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Note from Annie:

Five more months until Swaziland. 5 more months until the happiest day of my life. Every day that I get to see the kiddos for the first time in a long time... see them healthy, educated, and with smiles on their adorable little faces - every one of those days are the happiest days of my life.  Years ago, I looked into their innocent eyes and held their hardworking hands & felt the need to serve. It is a kind of need I cannot explain - but similar to a drowning man needing air.  Only for me, that "air" isn't oxygen, it's kids like Mazwi Maziya (in picture) - a young boy with no parents & no hope for a future beyond the age of 13 due to contracting a disease at birth beyond his control.  I feel so lucky to have found this need - these kids who make my life make sense. 

Everyone praises me for doing my (volunteer) job. I feel like I am unworthy of that praise because the reasons I do this are selfish. It's for those smiles... the happiness of the children and knowing that
WITH YOUR HELP I played a part in that. Never are you more rewarded for a job well done. Never are you as eager to wake up and "go to work".  Never are you learning more than you are teaching - as when you run a small nonprofit that tries to do anything and everything we can to make a baker's dozens worth of children have the chance at a better future. I am very blessed, indeed and looking forward to what OUR efforts can do in 2012.

Note from Kait:

I am a lucky girl to have been born to spectacular parents (all four of you!!!) and raised amongst supportive and loving siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins and family friends.  That is not the story for so many individuals on our planet.  The children we work with no longer have parents or large extended families due to the HIV pandemic, leaving them alone to navigate a complex world. Once Annie & I made the decision to officially build an organization that works to educate, empower and lift orphaned & vulnerable children, I felt a strong sense of purpose and understanding of my place in the world. I have so much to be thankful for and have the energy to step-up and fight for those with a different situation in life.  


It is inspiring to be part of the global effort to eradicate poverty and provide educational opportunities for ALL.  Small as my part is, I smile knowing that my actions are positively impacting my world and am eager to assist others while they find their own reason to smile.  I find it most satisfying to work directly with organizations and schools on the ground in southern Africa and my heart is warmed when I see US students raising awareness and participating in fundraisers to support students in Swaziland - together we can better the world!  Words cannot express the gratitude I have for the encouragement Annie & I have received while starting this journey.  

GHFP Beginnings...

 

Much has happened during GHFP's first year of operation!  Getting an organization up and running is no easy task, but with the support of our family & friends we have expanded our reach and are excited to share our accomplishments that YOU have helped us achieve.  Enjoy the bulleted list below for some highlights from 2011... certain items may seem small, but we are PROUD of all milestones :)  Starting with the one we are most excited to announce....

  • GHFP Orphan Education Fund fully supported for the 2012 school year!  That equates to 11 HIV orphans from child-headed households continuing their education while two have graduated from eLangeni Secondary School, a top performing school in Swaziland.

FUNDRAISING & IN-KIND DONATIONS

  • Clay Middle School “Jar Wars” fundraiser to build a playground at Selula Sandla HIV orphanage in Mbabane, Swaziland - $994 raised
  • Contemporary Learning Academy Bake Sale - $53.40 raised
  • St. Tom’s Awareness Tables - $415 raised
  • Parties for a Purpose - $2136.20 raised 
  • Misc. Donations - $2791 raised 
  • Delta Zeta Sorority (Purdue) Donation Drive - 2 boxes (canned goods, school supplies, personal hygiene products)
  • Sidener Academy Student Donation Drive - 6 boxes of goods (toothbrushes, school supplies, bandaids, books, toys)

AWARENESS

  • Website launched & video message created
  • Presented to over 1000 students at Purdue University, Butler University & IUPUI
  • Listed on the UN’s 7Billionactions.org website
  • Meetings held with various departments at Purdue University, IUPUI & Marian University

PROGRAMMING & INVOLVEMENT

  • Four Service-Learning trips slated for 2012 - programs planned with HIV orphanage & rural schools in Swaziland and with a NGO in Namibia
  • 1st “official” volunteer hours logged - Msibi Family Story Quilt 

A last thanks and statement to express how energized we are with the work that was done in 2011 the prospect of what can be accomplished in 2012!

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