One of my favourite organizations, Sevenly, (see my blog post about them for a quick run-down of their aim, or watch the infographic video below), has been featured in one of Facebook's 10th Anniversary 10 Stories videos!
Take a few minutes to watch 'Anchored' here (I couldn't find a copy on Youtube, so you'll have to click the link to see it!).
Treasures: Village of Hope
Today, I'd like to call your attention to this amazing ministry that has been set up in Guatemala. I am so impressed by the vision and determination shown by the family that is working to establish Village of Hope. The way they choose to simply live saying yes to any situations that are presented to them is inspiring. Unfortunately, their ability to help has been restricted because they simply do not have the space to take in any more people in need of their assistance. Please click over here to read a little bit more detail about their work and how we can help, and take a few minutes to watch the below video to see them in action.
Today I'd like to share a trailer for a new documentary with you. I think it is a very powerful two minute segment, and I can't wait to see the full movie!
Treasures: Mother's Day & END7
Last month, I shared an advertisement by END7, which I felt was overdoing the shock aspect of their work. So I was pleased to see an email in my inbox the other day, promoting a “new, light-hearted” video for Mother’s Day. I’ll let you watch and make your own decision as to whether they succeeded in that aim.
I do think that their mission, to end 7 preventable diseases by 2020 is a difficult one to make light-hearted, so I think they did the best they could. A great thing about this organization is that even the littlest amounts of money can have a dramatic impact on a person’s life – it costs about 75c to protect someone from these parasites!
I think that as we all take time to appreciate our mothers today, we should ponder the number of children who lose their mothers, and the mothers who lose their cherished children due to easily preventable illnesses. I am so blessed to have been born into a family with relative wealth and to have an abundance of resources at my disposal, which allow me to get treatment when ill, attend school, and live comfortably.
In honour of the mothers around the world who are struggling to provide for and raise their precious children, Happy Mother's Day, everyone!
This is a commercial that I received in my email inbox, as an update on the not-for-profit that I supported once in the past. END7 is an organization that is working to end 7 diseases by 2020, all of which can be easily prevented with a simple packet of pills.
Personally, although this organization is doing good work, I think they have chosen to use excessive shock and guilt to sell their cause. What do you think of the commercial? Do you think it was effective?
Let me know your thoughts!
A very sweet Reece’s Rainbow adoptive mama, who blogs over at Micah 6:8 is working very hard this month, trying to raise funds for a large group of specially chosen people. She has called it the Mulligan Stew – naming it after a depression-era stew that was made by everyone contributing what they had to offer, to make a more nutritious meal to share. The Mulligan Stew is a giveaway with many donated prizes, and it only costs you $5 to enter!
This fundraiser includes eight adopting families who are struggling to reach the numbers needed to rescue their children. There are eleven waiting children who have many strikes against them – special needs, older child, male, in the worst institutions – and who we can help by getting their faces seen by more people, and raising funds so their future families have a little extra help. Some of these kids have severe special needs that require medical attention, or at risk of aging out of the system, and families are racing against the clock to try to reach them in time.
The goal is to raise $2000 for each family, and $1000 for each child. At this point, there is less than one week left in the Mulligan stew, and many of these families and children are being blessed with matching grants that will double your donation!
Now for some stories of the people in the giveaway.
I challenge you to join the Mulligan Stew – everyone can find a way to spare $5, and it goes to a great cause and enters you into a giveaway. Buy one less coffee this week, or pack a lunch instead of going out to eat, and make a difference in a child’s future by helping them come home to their families.
Visit the Mulligan Stew by clicking on the below picture, to see pictures of the families and children, and find links to their Reece’s Rainbow profiles to read their individual stories and donate to them. Or, click on the link at the beginning of this post, to visit the Mulligan Stew blog and read more updates and stories of the families and children that are being blessed by this fundraiser.
World Down Syndrome Day
Today is World Down Syndrome Day! It is held on March 21st because the genetic marker for Down syndrome is 3 copies of the 21st chromosome.
The Canadian Down Syndrome Society has selected five Canadian Down Syndrome Heroes to represent the special abilities that people with Down Syndrome have. Take a look here and be inspired: http://cdss.ca/network/heroes/. They have also created a line of posters featuring their members and quotes.
Today, Down Syndrome International asks you to join in celebrating the lives of this wonderful minority group, and wear funky socks visibly. The goal is to have people ask you what they are about and be able to share with them your support for and admiration of people with Down syndrome. Join in!
The people I have met and people I have read about who have Down syndrome are amazing! They are full of love, care for everyone that they meet, and they accomplish incredible things. For instance, Tim is a restaurant owner and Olympic athlete, and is featured in the below video.
Here’s a look at my toe colours of the day… I hope I’ve inspired you to join in!
Treasures: Welcome Home
Welcome Home is a refugee housing community based in Kitchener, Ontario. They provide housing for newly arrived refugees, for their first year in Canada. They help them enrol in ESL classes, interact and engage with the community, and advocate for them.
Cross-cultural experiences are always a learning experience, I find. The simple act of interacting with people from other cultures causes you to become inventive in communication strategies and influences the possible activities in that situation. I had the opportunity to volunteer with Welcome Home Refugee Housing Community this past summer, and the experience was particularly eye-opening and challenging.
During my initial interview and trainings, the Welcome Home supervisor, Sharon Schmidt, recommended that I spend my volunteer hours organizing and running a camping trip for their houseful of 15 refugees. I agreed, as my family and I go camping often, and it seemed relatively simple. However, organizing a trip for a group of refugees was more challenging than expected, as the number of attendees was not finalized until we left and then changed throughout the weekend, fluctuating between 12 and 20!
I spent the weekend learning about Colombian, Eritrean, Ethiopian, and Kurdish cultures. For example, one of the Kurdish men told me that a meal is incomplete without flatbread, and he also made tea for us in his samovar. The Ethiopian ladies were lost if we forgot to bring the salt for any of the meals, and the Colombians were the only ones who liked to eat sweet foods. I had a lot of fun canoeing with one of the Kurdish men, and spent some time trying to teach an Ethiopian lady to become comfortable in the water.
Interestingly, I found that the most difficult interactions I had were with a fellow Canadian. Of course, the weekend was a long English lesson for the majority of the campers, and also helped to build friendships between housemates. Overall, the weekend, though challenging, was a valuable experience that improved my understanding of and competency in cross-cultural interactions.
Welcome Home often has needs that include anything from volunteers to interact with residents, help clean apartments and move residents, assist in excursions, and build their collection of items that help get refugees on their feet. You can contact them here if you’d like to get involved!
“reunite” is an organization that began in Uganda in 2011. The Riley family had adopted internationally from Uganda and chose to move there so their children would experience that culture. They began working with orphanages and discovered that many children were not true orphans, but had families. In working to understand why these children were in the orphanages, the Rileys uncovered the corrupt profit-based side of adoption. They discovered that parents were giving children up because they experienced temporary hardship, were coerced into it by orphanage staff, and were blackmailed and stonewalled into leaving their children behind when they tried to come back for them. The Rileys were horrified and chose to try to help the children they were given access to, find their families and return to them. They have since resettled 13 children with family members. They have experienced pushback from orphanage staff, as these people make quite a bit of profit from international adoptions, and also would lose their jobs if the orphanages were not full of children.
The following are stories that were featured on their blog that describe different aspects of the deception that has developed within the international adoption field.
These stories give the perspective of various different deceptions and issues in the international adoption realm in Uganda. However, do not write off international adoption altogether… there are other organizations and points of view to take into consideration.
I ultimately believe that children should be parented by their biological family – whether that means their mother, father, or a relative – if at all possible. On the other hand, I do feel that international adoption has a place, but should be under strict regulations.
What do you think?
A Bit About Me!
The beauty of thunderclouds gathering, Germany, 2010.
Hi! My name is Katiana.
I am passionate about Isaiah 1:17 and am trying to live it out in my day-to-day life - and planning for it to become my career. This is a place where I can share my thoughts, discoveries, highlight amazing people and organizations, and rant (when needed).
Some categories of posts that I will be doing are the following:
- Life: information about me
- Passion: subjects I can't stay quiet about
- Beloved: profiles of people that matter to me
- Treasures: organizations that I love
- Words of Wisdom: highlighting writers that impact me
- Simple Solutions: cool ideas that are changing the way things work
- Nature Knows Best: home remedies and other such 'hippiness' as my mother says!
Thanks for paying me a visit!
Welcome! My name is Katiana and I am a development professional pursuing my dream to live out Isaiah 1:17 to the best of my abilities. I am passionate about teaching and working with vulnerable families and children to improve their lives sustainably.
This blog is composed of my personal opinions, which do not necessarily reflect the opinion or views of institutions or organizations that I may be or have been affiliated with.