With Spring arriving in Arad, so does planting the gardens at Ana’s House and Stan Dragu (an additional property used for gardens and chickens). Everyone gets involved in planting a wide variety of fruits and veggies, as well as caring for the garden as plants begin to sprout. In addition to planting, 130 chicks have been purchased. About 80 of them will be used for food, while the other 50 will be for eggs. Roni’s 46 beehives have been moved to their spring location and are starting to “buzz” with activity meaning jarring honey is just around the corner.
Teodora is enjoying her time studying abroad in Portugal. Since she is staying in Coimbra, which is the same city where Oana Kis (Radu’s sister who grew up in Ana’s House) lives with her husband Antonio, she gets to meet Oana’s new baby! On May 3, Oana gave birth to her daughter, Sara. We are so happy for her and Antonio! Teo returns back to Ana’s House in June and will no doubt have many stories to share with the family.
Another one of our kids is getting an opportunity to study abroad for three weeks in September. Alexandra, who lives with the Dobrea family, received an Erasmus scholarship from the IT Department and will be heading to Spain with nine other students. She is excelling in school and is among the top of her class. She’s also having a lot of fun playing volleyball, which has been a great outlet after studying hard!
There are many vulnerable children in Kenya as a result of the acute poverty that plagues so many families. It is one of the reasons that children get abandoned, but also sometimes results in children being taken advantage of in the worst possible ways. This was the case for one little girl that was recently admitted to Hope for Orphans Rescue Center (HOREC).
Nduko Janet is four years old and has four other siblings. Her mother is very ill with HIV/AIDS and TB, and her father was killed this past year. Nduko’s mother is unable to care for herself, let alone her children. Her grandfather has been trying to help, but is already caring for four other children from another daughter who has abandoned her children, so food has been scarce.
Nduko’s aunt, who has no children, insisted that Nduko come live with her and her husband. It was reported though, that the living situation was not healthy or safe for Nduko. When staff from HOREC went to visit the home, they found the four-year-old in a field herding cattle. She had scars all over her hands and face and was malnourished. After a thorough investigation, it was found that Nduko had been enduring regular physical and emotional abuse.
When Nudko’s mother was presented with the opportunity for Nduko to live at HOREC where she would be safe, given good food and an education, her mother didn’t hesitate. She wanted what was best for Nduko, and she knew she had no means to provide it.
After a hospital visit, and getting medication to help her physical wounds heal, Nudko went to HOREC where she was given a warm bath, fresh clothing, a good meal, and a bed she could call her own. It’s uncertain how long Nduko will stay at HOREC (it will depend on the District Children’s Office on the best placement for her), but for now she is getting the care she needs and deserves. We praise God that HOREC is a safe haven for this child of God.
What makes a child happy? If your answer is a mountain of toys, all you can eat junk food and never having to go to school again, think again! While all kids would love these things to some degree, they aren’t the things that keep a child happy over the long run. Psychologists agree that it’s not things, but people and experiences that bring the most happiness (and that’s not just with kids!)
Our partner in India conducted a fun and informative exercise with our kids living in the children’s homes. The question was asked, “What makes you happy?” and the answers prove the point that it’s not things that make children happiest.
Here’s what Christina Grace from Hope Girls’ Home shared:
I love visiting and exploring new places in Hyderabad and my favorite place so far is the Golconda Fort. I am most happy when I can visit new places with my friends and spend time with them there. I also am happy when I get to spend time with our house mom. I love to share my experiences and stories with her.
Akshaya from Prema Girls’ Home shared this:
I am happiest when I spend time with my best friend Sruthi. Sruthi always listens to me and helps me out when I need it. I am also very happy to be at Prema Girls’ Home because I feel safe. I have made a lot of new friends and the people here take care of me. I am happy to go to school, and I am happy when I get to play at the park with my friends and we get to eat chocolate together!
What make you (or your child) happiest?!