In February, Shawn Phelps, the executive director of Jai Dee (Good Heart) Children’s Fund, based in Toronto, Canada, came to visit us for two weeks to help create fundraising ideas for SHM’s schools and also to donate some basic resources, in the amount of around US$1,000 (Rs. 42,500). With this money she purchased many books, pencils, mats, chairs, tube lights and all-important emergency lights, which are necessary since the power keeps going out in our district and it gets dark here early. She was very impressed after meeting our children (over 400 of them!) and checking out our formal teaching programs, vocational training projects, computer literacy program and kindergarten. She was especially impressed with the dedication and hard work of the volunteers. I was also impressed with Shawn and her dedication to her work, and also her great love of children. During her time here, she taught me many things, such as how to create this blog you’re reading right now!
While Shawn was visiting, she met an international artist and photographer from Mexico, Jose T. Moguel, at a local cafe and invited him to visit Samaritan Help Mission. Consequently, Jose spent three days visiting our projects and became very inspired by what he saw. He took many photographs, which may become part of his future exibitions and raise awareness of our beautiful children here who just need a little help. He also has some friends who make documentaries, so maybe in the future they will come and tell our story to the world!
While Shawn was here, I took her to visit our newest project, Bankra (see photo), which is 6 km away from Tikiapara, where our main projects are located. She was moved and encouraged by my plan to start a school for the children there. Currently there is no school there, and the children all work making various types of paper binding used at the centre of thread rolls/spindles. Their washing water is full of sewage. Without a school there is a little hope for a decent future. This is why I’m committed to building a school in this area and helping to create some hope and a better future for these children.
Shawn left us on Feb 16 to return to Toronto, with a promise to visit again. Thanks Shawn, the children and teachers of SHM all look forward to your next visit!