#GivingTuesday has finally arrived! This is an exciting opportunity for Retrak, because Microsoft is giving a 100% match to any gift that you make to Retrak through GlobalGiving, up to $500!
Please donate soon, as matching funds may run out quickly. By donating to Retrak today, you can double the impact that Retrak makes with children living on the streets of Africa, helping them return to a loving home and family.
Your donation will help children like Ayana, a young Ethiopian girl who was sent by her aunt to a life of domestic servitude when she was 5 years old. In exchange for food and shelter, Ayana spent her days scrubbing floors, washing clothes and preparing meals for a family. When she was 14 years old, her employer beat her and forced her out onto the streets. Fortunately for Ayana, Retrak heard of her situation and stepped in to help. Ayana was reintegrated with her family and is living in a stable, loving and supportive home. You can read more about Ayana here.
Fred is another child who was helped by Retrak. Retrak’s outreach workers in Kampala, Uganda, met Fred for the first time during a regular soccer training session. Activities like these, held near the streets where the children live, provide a chance to get to know the children and for them to understand what Retrak can offer. Over the course of the following week, Fred joined in with soccer and other games, as well as getting good meals and attending the education and life-skills classes at the drop-in center. By the end of the week, Retrak’s outreach worker had learned that Fred had been on the streets for some time. Since he hated getting dirty and sleeping outside, he mopped the floor in a video hall every evening so that he could sleep inside. He had run away from home after his parents divorced and his father wouldn’t care for him.
After 5 months of counseling and preparation at the halfway home, Fred was able to return to live with his mother. He’s now settled at home and is back in school. You can read more of Fred’s story here.
On behalf of Ayana and Fred, and the thousands of vulnerable children that Retrak works with every year, thank you again for supporting us in our vital work in Africa. Please make a #GivingTuesday donation today!
In 2013 Retrak began a partnership with Chisomo Children’s Club in Malawi, to change the lives of street children in the cities of Lilongwe and Blantyre. Before we could begin our work with the children, we needed to make some major changes. We're delighted to report that, since our last progress report, we've recruited a nurse, a teacher, a nighttime caregiver, a finance manager and a monitoring and evaluation officer for the project in Lilongwe. Major renovations to the drop-in center have also been completed. Reaching these milestones means that we can finally begin our real work:
Outreach has started!
We now have fifteen children safely in the center who were previously struggling to survive on the street. The children are participating in a full day's program involving counseling, medical care and catch-up education. When they're ready, our staff will start to work to return them home to loving families.
The renovations and the staff hirings at the center in Lilongwe were made possible through the generosity of donors like you. We are so grateful for your continued support.
Why are these children smiling? Because today, starting at 12:00pm (noon) EST, Microsoft YouthSpark will match 100% of any donation that’s made to Retrak through GlobalGiving!
Please help Retrak take advantage of this remarkable opportunity by making your donation today. Your contribution will help children like Fred, who was born HIV-positive. He was just 9 years old when his mother died of AIDS. Two years later his father deserted him and Fred followed some boys from his rural village to Kampala, Uganda’s capital city. Fred says, “I had no strength to scavenge for food or to work. The public rejected and mistreated me. HIV/AIDS was threatening to take my life. ‘Where is my daddy?’ I kept asking myself.”
Then came what Fred calls “a miracle day”. On the streets, Fred met Elvis, a Retrak social worker, who brought him to their drop-in center and later to their transitional home. Eventually Fred was placed with a foster family. Fred says, “Retrak gave me a second chance to live a new life. I was loved, cared for, treated, fed, clothed and housed. I left the transition home to go to live with my foster family, and finally I had an answer to the question, Where is my daddy? I had a new family. My past troubles were behind me. I had a new song and a big dream. Thank you!”
Fred’s story has a happy ending thanks to donors like you. You can create more happy endings by making another donation today, while the Microsoft YouthSpark 100% match is in effect.
Microsoft’s match will begin at 12:00pm today, and please… make your donation soon! Funds are limited and may run out quickly.
Retrak and Microsoft are teaming up to make your donation go even further! Tomorrow, Wednesday, April 16, starting at 12:00pm EST, Microsoft will provide a 50% match to any donation that you give to Retrak. If you give $100, Retrak will receive $150. A donation of $50 will become $75. Microsoft will match any gift that you give to any of Retrak's programs.
And if that's not enough, Microsoft will also match 100% of the first three months of any recurring donation that you sign up for.
Your gift to Retrak tomorrow will help street children in Africa like Zergaw, a boy who was found sad, weary and confused outside of the bus station in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He had been on the streets for three weeks, having left his isolated village to try to find work to help support his sisters and widowed mother. Retrak staff helped reunite him with his mother, who wept tears of joy upon seeing him again. Then they worked with Zergaw's mother to help her establish an income-generating business, and with his school so that he could return to class.
When Retrak returned a few months later, it was clear that the business was doing well. The whole family was better fed and looking healthy and all the children were back in school. Zergaw's mother said, "I am very happy and so grateful for what Retrak has done for me and for my son!"
Thank you for your past support of Retrak's programs in Africa. Please help us help these children by participating in Microsoft's Bonus Day tomorrow, starting at noon EST. Please be sure to make your donation early, as funds will run out quickly.
Chisomo Children's Club recognizes that each and every child that comes through their doors has a history and background unique to them. That's why we tailor our programs to meet the needs of each individual child. In her own words, Alinafe, age 13, tells us her story:
"I was on the streets because of the hardships I was facing at home. My mother for a long time has had mental health issues. She used to beat me and make me beg for money on the streets. I used to think that it was a good life on the street. We were able to smoke and drink. But I was wrong. Many girls get raped."
Alinafe found her way to the Chisomo Children's Club in Lilongwe, where she was able to access services such as counseling, schooling, food and medical care. She says, "I now live with my mother again. I give her the medicine that makes her better. My mother is now able to provide food as she is well and has started a business."
On behalf of Alinafe and the hundreds of other children that the Chisomo Children's Club reaches every year, thank you for supporting this important work.
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US Country Director