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Our latest Swedish Star Team arrived in Bois Negresse June 10th around 1:00 PM. More than 300 children from the area met inside the luscious pine forest to welcome them with song then they walked the 500 yards to the school singing all the way to the school singing, of course holding the Swedish and Haitian flag. On behalf of the school staff and the children Mr. Andre Denis make a speech to welcome the Swedish team in Bois Negresse.

Star of Hope Swedish Star team in Bois Negres Haiti

It was a very emotional moment. The team looked very happy to be in this place to help children to paint the new school building. Today it is planned to get everything ready to start the painting tomorrow morning. Tonight the youth in Bois Negresse will meet the team to share ideas and to talk about environmental problem in Haiti. Every evening the youth plan to meet the team for debate on different subject that concern all youth. The temperature in Bois Negresse is 60 F min and 70 F max, so the team enjoys fresh temperature in Bois Negresse. Tony reporting via a mobile device.

Note from Star of Hope:

The "work team" is part of the Swedish E-Team from Skorped Sweden, a group of youth who are very involved in spreading the Gospel. They work hard at this by having a blast, singing dancing and through theater. They have gone on the road to raise funds for Haiti and to today's date have raised many tens of thousands of dollars for Haiti. These funds have been used mainly for water projects. The group has sent representatives twice to Haiti to check their project and to do work.


HOW TO GET YOU OR YOUR GROUP INVOLVED

 

Star of Hope's distribution of Mother's Day packages this year was successful, popular and appreciated as usual. The mothers who received the packages were extremely happy. The packages were distributed to the neediest mothers. Many live far below the poverty line and they appreciate "very much"  the fact that someone is thinking of them in their plight. 

Some pictures from the distribution are shown above, if you would like to know more or to support our cause,

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Reported by a caretaker at  Liepaja special boarding school sponsored in part by Star of Hope in Latvia.

There were a couple of holidays in the first week of May. Most of the people were very happy to enjoy the beautiful spring, to look at the blossoming trees and flowers!

Little Janis doesn't like the holidays too much. He doesn't have to attend school on holidays and that means that he will have to spend all the time in the children's home. Little Janis attends Liepaja special boarding school. He likes it at school. He is diligent and teachers praise him.

Not long ago it was Easter. After these holidays the teacher of nature gave task to every pupil to fill a pot with soil and then to sow 5 seeds of French marigolds and 3 seeds of sweet peas. Marigolds were the first to sprout and then it was the turn of the sweet peas. What jobs there will be after these holidays? Classroom's window-sill has become so green. Marigolds have grown thicker and the sweet peas have stretched quite tall. When the flowers are attended to, it is time to color the coloring book. Janis tries to hold the pencil right, but it still manages to color a bit outside the black borderline. The teacher reminds that it is time to go to the sports hall. First of all Janis has to take a bag with the sports costume and footwear from the locker and to put them on in correct order. Janis is proud that he can do it himself. The teacher helps a little bit to put his everyday clothes in order. They must be put on the chair accurately.

While Janis does his exercises, a strange car drives into the school yard. The first to notice it were the 1st grade children – 6 pairs of curious eyes flatten against the window. Children know one of the visitors, but who could be the other two? Who will be the lucky one they have come to visit?

While the visitors and the first graders watch each other, Janis has returned from the sports hall. He tries to put away his sports suit and trainers into back to the bag. The doors are being opened and there are a few people standing there. The teacher says that this time "it is Janis who has visitors."

"It can't be true" thinks Janis. "Nobody comes to me!" He is not sure if heard correctly what the teacher said and goes on with trying to put on his sandals. He is so nervous that his fingers don't listen. Janis is very confused. It is safer to watch the visitors from afar. A classmate, Justins tries to help Janis. He hurries to show his exercise books and flower pot with marigolds. In his jealousy boasts that in his pot there are 2 sweet peas but in Janis' pot only one! It is clear that Justins has a heavy heart. He is from the children's home as well and he is also looking forward to somebody visiting him. There is no time for Justins to be jealous for long. He has to help Janis to open the presents which the Godparents have brought.

Janis doesn't know anything! The hand should be given to the God mother,"Justins says. He does everything for the visitors to like it at school. When all the marigolds have been shown and all sweet peas measured, when the lunch was eaten and the school seen, Justins has to go back to the classroom because guests with Janis head for a walk in the town. One pack of candies from the present box Janis leaves for his classmates, but the present box itself is what Janis doesn't let out of his hands. Then an outing is started.

The first place of visit is the sea. There is a strong wind blowing that is why the small company decides to go to town. There is a bookshop in the centre of Liepaja where visitors can have a coffee and cakes. Janis chooses ice cream. It can be seen that the children from Liepaja childrens' home are accustomed to be in the public spaces. Thanks to Star of Hopes it is possible not only to show the children where the ice cream is sold but also to buy it and eat it in public space, remember theese are most special children and have different special needs.

Janis enjoys his happy hours to the fullest extent, the big ice cream glass is soon empty yest Janis tries to eat it as slowly as possible. Even though he takes tiny bite at a time, the ice cream subsides quickly.

Godmother Sirka has found a good solution to the looming sadness. Janis can choose children's books. There is no problem with that as Janis knows what he wants. When the purchase is packed and given to the young reader, it is time to go back to the children's home.

"Can they take me with them" Janis whispers in my ear. "Please tell the God mother that I would really want a real family and a real home!"

GET INVOLVED TODAY

"Gaare Nursery" is a project found in the Upper East Region of Ghana. It is about 10 miles east of Bolgatanga , the regional capital. The people from the village normally go to market for shopping. The market is open every third day in Bolgatanga. The Star of Hope school kitchen staff also makes it to the market on one of these days when they receive the support for the school feeding program.

Serious shoppers arriving at Market in Bolgatanga Ghana.

Normally three people go to market, the head of the school, the cook and one kitchen staff member. On the 5th of May 2012, which was a market day, these people went to the market to buy foodstuffs and other food items needed for the running of the school. Items bought included rice which is locally produced. To buy rice it is measured in a bowl which holds about 1.5 quarts. A price of this bowl of rice depends on its variety and quality. Most of the people in the region prefer the local rice to the polished rice or the flavores rices because they think that the locally made rice is more nutritious. So we bargain and were able to buy a good quality of rice which was expensive.

We know "good rice".

 

We know even how "good rice sounds"

We looked for beans and Gari too. Gari is a fine to coarse granular flour of varying texture made from cassava tubers (also called cassava roots) which are cleaned after harvesting, grated, the water and starch are squeezed out of it. Is is then left to ferment and is then fried in palm oil. Gari serves as a major staple food in West Africa. It is also called garri or gali in some parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Beans also are measured in bowls and come in different varieties. Before we bought the beans we looked for the good quality beans, devoid of pests and then again bargained for it. For Gari, we do not measure in bowls. It is already in a full sack. Before we bought we checked the sack to see to it that it was of a good quality before we bought.

Measuring up the fish.

The combination of these two food items is very nutritious food and it is one of the children's favorite foods. We also bought: Palm oil, vegetable oil, cans of tomato paste, herring, pepper, onions, salt, magi cubes (bullion), and soap for washing cooking utensils. After the food were bought, somebody was hired to load the food items on "pull trucks" to the Gaare lorry station for transportation to the school.

Take it to the bus please.

 

Waiting for the bus home to Garre. Where is Gaare?

The attached pictures are some of the pictures of the food items which were bought in the market.

Thank you Ambrose Asmah, Director, Star of Hope Ghana

SEE HOW TO DONATE NOW

"You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you"

Helping children living in the worst places you can imagine to grow up educated and healthy is a worthwhile endeavor. That help begins with making everyone aware of the plight of these kids.

4 eyes for giv a way

You can help that process by spreading the word about Star of Hope with your social media friends and contacts. The more they know, the easier it is to find help for these children. You can do something for someone who can never repay you by simply joining our facebook page and asking your friends who care to do the same.

To help stir up the interest we have created a token giveaway. Please go to our Win a Small Video Camera giveaway and enter the giveaway for a chance to win the camera. You can also invite others for additional chances to win. The best help for the kids is to invite others whom you think care about children.

So you see, the more people are talking about the problems of these kids, the better the chance for meaningful change! You can help them even though they cannot repay you. That's pretty special.

 

ENTER TO WIN

 

Text by Carmen, Philips Mother.

There are so many things to be written about the following chapter of my life that I don't know where to start... Filip Timotei Profiri, how could I include in words everything he is to us? So that I don't keep you in suspense, I have to tell you that around 2 months old, he was diagnosed with Down syndrome. I have to admit that I still don't know his clear purpose in our family, even after one year since his birth. I might never know clearly his purpose in our family and in my life. Often, we feel that we need to have things under control, to plan our lives, to live them like we want and how we consider to be better. Instead, we forget that we are not the ones controlling our lives; actually, we forget who gave us our lives. We forget that God is the one giving us life, keeps us alive and controls everybody's lives, whether we agree with that or not.

2 months old, he was diagnosed with Down syndrome

When the doctor examined my pregnancy, he recommended a triple test; I analyzed the situation and I decided not to take the test. I knew several mothers who received false news after this test, they worried a lot, but gave life to perfectly healthy children and I didn't want to go through such period. Within our family, we would have never approached abortion. It could have been more serious than that and any anomaly our child would have had, as long as God brings him into our life, I'm not the one who can say NO. Evil doesn't come from God, this thing is very clear to me. But still, when we encounter it in our lives, so many questions arise. God transforms evil in blessing only when we give Him the occasion. And the blessings that come from Him can cover for any bad thing.

I gave birth to both my children by C section and due to the post operatory recovery, I interacted with them as babies a little later. The day following the birth, when the doctor who assisted me explained to me that there were some problems with my baby, but there was nothing confirmed, I thought he was being ironic. But shortly after that I could read on his face a real empathy, a suffering he wanted to share with me. But there was no room for deception in my mind and in my heart. And I think that there has never been room for that and it will ever be. This doesn't mean that I don't worry for my child, for his health, his future, or that I don't admit that he is different from the others. It is true that he has Down syndrome. This syndrome is among the most common chromosomal disorders, which means that it is installed right at the moment of conception. Neither the mother, nor the father has any power to prevent this thing from happening. There is nothing I could have done differently. I would like to say that you will meet persons, even health professionals, who, unaware of it, but well-intentioned, will try "help you" find a cause for this syndrome in your child: maybe a cold you had in the first semester of the pregnancy, or maybe other untreated health problems and the list can continue depending on the general knowledge of that person. I write to you as a person who has read and has discussed with specialists in this field, just to clarify this matter. NOBODY, NOWHERE IN THE WORLD, CAN ACTUALLY SAY WHAT IS CAUSING THIS EXTRA CHROMOZOM. THIS CAUSE CANNOT BE IDENTIFIED FOR NOW. SO FAR< NO ONE CAN ANSWER THE QUESTION "WHY?" and in this case, I beg you, don't bend the ear to the opinion of your neighbor, of the seller at the grocery store or even of the teacher or of the priest, related to this subject. This issue is really unknown, take it as it is and don't search for reasons to apologize or to blame yourself, thus carrying a heavy burden. You have many more important things to do. For example, first of all, enjoy this new baby in your family.

The most difficult thing for me was the fact that during my stay in the maternity I was approached by a doctor to discuss the possibility of this syndrome only after 4-5 days, during which I knew that something might be wrong. Because the doctors tended to avoid this difficult subject, without an actual diagnosis (DNA analysis can take one month), I imagined much worse things. And I think that the difficulty in taking care and raising a child with several problems is in the fact that we don't have the situation under control.

There aren't actually specialists in the field. Or if they do exist, I didn't get to meet them and if their work I not accessible, I don't see their final purpose... Star of Hope Foundation had a very important role in Filip's development. But I want to mention that the resources they have are limited, both regarding the personnel and the information given to the parents. Within this foundation, I went with my little boy at physical therapy meetings since he was 2 months old. He could sit independently at 8 months and now, at 1 year old, he is able to spin in circles crawling and to stand for approximately 5 seconds on both his feet, but he still can't walk. I also interacted with more mothers, whose children were older, and I now have a more concrete opinion regarding this field. I made a list of actual needs for which we need to find solutions, answers so that our children grow and develop in a society that will accept them and want them. And this can happen starting with a right mentality of the mothers first and then of the specialists who work with the children, who have an important message to send to the next generations, and getting to the average people in the society we are in.

Personally, I was profoundly hallmarked by the words of the genetics doctor who diagnosed my boy during our stay in the maternity. I honestly don't know if he shares the same principles for the moment, but I can share with you what he told me when we went to his office to give us more details on the syndrome. We were told that "in other countries, they are integrated as adults, but this thing is not and it will not be possible in the following years. Statistically, their IQ will not exceed the IQ of a 6 year old." I refused to think such a thing and I am glad I did that, but I wonder which of the mothers who find out this thing accept it as it is and leave home thinking that they gave birth to a handicapped child, who will never manage to integrate in the society. At that time, I knew about the existence of a medicine student with Down syndrome in Iasi, but I decided that it would be better not to bring this into discussion, as I could have been labeled as a person lacking connections with reality or not accepting the fate of my child.

2 months old, he was diagnosed with Down syndrome romania

I found the geneticist doctor from the children hospital in Iasi very loving. When he started examining Filip, at only 2 months, she took pictures of him, she talked to him, she treated him as a person and I felt that she was really there for the patients. In other medical clinics, most of the doctors only discuss with me giving the impression that my son is not even there. It might be a small thing, but as they grow up, children feel such differences.

We like to be the masters of our lives and of our families and, in those moments when something is not clear to us, we go into a crisis, in depressions because of our imagination and our lack of faith in God. When we take care of live alone and we encounter such problem, we realize how limited we actually are, and even so, many people still try to find causes, solutions and ways to fix the problem. Therefore, there are no specialty paper works, no specialists, no plan, and no better perspective in this field (Down syndrome). Don't think of me as a negativist person, we are far better than 5-10 years ago, when children with Down syndrome were locked in the home or isolated in special care centers, but wouldn't it be better be wonder: If God gives us all life, if He takes care of each of us and, in all of our weaknesses He gives us strength to overcome life's circumstances, why would she change His attitude about the persons with Down syndrome? And if God doesn't have another attitude for them, why do I think of myself as superior and think of them as inferior human beings, a burden for the family in which they were born? No, please, do not accept such attitude, not from your own mind, not from anybody. It is just another life circumstance which can be overcome and, overcoming this struggle which is taken at a psychological level, you will be able to really enjoy life together with your own family.

 

If this story moved you please consider supporting our conference series in Romania. A series of educational workshops that equip mothers of handicapped children the tools and attytude to care for thier children all while building local groups for individual support for the mother and the child.

Please visit our Mothers day page.

It takes many bricks to build a big wall, Elijah's wall will need 270,000 bricks! Each brick will cost $1 dollar and 31 cents. When we started this project we did not know that one of the first brick buyers would be a happy trio of very young givers.

We were most surprised when Olivia, Noah and even Caleb came into our office yesterday with 3 checks they had worked for, all to help build Elijah's wall in Argentina. The work the children did will buy a surprising number of bricks and their happiness and energy made all of us most happy.

 

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 Olivia, Noah and even Caleb,( thanks also to parents Brad and Candace Grandma Shelley!)

The wall project is important because in Chaco, Argentina you need a wall for security and for the safety of the children who come to the project, Once the wall is built more can be done on the land including; a large soccer complex to give the young boys and girls after school activities in a safe enviornment. A youth group meeting complex is planned to give even more kids a chance to do meaningful activities there. A church is planned as well.

 Will you join Olivia, Noah and Caleb in helping build the Wall? Its simple - just click on the button to buy some bricks.

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