Well, there are only days left before I head down to Africa and between procuring visas, getting all my immunizations, and finding US Dollars printed after 2003, I am scrambling to make sure that all my bases are covered. But I am happy to report that we now have 59 donors from 14 countries who have donated enough for 67 surgeries!
100% of all this global generosity is making a substantial difference to poor children around the world. This money has an immediate and tangible impact and when you hear the stories of what these kids and their families go through, $250 seems like a small price to pay to make such an enormous difference. After 12 grueling years, Erick Soita, who is pictured below, benefited from a simple operation made possible by The Smile Train.
Erick is from Kimili, a small village in Kenya that had never seen or heard of a child with a cleft palate before he was born. Besides being overcome by sorrow, Erick’s parents were also shunned by their tribe, who saw Erick as a bad omen.
Life provided Erick with more than his share of challenges. He found no reprieve from exclusion and ostracism. Children at school taunted him when the simple task of eating and drinking would cause food and drink to stream out of Erick’s nose. Even after school, Erick’s tribe forced him into solitude.
When Erick finally received the corrective surgery, his father was overjoyed that Erick would have the same opportunities as other children, remarking, “You cannot be happy when your child is not happy. I am so thankful to those people who have helped my family. They are welcome to come to my home anytime.”
Kenya has a special place in this installment of the blog. Besides being the home of a smiling Erick Soita and his family, Kenya is also the country I am flying into and out of for my trip up Kilimanjaro. I will have a few days free while I wait for my flight back to Berlin and I asked The Smile Train if I could possibly visit a local clinic to see first hand how your donations are materializing to improve lives. Well, today I was invited to visit a Smile Train clinic in Nairobi! Of course, I am thrilled to go and cannot wait to report back to all of you on how your hard earned money is being put to work!
Remember, if you are an ADC employee, then the ADC Foundation will match up to $1,000 of your contribution and it doesn’t count against your individual annual matching-gift program limits. No paperwork to fill out, just donate and email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will take care of the rest!