March 8 was International Women's Day so we want to take this opportunity to celebrate Land of Hope's women
Mary, Rita, and Uduak
We found Mary half naked in the bushes 9 years ago, abused and covered in cuts and bruises. It's hard to believe how she survived and even harder to believe what a caring, hard-working soul she is today. She is brilliant, loves to play soccer, and sings beautifully.
9 years ago, Rita was rescued after surviving witchcraft accusations, torture, being chained up for three days, and having almost starved to death. Later this year, she will start university and dreams of becoming a doctor. Recently, Rita also spoke at forher's 2023 leadership summit, using her voice to inspire young girls to never give up and to follow their dreams.
Uduak was rescued 10 years ago from a local village where she was a little girl left to die, yet she ran up barefoot to Anja and hugged her without any fear. Today, Uduak is a teenager, shining with strength and courage. Also, it was her birthday yesterday!
We're proud and grateful beyond words because we get to witness these young women overcome impossible things and devote their lives to serving others. We also want to highlight that without passionate women in our staff, who are dedicated to caring for the children and helping them through their struggles, the above success stories wouldn't be possible. Please join us in sending them some love!
Sickness at Land of Hope
Currently, two of our older teenage girls are very sick. At the beginning of December, one of our girls had two large lumps removed from her right breast. Luckily, the lumps were not cancerous, but the doctors also found lumps in her left breast, so she will need another operation soon.
A week ago, one of our other older girls had seizures at school and is now also in the hospital. Thankfully, she was stabilized and examined by a neurologist. We are yet to receive the results of the examination. As we face high costs for medicine, operations, and hospital bills, we need all the help we can get right now.
We're also in need of buying new pots, pans, and other kitchen equipment since it wears out quickly when cooking for almost 100 children three times a day.
This is what your donations go to at the moment.
Thank you for being with us and happy International Women's Day to all of you!
This year marks Land of Hope's 10-year anniversary! As we reflect back, it's been a time of hard work, important struggles, countless challenges, and sorrow, but also lots of joyful moments. From day one, we've vowed that our donors should never have to doubt where their donations go. We feel great responsibility for being transparent and keeping you close to the children's stories, from rescue to university.
Can you spot David in the first picture? All these boys were 6-8 years old when they came into our care and look at them today! Handsome young men who study at university (and have outgrown David!)
An update on Joseph
When Joseph arrived at Land of Hope, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. With the right medication, Joseph was able to start school and for five years he was fine, but slowly he developed hallucinations. At the beginning of this year, we saw more changes in his behavior. He became suspicious of others, very paranoid, and aggressive. He heard voices in his head. Joseph has therefore now also been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He has been admitted to a psychiatric medical center where he can get the professional treatment he needs in order to live a good life. It hurts that he's not with us at Land of Hope, but our nurse and male carer are taking day and night shifts to make sure he's not alone.
Your donation helps support 91 children every day; their school fees, food, hospital bills, medicine, school uniforms, books, and supplies. Like many others, we're feeling the consequence of soaring prices due to inflation. That's why your support matters more than ever.
A deepfelt thank you for making a difference for the children in these difficult times.
We wish you a joyful and healthy ending to the year and we'll see you in 2023!
It's now the rainy season in Nigeria, which is challenging and dangerous due to massive floods and lightning strikes. Luckily, we have our very own school bus at Land of Hope, bringing our children safely to school every morning.
On weekends, the children are busy doing sports, homework, art classes, science and physics classes, music classes, kitchen work, laundry, and cleaning up their rooms (which is not their favorite.) Jewelry-making has been particularly popular and the children have produced so much that they could open up a whole shop by now! They work with pearls, beads, and stones to make earrings, necklaces, and bracelets.
Of course, weekends also allow for watching TV, relaxing, and sleeping in. On Sundays, some of the children go to church. They're free to choose whether they want to go or not.
Changing seasons and changing lives
Three years ago, we rescued Uduak who was accused of being a witch. We recently visited the abandoned house where he suffered, starved, and lived all alone for five years in inhumane conditions. He was not allowed to go to school because no one wanted him around. Today, having overcome a lot of trauma, he is a healthy young man with confidence and pride, and he's a passionate boxer!
Uduak's life changed due to the work of our staff at Land of Hope and the support we get from donors like you. It will never be forgotten.
Thank you for supporting our goal: a world where no child suffers from adult superstition.
As the pandemic continues to affect our lives, witchcraft accusations against children continue to increase significantly. Many priests claim that the "witch children" have brought the coronavirus to Nigeria. When a child faces such an accusation, the chances of survival are non-existent.
David found a boy naked and beaten on the side of the road in early January. The boy has been in the hospital ever since where he has had surgery on his broken leg and has been in severe pain. He is recovering well and will soon be ready to start a new life at Land of Hope. We cannot wait to take him home with us!
In Nigeria, you pay for each day you spend in the hospital, so it has obviously been a costly time with many treatments, a lot of medicine, and surgery. All of this has only been possible because of the support we receive from you. We still don't know the boy's name but he has started to talk a little, which is a very positive sign.
In February, we celebrated The International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Most Nigerian public schools have no science labs despite science being an essential subject. In 2020, we built a science lab at Land of Hope which gives our girls the opportunity to become chemists, physicists, and scientists in the future. The celebration day was about recognizing women and girls’ contributions to research and innovation, smashing stereotypes, and defeating discrimination against women and girls in science.
It is thanks to you that we have the opportunity to work towards our ultimate goal: A world where no child suffers from adult superstition.
Your support will never be forgotten.
In Nigerian public schools, most students are responsible for bringing their own desks and chairs because there are simply not enough to cover the huge number of students. Without these basic facilities, many students sit on the cold floor, on their books, or on the window sill. Your help makes it possible for us to have the local carpenter build desks and chairs for our children every school term.
With donations, we can help the local economy and buy puzzles and other children’s games at the local market. A puzzle teaches young children about the concept of a “whole” and that each piece is a fraction of the bigger picture. It also helps develop basic skills such as shape recognition, concentration, goal-setting, patience, and a sense of achievement.
Since his rescue, Covenant was hospitalized for a long time due to serious abdominal bloating, a severe form of malnutrition, malaria, typhus, worm infection, and numerous wounds all over his body. We needed a lot of support to pay the hospital bills and medical treatments. Your donations meant that we were able to give Covenant the best care for his long recovery.
It's impossible to express our gratitude for your donations and the impact it has on the lives of our children. We now have 81 children in our care who are all able to build self-esteem, identity, and self-worth—a life with dignity and freedom to just be children.
More importantly, we are able to continue raising awareness about child abuse and save more lives.
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