Over 250 sponsored children and their siblings attended our Christmas party. The kids enjoyed the Christmas story, an interpretive dance by four of the sponsored teenagers, music, games, cookies, candies, and drinks. Later, the teens had their own party at the sponsorship office where they gave each other homemade gifts and sang Christmas songs.
In early December, the staff held another party for the parents and guardians of the sponsored children. It was the first time they had been together since COVID began. One hundred thirty-nine showed up. After a training session on family planning (a topic requested by many in the group), they had lunch—and then passed out evaluation forms. Fikadu, the program director, called us immediately after to tell us there were zero criticisms—just “thank you,” “thank you,” “thank you.” The parents and guardians were especially grateful for the home visits our staff made during COVID to distribute food and other necessities. Several said, “If you weren’t there for us during COVID, we would not be alive today. We had no food.”
The team also surprised the families by distributing grain early—a few days before Christmas. Some of the parents cried for joy, as many would not have had food for the holidays. The children also received t-shirts, pants or dresses, underwear, and socks. They marveled, “Who would give such nice clothes to all of us? It must be from God.” Thank you to all who contributed to these Christmas gifts!