To walk in their shoes would mean going barefoot…
Local children are taking steps towards bridging two cultures through a new program created by a Campbell River woman.
Connecting children through giving, love, and joy is one of the reasons why Arelene Lihala and her team created a program called CCC (Chikondi Connecting Children).
Children in Campbell River are connecting with children at Chikondi One Heart Angels Orphange in Africa with a pen-pal program where they exchange hand-written letters, artwork and photos four times a year. This is a heartfelt commitment and dedication that will be beneficial for the children with an educational experience to deepen their knowledge, values and beliefs.
Bella Sheck a five-year-old little girl of Campbell River, loves to paint, draw and is very excited about sending something special to her pen-pal Christina who is a seven-year-old girl who lives at Chikonid One Heart Angels Orphanage.
When asked why she wants to be part of connecting with children across the globe Sheck replied, “its fun and I can learn new things!”
The world of these orphanage children and their expectations are very simple – they are so thankful for the smallest of things and show kindness, joy and love through everything they do. The meaning of the word Chikondi is “Love” and honours the African children and their native language, Chichawa.
Lihala is the founder and president of Chikondi One Heart Angels Orphanage. The orphanage opened July 31, 2012 with a team of philanthropists who volunteer their time to make a difference in the lives of children in Africa. Lihala traveled to Blantyre, Malawi to volunteer directly with the orphans who might not have survived without the critical personal care and love that she unconditionally gives them.
Malawi is the poorest country in Africa (located in the southeast portion of the continent) where malnutrition, HIV and malaria are frequent causes of death for young Malawian children.
The focus at Chikondi is to provide a loving home, heath care, sustainability and education which is needed for the well-being and happiness for the children therefore developing a sense of hope.
What is known for sure is with this program children in Canada will truly understand how lucky they are when they learn the cultural differences and be thankful when they share their stories, Lihala said.