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Running Down A Dream: Sierra Leone

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zzzzzz Running Down A Dream: Sierra Leone

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Sierra Leone

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Running Down A Dream: Sierra Leone

Running Down A Dream

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sierra Leone

I sit here and write this with tears in my eyes and a heavy heart.

Many of you may remember a benefit concert I did back in November at 3rd and Lindsley. It was an incredible night filled with a star-studded cast of songwriters. The Raining Season is the organization that put the concert together. My good friend, Jessie introduced me to Ezra Jane, which consists of Erica and Kelly a country duo that started this organization. It only costs $135 for 1 child to go to school or an entire year in Sierra Leone which includes books, uniforms, 1 meal a day, and tuition for that whole year! We raised enough money to provide 50 scholarships for children there. I was so honored to be a part of an evening like that. And James and I can't wait to hear all about the child that we sponsored!!!

Jessie, Ezra Jane, and a few others left on Christmas Day to travel to Sierre Leone to give away the scholarships and spend time in the orphanages and with the people of Sierra Leone. A day when most of us get to spend time at home with our families and friends, they were making a trip halfway around the world to help those who need it most.

Erica has started posting blogs during their trip. They are doing so much good over there. They are making a difference 1 life at a time, and it is truly amazing to watch. But it hurts so badly to hear about some of these children and their stories. They came across an orphanage that was not in their plans. It had about 75 children the first day, which grew to 84 by the next. Many of the children are severely malnourished and the orphanage is completely out of food and their well is dry. Because this was not originally in their plans, they didn't have enough money to do anything. They ended up scrounging up anything and everything they could to get rice and water to these children. They even had a money donation wired over from the States to help them. They have a video posted on their blog of these children cheering when they deliver a truckload of rice to them. Can you imagine feeling joy because you will have the privilege of eating rice for EVERY meal for who knows how long?

I am going to post an excerpt from Erica's blog here just so you can read and see an example. Here, Erica is talking about a little boy named Festus that she met at the orphanage.

"Festus was first....This is where we began to realize that in Sierra Leone there is a difference between the dying and the almost dying....Festus was suffering from starvation...not extreme malnourishment by starvation....he was making sucking noises with his mouth that proved he was in the final moments of his life....He is almost 2 years old and they weighed him in at just over 6 pounds....horrific...I cannot evein begin to explain what it feels like to touch and hold a child that is in his last days....Kelly held tight to him all day...she never once put him down...

They were not able to admit Festus right away so about 3 hours later we returned to the hospital and went inside to wait for a bed....At that point our hearts broke....they did not want to admit him because he was an orphan and there was no birthmother to stay with him....we pleaded and begged him to change his mind....finally he softened and I paid him some extra money so he could take time to watch him since a birthmother could not be there for his feedings. Inside the hospital we were horrified by the condition of each child....Festus was only one of many who were all suffering from starvation, malaria, typhoid, etc.....each one was dying and there was little at this point that anyone could do.....The room was hot, the beds were crammed in side by side like sardines.....the staff was overworked, and the parents were weary...I can't begin to imagine what it feels like to watch your child die from something that is so easily preventable...."

To read more of this blog:
http://therainingseason.blogspot.com/


Sierre Leone has been left in shambles after Civil War. The people are struggling to survive. And on a continent where little food can be grown, and with very little resources available, it is so much more difficult to get their feet on the ground. We can't even conceive of the life these people lead. We are inconvenienced when the line at Starbucks is longer than normal. I don't mean to sound like everyone has it easy just because they are in America. We face many of the same problems here which is almost even more unbelievable since we live in a country of plenty. But in Sierra Leone it is a way of life. Children in hospitals can't be admitted because they are sick. They can only be admitted when they are dying.Our eyes and hearts and minds need to be opened here at home as well as abroad. And it takes so little for us to help.
If you would like to sponsor a child or help in some way visit the Raining Season's Website.

http://www.therainingseason.org/

I have seen these kinds of pictures and heard similar stories before. But it brings it so much closer to home when I see my friends holding these children in their arms. It makes it so much more real and doesn't feel like it is a world apart from my life. And I KNOW that the people running this organization make sure the money donated goes where it needs to go. I know that has been fear of mine in the past for donating - not being sure that my money is going where I am trying to send it. But I know these people personally, and they document their trips so that you can see the good your donation is doing in others' lives.

This is a photo of all the students that received scholarships and now have a chance to go to school this year.



And here is a picture of Jessie with a bunch of kids. Look closely and you'll see that Peace Love Fiddle has made it's way to Africa!!!!!



The Raining Season is a wonderful organization. I am sure we will being doing MANY more concerts and benefit shows in the near future. ANd it is amazing who will show up when it is for such a good cause!

Again, here are the links to check out their blog and their website.

http://therainingseason.blogspot.com/

http://www.therainingseason.org/

Peace, Love, Fiddle

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1 Comments:

Blogger Nose said...

You have the right stuff daisy..x

January 5, 2009 at 7:52 AM  

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