugh. Wilson still balked at asking for anything (why aren't American kids so content with what they already have?), so Irene said, "Okay, you'll have to send the underwear."

Sunday, October 17, 2010

$255 to go!!

$255 to go on Maria's fundraiser!! This is a fundraiser to help the families help themselves by setting them up with an income generating business. Please help Maria's parents to provide for their family. You canfind her fundraiser here

Lontia's new business and introducing little Zambian Barbara

A post from Barbara:
With so many successful Mac fundraisers taking place I thought you might like to see the results of one which took place this time last year. It was to provide a second hand clothing business for Lontia, the grandmother of my 7 year old child Nsenzeni. It began in the summer of 2009, during the worst time for fundraising, and took several months before it was finally completed. Finally, during December Lontia received two bales of second hand clothing and a wooden table. At first the business did well but then the demand for clothing ceased as the recession took hold. Consequently, Lontia reverted to selling vegetables, dried fish and beans and charcoal which business is now going well. This was only made possible by the generous donations of many of you so, once again many thanks for your valuable help in helping this poor family make a small living.

About the same time Lontia received her purchases a new grand-daughter was born on 23rd December and you can imagine my delight when the family decided to give the new baby girl my own name. Since this was the first time that anyone in my life had given me that honour I was naturally tickled pink and asked CI if while taking a photo of the new business that they could take one also of little baby Barbara.

Below you will be able to see the proud grandmother, Lontia, a beaming Nsenzeni (it only took five years to get a big smile from her) and little Barbara. If you look closely in the background you can just see her wearing her pink hat with her mother waiting patiently in the courtyard of their home. I just wanted to share with you all the results of a very succesful fundraiser."



Friday, October 15, 2010

2nd Letter Writing Session

The 2nd letter writing session is complete! These letters are better than the intro letters because the children have figured out what it means to be sponsored, and they have received gifts and letters from their sponsors. I noticed that if the sponsor sent the child stickers, some of the children used them to decorate their letters. I sent some coloring pages to some of my kids, and they returned them colored =) One sponsor requested that her sponsor child trace her foot and send it back, and that child did. This will help in the purchase of shoes. For those who are part of a group sponsorship, I am making copies of the letters. One sponsor will get the original and the other 1 or 2 sponsors will get copies.

I will be sorting through them and mailing them out starting tonight. You will start seeing letters in your mailboxes next week! Watch for messages from the yahoo group, and you will know exactly when your child's letter gets mailed.

There are still plenty of children waiting for sponsors. If you would like to sponsor one of these chldren for only $9 a month, visit

Miracles in Caring Update

Check out these cool necklaces!! The pictures do not do them justice at all, but believe me- There necklaces are gorgeous!!

The MIC group has still been making sells, though we had a dry month or so of no sales. For whatever reason, we had a boom of necklaces sell 2 weeks ago. Most of the necklaces that people are wanting to buy are the long (approximately 60" average in length) multi-colored necklaces. These necklaces can be doubled and tripled up depending on what length you want.

When I saw all of these long multi colored necklaces selling, I contacted Hellen (the person responsible for putting together the women's cooperative in Uganda that makes the beads and the beautiful neklaces). I told Hellen that I was running low on this particular style of necklace, so she sent on some more.

These new multi-colored long necklaces are even better than the first ones!! Most of them have metallic seed beads for spacers, and even these large and small beads they have made out of paper are colors such as purple, pink, and lots of pastels.

If you want to get your hands on one of these beautiful necklaces to give as a Christmas gift or just to keep for yourself, they are $10 each plus shipping. You can order by sending an e-mail to Enjoy!!

A Thank you from Roselle

Dear My Sponsor,

Hi! Hello! Greetings from the Philippines. Thank you very much for sending me a special donation. I am very happy for this, because those are very important to me. I brought some groceries, rice and others are hardware materials, clothing and for the labor cost. You know my sponsor I very thank you to our almighty God for all this, especially thank to you my sponsor. I hope you not regret to help me. I pray to God that you always give more blessing and have a good health and more power to you.

Respectfully Yours,

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bragging on Fatuma!

This pretty young woman with the striped shirt just turned 17 years old in August. She is going to school to be a teacher, so she is temporarily living in the UK. The cool thing about her being in the UK is that we can have daily contact via e-mail!! I can't keep up with the e-mails daily, but we usually chat several times a week. Jaden and Morgan (my biological children- for those who do not know), also e-mail her. She has been a real joy in our lives! It is amazing how well you can get to know a person when you can e-mail back and forth constantly (as opposed to the snail mail system that takes months to hear back from a sponsor child).

The one thing that I will miss when she goes back to Tanzania will be the e-mails. Once she returns to her homeland of Tanzania to work, we will be back to the snail mail system =(

Fatuma is doing well in school and in her teacher training. She even returned to Tanzania for a week or two to practice some of her skills there. These photos are pictures of her teaching her class. I just had to show off her pictures and tell everyone what a great teenager she is!! I have not been sharing her e-mails like I do with the letters from sponsor children because with her being so grown up, it would not be appropriate. I know some of you with older children may know what I mean. The younger kids write about silly things and such. The older kids write things that are more personal.

Anyway, I am hoping to get to Zambia within a year or two, and would like to take a road trip on to northern Tanzania to visit with Fatuma. She is such an awesome young woman!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Henry's Annual Photo

Such a handsome young man!! He turns 10 on the 28th of this month. It is hard to believe he is almost a teenager. I have been sponsoring him since he joined the program 4 years ago. His smile always puts a smile on my face! =)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mrs. Mweemba's bike Part 2

Mrs. Mweemba is dancing and singing saying that we have given her legs. She says she will be able to go to church, attend meetings etc. She also wishes us, the American/International team and the sponsors/donors more of God`s blessings. She says when she dies, she would like to be buried with the bicycle wheel.

Mrs. Mweemba's bike Part 1

We received a generous donation from a donor who wanted to provide a bike for Mrs. Mweemba. Mrs. Mweemba did not know the bike was coming. When Chim and team took the bicycle to Mrs. Mweemba, it was a very big surprise. When they told her that somebody purchased a bicycle for her in line with the first video of appeal. She really thanked God for the donation. She could not believe that the bicycle was her. She started rolling on the ground as a sign of appreciation. Thanks to the sponsors for touching lives!!

Fundraiser #34 for Maria only needs $280

$100 has already been raised for Maria so far. This is terrific news for her family who will be using the fundraier money to start a business. The business is well thought out. In fact, it is estimaed that in 2 months time the initial investment will already be paid for. They will reinvest and keep the business going. They only need $280 more to make this dream a reality. To help Maria, please donate to her page on FirstGiving here Thank you!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Nisha's Fundraiser is Compete!!

Thank you to all who helped get this fundraiser funded!!! Nisha and her brother will now get the tutoring they need!! What a great gift to give some one- an education!!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

iGive Check #2 Has Arrived!!

Our second iGive check has arrived!! It is very exciting because this one allowed for $37.58 to be disbursed into both current fundraisers we have going on. If you are not already signed up with iGive, make sure to get signed up and put Make a Change as the beneficiary! It makes funding these fundraisers go smoother for sure! I, also, put in my personal contribution as did John, so both fundraisers are looking better! Nisha needs less than $68!! Her link is here
And Maria needs a little under $300. Her link is here:

Thanks for all you do!!

Perla's Small Project pics and report

Post from Susan regarding the MAC fundraiser that was done for her sponsor child Perla in Mexico:

Gifts Provided

One box of groceries
One Cleaning supplies
One bed frame
One mattress
Four burner stove

Perla's mother was very happy to know that the sponsor was going to help them with the donation. Perla was very happy to have a bed of her own.

Perla's thank you letter to all of you.

Dear Donors.
Hello! I am Perla. I am very happy for your donation. I got a stove which will be very useful to prepare meals because I am a very good eater and also I received a bed to sleep very comfortable and groceries like cookies, sugar, salt and jelly. Thank you very much! I will work very hard at school so you can feel proud of me and I will pray God for you.
Thank you very much,


note from Perla's sponsor.
A big thank you for all that donated. When I saw the photos of Perla I knew that it was only because of all of you, Heather for all she does and the group that I was able to help Perla's family. As one of my sponsored children once wrote to me (May God bless you abundantly so you can help more children)


Monday, October 4, 2010

Make a Change Fundraisers End of 2010

Here is the list of how the rest of the fundraisers shake out:

36. Katja~ Ana Gabriela in Guatemala

37. Candace~ Adriana in Colombia

38. Cherise~ Sabrata in India

39. Barbara~ Miguel in Mexico

40. Bernie~ Josselyn in Ecuador

41. Shana ~ Sonia & Yiseth in Colombia

42. Dorothee ~ Sayonika in India

43. Heather G ~ Diego in Ecuador

44. Holly ~ Yoselyn in Honduras

45. Jennifer~ Santanu in India

46. Heather M~ Henry in Colombia

47. Candace~ Johel in Colombia

48. Barbara ~ Crismairy in Dominican Republic

49. Inga ~ Yuselfi in Colombia

I would, also, like to do the 12 days of Christmas Raffles like we did last year. I am not sure whose fundraisers will be up at that time, but it is something that we can revisit in November. We are shutting off the fundraisers at number 49 for a little while. We will have fundraisers going on next year for CHILDHOPE-ZAMBIA as well, but those will not be via FirstGiving. Our two current fundraisers are:
34. Maria's IGP
35. Nisha's Tutoring
Thank you for your continued support!

Nisha's Fundraiser

Nisha's fundraiser is going well, and e only need $150 more to complete it! Yay!! This fundraiser will pay for tutoring so that the children can excel in school. If you would like to help this great cause, you can donate via this link: . Thank you in advance!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Mack's 2010 Trip #6 – Children's Day at Zizima

A post from Mack:
After changing into swim clothes, we started out the day playing on rings in the wave pool. I think that was the favorite activity for all of our kids, and they probably would've been happy staying there all day. The wave machine was turned on occasionally to add excitement, and about every 15 minutes, a big barrel filled with water and dumped down onto the heads of the children waiting eagerly below. (You can see it in action in the background of the photo of Victor's three boys)

Our "camp" was set up in the shade near the wave pool, where the mothers sat in chairs and guarded our stuff. We would return there for drinks, breaks from play, and (in my case) to switch out camera batteries. All was well until we tried to venture forth into other portions of the park.

I was afraid that my older kids were getting bored in the wave pool, so I petitioned the group to relocate to the slide area. Chaos ensued at that point … well, for me, anyway. I wanted to go down the water slides with my boys, but I also wanted to be on hand to document every moment of our park experience on film*. This task turned ugly, because now everyone was scattered hither and yon. Most of our group members were engaged in the cycle of zooming down a slide, then hiking back to the top to go again (happily, the lines to ride were nowhere near as bad as they get in the U.S.). But the slides were too scary for some of the younger kids, so Sam and Darwin disappeared into the kiddie area and Victor took Carlos on a float around the circular "river". Somewhere during all of this, little Wilmer was discovered missing. An immediate hunt took place, and he was quickly located playing by himself in "Laguna de los Micos". (I have looked up the Spanish translation of "micos" and have learned that it means either a long-tailed monkey or the external parts of a woman's genitals. I assume the park was aiming for the former definition, because their mascot is a monkey.)

*I should mention that I was using my scuba diving camera, so I was free to frolic in the water and take endless photos all at the same time.

We re-grouped and returned to the wave pool, while Victor went to order lunch for everyone. This was where the park's over-population problem really hit us. The line to order food was long, and the line to pick it up even longer. Eventually, though, we were all seated with our drinks and chicken boxes. Ick. At least it was inexpensive chicken, as I heard Victor saying that the bill for feeding 23 people was only $60. Sixty is the magic number at Zizima, I guess.

After lunch, I brought out about eight inflatable beach balls for the kids to toss around. First, they had to be inflated, which proved to be a difficult task. Jonathan was able to blow his up right away, and Axel eventually managed one. I'm not sure how the rest got done, but the kids had a really great time once the balls were round and ready to go! The older ones showed off their soccer moves, while the little ones just knocked 'em all over the place. At 15 cents each (on a post-summer bargain table), the beach balls were well worth the money I spent!

The kids were allowed to play for probably longer than they should've been … but all too soon, we were told it was time to leave …

To be continued …