I guess now that is officially the middle of the month and I am finally feeling awake (well, sort of) it's time to move past December’s Challenge and actually accept that it is January. Does anyone else have a difficult time adjusting to a New Year? I always feel like I am not quite ready to accept that the holiday season is over.
Well, I thought I would conclude December's Challenge with some photos of one of the orphanages we visited while we were there and some things I learned as a mother during our visit.
We arrived at Home and Life Orphanage and were greeted by their lovely staff with smoothies and pastries. We met Root, the owner and manager, who left his career as an engineer to start Home and Life with his wife Rasa right after the Tsunami in 2004. There were many displaced children without parents, homes, and money at the time and he felt the need to do something about it. Truly such a great example of "Living for Others."
Today, most of the 26 children are from families who have been affected by the Tsunami and are unable to provide for them and want to give them a chance at a better life. Root's philosophy is to create a "family environment" and really considers those children and staff members as family.
P.S. Have I mentioned that Thai people are so sweet with children? Little Man got plenty of attention and treats during his stay!
If you recall in a recent post (here) I spoke about wanting to teach my children to always be "anxiously engaged in a good cause."
I have learned that children are never too young to grasp that concept... not even a two-year-old and we all know that for a two-year-old to share let alone give up candy and toys is a MIRACLE! I was blown away with Little Man's ability to grasp the concept of sharing with those who are in need of our help.
Refusing to eat a single piece of candy because he wanted to "Save it For the Kids," he anxiously was handing out toys, candy, and school supplies. He could have done that all day long!
Consequently, throughout the entire trip he continually was pointing out and wanting to help someone he saw in need. On a stop from a local convenience store he saw a man who appeared to be sick and asleep on the street. Little Man reached into his pocket and gave him the shiny new coin that he had just received moments earlier. We couldn't believe how much this TWO-YEAR-OLD was willing to share with others... that to me is "Anxiously Being Engaged in a Good Cause."
Root gave us a tour of the orphanage and told us more about the history of the foundation. One of their latest achievements is their coffee and bakery where many of the children are taught skills and how to work and manage money. The Bakery helps pay for the Orphanage.
We were able to see their garden, playground, and the rooms where the kids slept which have all come from funds they raised as a foundation. Even some of the buildings were hand built by staff and the children!
During the conclusion of our tour, Root showed us some art work that the children had done. He mentioned taking the kids to have an art lesson in a neighboring city. I was blown away with how skilled and beautiful each one of the pieces were!
He talked to me about wanting to raise more funds to put towards their art lessons and a possible art gallery at the foundation. As an art lover myself, I loved that idea! Since then, my mind has been busy thinking up ways on how to help him make that possible.
So, stay tuned.
Meanwhile, if you are interested in doing a service project and raising funds for an orphanage- I highly suggest contacting Home and Life. There is still so much need.
You can find out more info on their website: http://www.homelifethailand.com or follow them on facebook here.
More Thailand update to come!