Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Starting Again

The same team from North Carolina met with another young boy, also 14 years old. There is no one in his family except a cousin who is also 14. They have been on their own for several years.

With ZOE he started a charcoal business, gathering wood and burning it. With a small grant he actually paid adults to work for him. The night before he was going to pack it in bags and take it to sell all the charcoal was stolen. You see how vulnerable children are.

But that did not stop he and his cousin who were living in a small building with other individuals. They had a mat on the floor with a tarp closing off their living space 8x8. But it was inside.

Determined they became a part of a banana juice business. He and others harvest the bananas and working with a large wooden trough they press and kneed the pulp. He then filters it and sells it.

Because it is not safe for several of these young children, a 4 room building is being constructed for them to call home. When he was sick others in ZOE pooled the little money they had so he could go to the clinic. They are family and work together to bring a new life to each other.

14 year old

There are many stories about the ZOE Orphan Empowerment program that I will continue to share them. Five members of our ZOE team from a church in North Carolina are also supporting a working group called Hope. We visited a 14 year old boy and his 2 younger brothers.

Their mother died just after the birth of their youngest brother. The two youngest went to live with a woman nearby leaving him on his own at 7 years old. When the boys got older they went to live with the oldest who at that time was 11.

Now with ZOE they are learning about healthy living. They share a bed off the floor and have containers for their beans. They have one pig and one goat and hope to get a cow. This is the first time they have beans to eat.

They thank ZOE for bringing them into the community of other orphans so they are not alone. He plans to have a business once he is trained. They have been on the program for just 3 months.

Hope now....where there was no hope!!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A New House

We arrived at our first gathering of members of the Twiyubake group while they were constructing a house for Timothy. Alice a social worker and John Pierre the associate director of ZOE were traveling with us. Siluver the group's mentor joined us at the house. Zoe brings adults together to help in the initial guidance and development of the working group.

Leaders from the group emerge along with one head of household to form the core of the group that is responsible for decision-making and caring for the health and well-being of all 58 orphans. Since the group was just identified in April they are still developing as a group and identifying leaders. They most likely will meet with leaders of another working group that has been together for 2 years. Zoe is raising up and empowering orphans to be leaders, successful in business and caring individuals.

This is the first house they are building as a group and it will take 1 month. Timothy greeted us with a huge smile and a hug for all we are doing to help them. He came to a nearby community, as a teenager and alone, to be with relatives. Unfortunately they did not want to feed another child so they chased him away to live on the streets. Zoe found him in poor health and very malnourished eating only 3 meals a week. He was invited to be a part of Twiyubake and now has food, soon a new home, hope and a future. He kept thanking Dave and I and said he looks forward to seeing us next year to share all he will be blessed with, most importantly this new family.

We too look forward to seeing how God is working in his life and those in the Twiyubake Working Group.

Note how easily they carry the heavy mud bricks and how we struggle to carry them. They are definitely heavy!!