“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
This famous quote from American cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead speaks to the heart of the purpose of Project Left Behind. Within our mission to enrich the lives of orphaned and neglected children, we see firsthand how one donation, one person can make a tremendous impact.
Think about the people you love the most and it’s impossible not to agree that a single human life is so incredibly precious and valuable. By caring about others and by taking action, even in small ways, we can improve the quality of life for the world’s most vulnerable humans: orphaned and neglected children. Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter and see how Project Left Behind, with your support, is changing the world.
Anna Maria Maybury
Director of Project Left Behind for NuttZo
CHILDREN’S HOMES UPDATES
Aishworya Children’s Home, Kathmandu Nepal
Recently the children partook in a dental camp sponsored by a local health organization and hospital. The program offers much more than just a check-up and dental work. The camp is designed to explain the importance of dental care through games and activities.
“Receiving knowledge while having fun at the same time is the best way to instill healthy habits,” says the home’s caregiver, Pramila.
Pramila also organizes a yearly medical health camp. Creating lifelong healthy habits is so important for children not living with family members who would usually guide and teach them to take care of themselves.
Tender Loving Care Orphanage, Hyderabad India
These young ladies in Hyderabad, India are doing quite well. The older girls now go to a boarding school in a town called Warangal that is better suited for their path to higher education. One of the girls is on track to study medicine and she therefore is going to a different boarding school that will support her in this quest. Talk about ending the cycle of disadvantage!
Many of the girls are going to be “aging out” of the system in the next year or two. This can be a vulnerable and scary time for children without families to offer them on-going support. Luckily, in India, if the girls attend college, they will be able to stay at the Tender Loving Care home. But there will always be those who are not on track to attend college. Project Left Behind is working to understand the unique situations for each of these children to make sure they are not left behind. Currently, Tender Loving Care is not accepting any new orphaned girls until they know if they can offer them the support they need and deserve. We believe in the work TLC is accomplishing and would love to help them take in more young women.
Semillas de Jesus, Urubamba Peru
Semillas de Jesus is something different to every child living there. For some it is their forever home. For others it’s a safe place from the unhealthy situation at their family home. For all it’s a means to quality education, love, and a warm bed. In this edition, we’re sharing a brief story about two children living at Semillas de Jesus.
Maria* (9 years old) and Fabian* (11 years old) are siblings who live an hour’s walk away from the nearest bus stop. That bus can take them another hour and a half to arrive in Urubamba to the school equipped to give them a quality education. Five hours of daily travel to get to school is unimaginable. Their mother is single and faces many challenges in providing for herself and her children. She has a small house and plants vegetables to sell. However, she works away from the home, and sometimes has to travel far and cannot return for several days. Maria and Fabian were being left alone in a very vulnerable situation. Now, they live at the children’s home during the week and attend school there. They return home on the weekends unless their mother is working outside of the house.
Maria is sweet, playful and open with her feelings. She likes to read and is doing well in her studies. However, Maria is detached from her mother and therefore often spends time with a family friend. The children’s home is trying to help her to maintain a healthy relationship with her mother. Fabian can be shy and serious at first, but warms up quickly and will talk to anyone. He is fascinated with riding his bike and enjoys singing and dancing too. School is a challenge for Fabian. Project Left Behind is working to better understand Fabian’s struggles in order to make sure he is not a child who slips through the cracks of the education system.
*Names changed to protect privacy.
The Meaning of “Orphan”
It is widely believed that statistically, children do the best living with their two biological parents according to a study published by the Center for Disease Control. Some children who cannot live with their parents have the next best privilege of living with extended family or being adopted. Others, mostly because of their age, mental or physical disabilities, live out their childhood in orphanages or group homes.
The word “orphan” tends to conjure up images of young children without a single living adult to care for them in a hospital-like room overfilled with beds and cribs. This was an accurate depiction in many countries during times of war, famine and uncontrolled disease. But our perception of an orphanage and the definition of an orphan was leaving the vast majority of vulnerable children left behind. Today, UNICEF and its global partners define an orphan as any child who is deprived of one or both parents to any cause of death. By this definition, there are 140 million orphaned children in the world. Since we know that children do best residing with two living biological parents, every child not growing up in that scenario is prone to vulnerability. This is why Project Left Behind exists. To read more about this complex and multi-faceted global concern please visit UNICEF.
Make a Difference in the Life of a Child
100% of each and every donation goes directly to the homes and children that PLB supports in Nepal, India, and Peru. Even a reoccurring donation of just $5 a month makes a difference.
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4th Annual Voluntourism Trip to Peru – Join Us!
There is nothing more powerful than our personal experiences. And there is no better medicine for emotional health than human connection. This is why our voluntourism trip to Cusco, Peru is so empowering. Voluntourism is the act of volunteering for good causes while traveling. We’ve seen it many times over: You get the best of both worlds combining the two experiences. This October, we will take a group of women to visit this sacred region of the world and connect to remarkable people at a grassroots children’s home.
The highlights of the trip include exploring Machu Picchu and intensive volunteer work at a local children’s home. In between these two highlights, you’ll be taking in this magnificent region with incredibly inspiring women, sampling the local cuisine and visiting other inspiring NGO projects. Past volunteers were awed by traversing through the heart of the breath-taking Sacred Valley and witnessing the “lost” city of the Incas-Machu Picchu firsthand. Connecting with locals and learning about Peruvian culture is also guaranteed through the time spent on this exciting voluntour.
Jill Sugar, a past participant who will be taking this trip for a second time, said she was reminded that giving kindness does us as much good as receiving it. “In deciding to go on this journey, my wish was to bring a touch of hope and happiness to the loving and beautiful Sacred Valley children, but really, this trip turned out to be a blessing returned to me,” she said.
The first step toward making the world a better place is to simply experience that place. COME WITH US and experience an adventure on a mission.
Learn more at www.plbvoluntours.org.
Project Left Behind’s Latest Addition
Project Left Behind is thrilled to introduce Elaine Brodie, a fulfillment specialist at NuttZo, as Marketing Coordinator for Project Left Behind. She has a business management and marketing degree from Cornell University and has worked for a local non-profit in environmental education. She’s raised three active children in San Diego and has a passion for helping disadvantaged children. In her free time, she is found volunteering with foster and special needs children at various surf camps. To read more about Elaine click HERE.