Paying for their children’s education used to be a struggle. But after taking part in Devent’s entrepreneurial program, Aidah Kasadha and her husband managed to develop their farm and make it profitable. Now they are able to receive orphans in their home as well as helping their friends make more profit in their businesses.
– We won’t give you cash, but we can teach you how to breed pigs in order to make a living.
That’s Aidah Kasadha’s answer when friends who are struggling with their income ask for her help. So far, she has helped four friends develop their farms to be more efficient and profitable. That’s something she learned when she took part in Devent’s entrepreneurial education in Butabala, Uganda. The ideas and the support she received there helped her make the right changes in order to increase profit.
Aidah Kasadha and her husband started by taking a loan to buy four pregnant sows – now they have more than 20 pigs. And selling pigs is a big part of their business today. By increasing profit they were able to make several important investments: they started to grow bananas and were able to buy corn seed with better quality. This caused their harvest to more than double, which means that they are now able to sell parts of it months later, when prices are as much as twice as high.
The changes Aidah has made since the education has increased the family income considerably – paying for their children’s education is no longer a struggle. Now the situation is totally changed and the family has been able to welcome several orphans to their home.
The situation in eastern Ukraine is getting worse – some families are fleeing to the western parts of the country, but many people still remain. Children’s Mission helps refugee families in the west as well as those who are still in the war zone. Last week, Children’s Mission made a trip to visit and help 135 families in areas badly affected by the war.
– The trip was tough, but our team had the opportunity to help 135 families in Kramatorsk, Lyudmila Lonyuk says.
The food packages, clothes, shoes, bedclothes and other necessities that were handed out were very well received – not to mention the toys given to the children. As shown in the pictures, the situation is very difficult. Roads and bridges are destroyed, homes are demolished. A church in Kramatorsk has opened its doors for people fleeing from Donetsk and Debaltsevo – people who no longer have a home and are living in extreme vulnerability.
Children’s Mission is also helping refugees that have travelled to the region of Lviv in western Ukraine. Yesterday 6 tons of food, clothes, shoes and other necessities were handed out to refugee families in Lviv!
– All the families have small kids. They need food, clothes, shoes, diapers, shampoo and soap, Lyudmila says and gives a big thank you to all our donors:
– The people we are helping are really thankful for your fantastic gifts.
Coming to an area outside the war zone means a lot, especially for the children.
– When I asked the children what they liked here, they all answered the same thing: “There are no bombs here, it’s so peaceful and you can walk on the streets”, Lyudmila says.
Children’s Mission is working with the Pentecostal church in Lviv that is currently taking care of 110 refugees from Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine.
– I want to say thanks, from the bottom of my heart, to all of you donors for the help you are giving to Ukraine.
– The needs are greater every day, but thanks to you, we can help many of God’s smallest.
860 school children in the Philippines receive support for their education from Children’s Mission. Emma and Kenneth Newman are volunteers in the Philippines and have met some of those children in Payatas.
A regular way of income for people living in Payatas is sorting and selling garbage. Thousands of families live on the streets right next to the large dumpsite. Being able to go to school isn’t something people here take for granted. Many of the children have to stay at home to babysit their siblings and can’t afford to go to school. There is no school fee, but many families do not have the possibility to pay for school uniforms, books and other material.
This is something Jessa, 18 years old, knows very well. She struggles with the thought of quitting school every day. Her family needs her help at home, especially since her father, Bonifacia, is ill. Jessa only has two years left until college graduation, but the family’s need for money and food on the table is urgent.
Jessa receives support for her education from Children’s Mission’s sponsorship program, which is also supported by ABC Iceland. Without this she wouldn’t be able to finish her studies.
She is hoping that her education “Hospitality and Restaurant Services” will help her get a job so that she can provide for the education of her siblings. None of her siblings or parents finished school. Her oldest brother, 27 years old, works at the dumpsite. Her 25- year old brother is married and has two children of his own. Jessa’s mother who is 48 years old works as a cleaner two days a week and makes 350 pesos a day. Her father is fighting asthma and can barely stand or walk. He is 60 years old and only works when he can manage.
Families work together and help each other here in the Philippines. There is no such thing as individualism – everyone helps to be able to put food on the table. Jessa is carrying a heavy load since her education can help her family to a better future. It’s hard to describe all the needs that exist here, but we know for sure that every peso makes a big difference in peoples lives. Financing a child’s education doesn’t only help that particular child, but their whole family as well, since family members look out for each other.
Jessa is a beautiful girl with a big smile telling us how happy she is for her friends in school – she has 42 classmates. School starts at 3 pm and ends at 9 pm, and it takes her one hour to get there. Her dream is to work as a tourist guide some day. We asked her what she would want to show us if we were tourists. She answered Boracay and Manilas Luneta park, since you can find a lot about the history of the Phillipines there. We encouraged her to stay in school so that she can come closer to her dreams. Her eyes teared up, and she smiled.
Emma and Kenneth Newman
Roula Khouri had a dream of giving refugee children in Lebanon a Christmas celebration. The dream came true, not just for Roula, but also for more than 300 children who celebrated a very special Christmas.
When Roula Khouri’s friend asked her how she wanted to spend Christmas, she was already hoping to be able to help children that had fled from the terror organisation IS in Iraq and Syria. Last summer, during a trip to Lebanon, she had seen two small children without shoes. And that’s when it started.
– I looked at them and I realised that there are so many kids like these two boys, begging for money. When Roula’s friends told her she couldn’t help them all she got even more convinced.
– I thought that if we all do something, then we could make a difference, Roula Khouri says.
She made a decision to do what she could to give a better Christmas to refugee children in Beirut. Maybe two, maybe ten. In the end – it turned out to be 300 children. Children’s Mission supported the project financially and Roula Khouri started to work to turn her ideas into reality. She contacted friends in Sweden and Lebanon to raise money and collect winter jackets, which are expensive and very hard to get in Lebanon. A few months later, Roula and her friend Tina Fosselie packed over 200 jackets in nine bags and took the flight to Beirut to create a dream-Christmas for hundreds of children.
A Swedish Christmas
A few days before Christmas, 200 children got the opportunity to see a show on one of Beirut’s finest theaters. The big Christmas party was planned to the 23rd Roula wanted to give the children a Swedish Christmas celebration and the party turned out to be a very special experience with Lucia, dancing around the Christmas tree and the Swedish Christmas tradition: watching Donald Duck on television.
– It was all very exciting and new for the children, they were very happy, Roula says.
The children had a lovely evening and got good food, Christmas gifts and jackets. But Roula wanted something more.
– My dream was that it wouldn’t just be an ordinary Christmas party where the children had a meal, got gifts and then went home. We wanted to show the children that we love them and that they are special, she says.
– We wanted them to understand that they are loved and that many people are thinking of them. We tried to show them love and make them feel special.
The trip and the encounter with hundreds of kids and families made a strong impression on Roula, her daughter and her friend Tina.
– We couldn’t hold back our tears, we knew that they have suffered severe traumas and really horrible situations, she says.
They decided to visit refugee families who didn’t have the possibility to come to the party. One of the families they visited had lost their 4-year old son in an IS-attack and another one of their children could no longer walk because of an injury from the attack. All the families had similar stories.
– We cried a lot, but we were happy to be able to what we wanted to.
– We didn’t want to just give money, because money will be spent. But being able to show this love was very special.
Roula Khouri’s dream-Christmas impressed many – she was interviewed live on one of the biggest networks in Lebanon, MTV and a big Christian tv-network reported from the Christmas party.
– They liked the fact that it wasn’t just a small party, but that we met with the families and wanted to know about their background in order to be able to help them in the best way possible, says Roula.
– We were so pleased with the fact that we were able to do so many things. The children got really nice Christmas gifts and that was a big thing for them.
– It turned out exactly how we wanted it to, says Roula Khouri.
Watch a clip from the Christmas Party here and see more pictures below.
Children’s Mission’s work in the Ukraine right now is intense – a lot of people are in need of help because of the war. The days are filled with visits at hospitals, day care-centers, schools and villages. Join Lyudmila Lonyuk and see what an ordinary day with Children’s Mission in the Ukraine can look like.
It was still early in the morning when Lyudmila Lonyuk’s phone rang. It was Mykola Krykota calling, a pastor that Children’s Mission is working with. He told Lyudmila that Katia, a woman that Mykola Krykota and his wife have been taking care of since she was a child, had given birth to a boy the night before. They boy was born several weeks early and very ill. He had been rushed to the children’s hospital in Lutsk, 130 km from their home. Katia still hadn’t met her little son in the morning since she was undergoing surgery.
– The family was worried for the baby, he needed both medicine, food, clothing and many other things, Lyudmila says.
Lyudmila immediately went to the hospital in Lutsk.
– We brought nice baby clothes, bedclothes and other necessities to the hospital. Children’s Mission has now made sure that the boy has the medicine, food and clothes that he needs.
– Giving help to sick children is one of the most important things in the work of Children’s Mission, Lyudmila says.
Right now Children’s Mission is providing medicine for five new-born children.
While they were at the hospital in Lutsk, they visited the cancer department.
– Two weeks ago, I met a very special boy there, so I wanted to see him again, Lyudmila says.
– I was glad to know that little Andriy is better now.
The team also distributed medical equipment from Children’s Mission’s German partner Humedica.
After the visit at the hospital, the team went on to visit people in the village Sadiv where they held a Day of Social Justice.
– We gathered people, told them of God’s love and care, presented No Corruption Generation and gave out food packages, Lyudmila says.
– It’s so important that elderly, lonely peoples and people with disabilities don’t feel forgotten but loved and needed.
They also held a meeting at the school in Sadiv where they introduced the No Corruption Generation, among other things.
– The children sang songs to us and we talked about how they look at the future of Ukraine.
– The future belongs to the children and investing in them means investing in the future of Ukraine.
On the way back from the village the team visited a day-care center, another hospital and two disadvantaged families with many kids.
– We have helped these families during a year and we have seen so many positive changes. My heart is rejoicing!
Lyudmila’s last appointment for the day was seeing Olha, one of the children from Chernobyl that Children’s Mission has been helping. Olha is a designer now and works at a print shop in Lviv. Now she needs money to be able to undergo surgery – and that is something that Children’s Mission will help her with.
– She was so happy when I told her the good news, says Lyudmila.
This is what the days at Children’s Mission in the Ukraine look like: visits at schools, in villages, at day care-centers, in refugee camps and at hospitals. This work is making a big difference in the lives of many.
– Every day is filled with special moments and blessings, Lyudmila says.
En morgon för ett par år sedan fick Lyudmila Lonyuk, som leder vårt arbete i Ukraina, ett samtal från Barnmissionens partners på familje- och ungdomsavdelningen i Lutsk. De berättade att en 20-årig kvinna ville lämna bort det barn hon hade fött dagen innan. Kvinnan, Halyna, var student och barnets pappa fanns inte med i bilden. Hon var rädd för att ringa sina föräldrar i hembyn och berätta om barnet. Hon hade inte berättat att hon var gravid och nu var hon naturligtvis rädd för hur de skulle reagera. Så den unga mamman bestämde sig för att lämna sin son på sjukhuset. Det kunde ha blivit en sorglig historia.
Men kvinnan från familjeavdelningen sa att Barnmissionen kanske kunde hjälpa den unga mamman och hennes pojke. Kanske skulle hon välja att behålla sitt barn om de pratade med henne?
Historien rörde Lyudmila väldigt mycket.
– Vi plockade ihop fina kläder, en barnbibel och andra saker till Ostap och skickade det till sjukhuset, berättar hon.
– Barn är Guds välsignelser och vi ville hjälpa den unga mamman. Hon var inte en dålig mamma, bara ung, ensam och väldigt osäker på sin framtid.
När Halyna hörde om Guds kärlek och när hon såg alla gåvor som ni, våra givare, skickade till Ostap, blev hon väldigt rörd. Hon älskade såklart sin son, men hon var rädd och undrade hur hon skulle kunna ta hand om sin bebis Ostap.
– Jag tror att hon hade tusentals frågor och inte ett enda svar, säger Lyudmila. Men Gud förändrade situationen på ett ögonblick.
Kvinnans föräldrar åkte till sjukhuset i Lutsk med stor oro och många frågor.
– Men när de såg den lilla bebisen och hur många som visade omsorg om Ostap, när de kände Guds stora kärlek, då smälte deras hjärtan, säger Lyudmila.
Föräldrarna bestämde sig för att stödja sin dotter och sitt lilla barnbarn.
– Det var så fantastiskt när Halyna sa: ”Jag trodde jag var ensam i den här världen, men Gud har skickat så många för att hjälpa mig. Jag är inte rädd längre, allt kommer att bli bra med mig och min lilla bebis!” , berättar Lyudmila.
Nu är allt bra med Ostap, han växer upp med sin mamma, mormor och morfar som älskar honom.
– Ibland ringer Halyna till Barnmissionen och berättar om hur det är med dem, berättar Lyudmila.
Halyna har nu blivit klar med sina studier och ska börja arbeta.
– Idag är det helt omöjligt att tänka sig hur det skulle bli om hans mamma lämnade honom, säger Lyudmila.
– Barnmissionens arbete är väldigt speciellt – Gud satte oss där hans minsta är i nöd. Och det är så underbart att kunna hjälpa!
Sunity Hembrom used to fast in order to be able to pay for her children’s education. Now she has received two goats – a valuable source of income.
Sunity Hembrom, her husband and their four children has been struggling to make ends meet. Both of them used to be day labourers and worked very hard to be able to put food on the table. Their own needs came second. Despite the difficult circumstances, Sunity has done everything she can to give her children a good future. She managed to pay for two of her children’s education by not eating. Most days she would fast in order to afford school for her children.
When the family received two goats, the situation changed totally. Now they can breed more goats and have an income by selling the goat kids and the milk the goats produce. That her own children now can drink milk is something Sunity used to dream of. Before, they were never able to buy milk at the market.
What used to be a dream for the family is now reality.
En chans till ekonomisk självständighet. Det fick mr Kaindi från byn Mwatati i Kenya genom vår partner I Choose Life – Africa. Fembarnspappan som tidigare tjänade omkring 250 kronor i månaden kan idag både försörja familjen och skicka sina barn till skolan.
En av grundpelarna i det arbete som Barnmissionen driver i Kenya tillsammans med I Choose Life är att stärka människor till att bli ekonomiskt självständiga. Genom att träna människor i entreprenörskap och starta grupper för gemensamt sparande blir just det möjligt.
Det fick mr Kaindi själv erfara under 2013. I början av året gick han med i ett entreprenörskapsprogram och blev ordförande i en grupp av 20 personer som alla ville förbättra sin livssituation. Gruppen bidrog med pengar varje vecka och efter fem månader hade de sparat tillräckligt för att starta en gemensam affärsverksamhet.
Gruppen fick en bit land och snabbt bestämde de sig för vad de skulle odla.
– Efterfrågan på kruskål var stor och marknaden såg bra ut, säger Kaindi.
De förberedde jorden, köpte bra fröer lokalt och skötte odlingen enligt den rådgivning de fick från en av lärarna på I Choose Life. Efter bara två månader var det dags för skörd.
– Efterfrågan var helt otrolig, vi behövde inte ens skicka kålen till marknaden, familjer runt omkring kom direkt till oss och köpte, berättar Kaindi.
Gruppen gjorde en ordentlig vinst och det som Kaindi tjänade ihop som ett resultat från det framgångsrika projektet gjorde det möjligt att betala skolavgifterna för hans dotter som precis skulle ta examen.
Men det är inte slut här. Nu fortsätter affärsverksamheten att expandera – i år med en tomatodling.
– Jag tackar I Choose Life – Africa och deras partners för det arbete de gör i vår region, säger Kaindi.
En ö av hopp och kärlek på jorden. Det är vad Barnmissionens sommarläger var för 14-åriga Katya – en föräldralös flicka, ensam och bortglömd av alla andra. Idag är hon gift och har två egna döttrar.
När Katya växte upp var hon ensam. Lämnad av sina föräldrar växte hon upp på ett internat med många andra barn. Varje sommar åkte alla hem till sina föräldrar, släktingar eller bekanta.
– Men vissa barn stannade på barnhemmet, ingen ville ta hand om dem. En av dem var jag, berättar Katya.
Sin mamma har hon aldrig träffat, hon lämnade Katya på förlossningsavdelningen.
– Ingen besökte mig på barnhemmet. Jag kände mig vilsen och bortglömd i världen, min framtid verkade hopplös.
Men när hon var 14 år fick hon en inbjudan till Barnmissionens sommarläger på lägergården Dubechno.
– Den dagen förändrades mitt liv!
Lägret beskriver hon som en helt annan värld.
– För första gången i mitt liv kände jag att människor verkligen älskade mig och brydde sig om mig. Jag fick många nya vänner, ingen var elak mot mig och hela atmosfären på lägret var fylld med kärlek.
Den sommaren fick hon sina första egna leksaker, kläder och skor.
Vanligtvis stannar barnen på lägret i två veckor, men Barnmissionen hade sett till att Katya fick stanna på lägret hela sommaren eftersom hin inte hade någonannanstans att ta vägen.
Året därpå fick Katya komma till lägret igen och när hon hade gått ut skolan jobbade hon själv på lägret och hjälpte föräldralösa barn – precis som hon själv.
I dag har Katya en egen familj. Hon är gift med Ruslan och har två flickor – Solomiya och Liya.
– Vänner har hjälpt oss att köpa ett hus i en by nära Dubechno och Barnmissionen hjälper oss alltid med kläder, mat och många andra saker.
– Jag kommer alltid tacka Barnmissionen för att de för många år sedan hittade en liten glömd flicka och visade henne Guds fantastiska kärlek
In May, my family and I received a cow from a person I have never met or seen. It was like being struck by a lightning when we heard we would receive a cow – it was unbelievable!
My husband, one of our sons and I are day labourers while our youngest son goes to school. Because of lack of money, we have never been able to send our oldest son to school. Since we haven’t had work for a period now, we were afraid that we would no longer be able to pay for school for our younger son either. We were ready to end his education and send him to work.
Our son can continue in school
Now, this cow changed our plan. The cow has given us hope and made it possible for the family to keep paying for our son’s education. Through our cow, we now have an income that covers the cost for our sons education but also food and other needs. We are so happy and thankful for the donor who gave us the best gift a family could get. We are thankful for this unexpected blessing from an unknown person; your gift has changed our lives, given us hope and empowered us for the future.
The cow is our bank
The cow we received is our wealth and resource, it’s our bank. We still can not understand that we got a cow – it’s like a dream! I pray for God’s blessing over the person who created this dream.
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