Friday, March 22, 2013

The Giving Tree - Dalton, MA

For the second year in a row, The St Agnes Church and Academy in Dalton, MA sponsored a ‘Giving Tree’ to raise money for the medical needs of our children here in Yako.

This year, the project was completely run by the Student Council of St Agnes Academy and the children did an outstanding job!  The students cut out and laminated pictures with gift ideas on them and then tied them to two trees.  One tree was placed in the school and one was placed in the church.  The students promoted the Giving Tree in the school and the church and a notice was also put into the church bulletin.  The students and parents then selected cards from the tree and turned in their donations.

In total, the children raised more than $6,000!  These funds will go to meet the medical needs of medicine and even emergency hospital care when it is needed for our children.

Thank you Mr James Stankiewicz, Headmaster of St Agnes Academy for allowing your children to bless the children of Yako in this way!

Thank you Father Christopher Malatesta for allowing this opportunity for your generous congregation to bless us and our children here in Burkina!

And, thank you so much students of St Agnes Academy for all that you do in collecting cans to sponsor two of our children, in writing letters to our children, in sending gifts to our children, and in raising this huge amount of money for our medical program!

May the Lord richly bless you! 

One of our nurses, Josie, treating one of our babies

LAPS - Let’s All Provide Supplies

Again this year on Valentine’s Day, the Freeman School in Aurora, Illinois, held LAPS, a fund raiser to benefit the Sheltering Wings Primary School.  Freeman School was the primary school for Evelea and Therese Solgos and even though the girls have graduated to middle school, the school principal allowed the girls to return this year for this annual fund-raiser event.

Evelea and Therese each had an opportunity to speak to and encourage the children before the students began making their laps.  The children raised money by getting sponsors to sign their sheets giving a certain amount for each lap that they walked or ran. 

Thank you Mr Steinheimer for initiating this event!

Thank you so much, Mr Smith, principal of Freeman School for allowing your children to participate in this event!

Thank you to all of the children who worked to get sponsors and then did their part in running, walking, and skipping laps around the school gym!

Thank you to the wonderful Solgos family for loving our Therese!

The children raised over $2000 and the money will go towards new school books and desks for next year.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

New Canadian Friends!

We love saying ‘Welcome to Burkina!’ but saying goodbye is never fun.  And, this was particularly true for our new Canadian friends, Faith Cathcart and Deb Armstrong. 

Faith and Deb spent an action packed month with us at the orphanage. 
Faith and kids

They cared for and loved on babies.      


They made crafts like huge colorful flowers which even our biggest boys loved making. 

They brought in toothbrushes and toothpaste which enabled us to launch a tooth brushing program in our primary and secondary schools. 

They made wooden airplanes with our primary school children. 

They spent time with our 6th grade class making decorations for the classroom. 
They divided all of our older children into groups and took them out for lunch and a coke to get to know them better. 
They made beautiful beaded creations with the children.

They made Canadian flags with the third grade class.
They assisted in our Widows Basket food distribution. 
They assisted in a Child Sponsorship special gift distribution. 
They brought chocolate for Ruth!  Boy, this made me smile!

This is Deb and Steve
They cooked wonderful meals for us and made yummy apple crisp.  Thanks Debbie!

So many memories!  So much fun!  So much learning and experiencing life together.  We miss you Faith and Deb.   

Please come back soon?

Playing Inside the Box--

The joy of children playing with boxes is international! 

What can you do with a box that is really too big to use for storage?  Well, turn it into a playhouse!  And that is just what our short-termers did for our toddlers.

Thanks to Jon, Evan, Becky, Becca, and Tenielle for your creative work!

Hey Guys!  Look!  This is fun!

Brushing teeth is fun!

Becca helping to brush Marie's teeth!

This past December we were blessed by a visit from two Italian dental students.  The students held training in oral hygiene for our baby care-takers and our nurses.  The training was fun and interesting and our baby care-takers were amazed to learn that a baby is born with his permanent teeth already formed in his mouth! 

Big girl Grace!
And then recent short-term visitors, Faith Cathcart and Debra Armstrong from Canada, brought in innumerable toothbrushes and toothpaste to the orphanage!  Seems like God had a plan to improve the oral hygiene of both the orphanage children and all of our school children!

We have had toothbrush holders made with a little pocket for the toothbrush of each of our toddlers and similar holders made for each of our classrooms.  With these, the children can safely store their toothbrushes from day to day.

Our toddlers now hurry to finish their meals so that they can brush their teeth!  What fun!