This is currently our favorite story to tell. It's hopeful, encouraging and most importantly it's true. The story's villain doesn't need any embellishing: these precious kiddos are up against some nasty stigmas, beliefs and statistics that tell us that their life expectancy and quality are nothing to be envied. However, one of the heroes in our story paints a different picture: Camphill Hermanus has been providing care for the very kiddos that we fight for the rights of for the past 64 years and sees these children as valuable and so worth loving. We love that, and we love them. We're partnering with this incredible organization by buying them a bus to get 30 children to and from the school for at least 12 years.
We love to tell stories of kids with special needs in Africa, but we've decided that we don't want to leave the endings of the stories that we tell the same as when we find them. We're re-writing them from sad, moving stories into fairytales with the happiest of endings that are so mind-blowing that the depth of our dreams for these kids overwhelm us. In our stories, there are two main heroes: our partner organizations who are helping our kids with their hands and generous donors like you who are helping our kids with your heart and resources. Here's your next heroic move...
HOW MUCH DID YOU PAY FOR SCHOOL?
By partnering with organizations that have systems and structures in place and are already serving the types of children that we love so very much, we're able to eliminate so many of the start up costs that many start up organizations face. We don't need to buy land, build buildings, or hire staff -- they've gone ahead and done that already.
We bought a dang bus.
You better believe we did it. By raising $15,000 we enabled them to bring 30 precious children to and from school for at least 10 years. Do the math, and that's $500/child for a complete education or $50/child annually. In America, our field trips cost more than that a year! With over 60 people donating to make this bus possible Camphill is running with more children than ever before.
Let's do it again.
Not another bus, but an even more impactful project. All movements towards love and acceptance of children with special needs started with their parents advocating for the rights of their child. Unfortunately, the cultures that these children come from tell their parents that they're cursed or demon possessed and as a result their parents do not fight for their rights. We've heard recent reports from Camphill of a child 15 year old child being left in preschool his entire life and another 16 year old being tied to a dog post in the back of the house and that is not okay. We're fighting to change the negative perception of disability so that parent's will advocate for their children and we won't have to come in and save the day.
The parent empowerment project consists of a family meal and support group with other families of children with special needs, classes on both basic parenting and parenting and communicating with a child with special needs, and additional resources and speakers from nearby non-profits that can help further expand the amount of support our parents currently have. The cost per family participating in this project is $10/week for nine weeks.
Grab your pen, change their story.
90 families. 9 weeks. 10 dollars.
I know what you're thinking: this problem is huge, there's no way that my contribution no matter how big or small could change the injustice these kiddos are dealing with. I'm here to tell you that you're wrong. My parents were my biggest advocates in life and I cannot imagine how drastically different my life would be had they not believed in me.
To educate, empower and encourage the parents of our kids it will only cost us $10/family per week for nine weeks. Every single one of us spends $10 on something that we don't need. I spend it on Chipotle, Ashley spends it on Taco Bell, my friend Josh spends it on Ben and Jerry's and my friend Erin spends it on coffee. Don't get me wrong, these are all great things, but they're also things that we love and are willing to give up for 9 weeks so that parents can turn into their child's biggest advocates like my parents were for me.