I feel so profoundly lucky to be able to travel back to iKhethelo Children’s Village in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa this summer! As many of you know, I fell in love with the 50 children at the orphanage on my first trip this winter. I was struck by their joy and energy (oh my gosh, their energy!), but most of all, their potential. As one of the teenage boys told me on my last night, as we lazily bounced on the makeshift trampoline as the sunset streaked golden yellow over the valley, these kids are the lucky ones. They’re the ones growing up in brightly-colored cottages on a hill with (usually) three full meals a day, instead of their peers living on the street. These kids’ lives are multiples harder than my own childhood and yours, yet they truly see themselves as the lucky ones. One precocious eight-year-old who always carried around a tattered easy-reader copy of Cinderella told me that she might run South Africa one day. And the thing is, she might. These kids have so much potential and through their education, medical care, food and shelter provided by donors like you, they can grab hold of that future waiting for them.
I’m returning this summer specifically to tap into this potential, especially among the teenagers. iKhethelo is incredibly well-run, which means that in a lot of cases, the graduating teenagers haven’t had to worry about jobs and money yet. One night on my last trip, just as the sun slipped behind the hill and the monkeys started chattering, two teenage boys and I sat on the still-warm earth and talked about life. They wanted to know how much money I make and whether I’m paid every day or once a year. They wanted to know how I get groceries and how I know what I’ll cook days from now. They wanted to know if I have to pay to go to the doctor. These and more are questions we’ll begin to answer over our ten-day trip with the teenagers this summer. We want to help equip them to leave iKhethelo and begin to live independent lives, empowered to change not only their own lives and those of their siblings, but also to change their community, their country, and our world. Luckily, we’re just laying the groundwork and providing an additional perspective, while the incredible full-time staff at iKhethelo are able to continue these lessons year round.
Our team is launching a fundraising effort for this trip so that we can make the most of our time in South Africa. We’d like to do a grocery shopping activity, for example, where we help the teens plan meals for the week and choose healthy options within their budget. How much raw chicken should you buy for a week? Good question. We’d also like to take them on field trips into the community to show them realistic jobs they could have as young people and to meet other Zulu adults living in their own community. We’ll also pay for our accommodations in the village, where we’ll be staying alongside the children, and paying for our own transportation and meals during the week so not to be a burden on iKhethelo. We also hope to have enough donations to run an activity for the sweet younger ones, so they don’t feel left out, and help them be a part of our trip as well.
Any extra money will go toward donations for iKhethelo. Last trip, we raised a little over our goal and were able to buy fresh underwear for the entire village, a dire need. The more money we raise, the bigger the impact we can make.
I would be so honored if you would support these children in any way you can, big or small. I would love to tell you more about these incredibly strong young people, so please reach out any time if you want to chat.
Thank you for reading this far, and for considering donating,
100% OF YOUR DONATION IS TAX-DEDUCTIBLE THROUGH THE GIVING LINK ON THE RIGHT.
Giving by check:
IF YOU WOULD PREFER TO GIVE BY CHECK, CHECKS CAN BE MAILED TO
PO BOX 1007 AGOURA HILLS CA 91376
PLEASE WRITE IN THE MEMO: IKHETHELO 2018 TRIP
Note: Per IRS regulations, you may not write names on the check.
We are raising funds as a team. That means, if a teammate raises more than his/her portion, the excess will be used for other team members and projects. Please note that according to IRS Guidelines (Pub 526) in order for a donation to be deductible, its use must be left to the discretion of the charitable organization.