We are all one Today is much different than it was a year ago across the globe. What was once a normal way of living now is a thought of yesterday. The world is hurting. So many uncertainties for the future ahead of us. We now are having to stay home, go out for only necessities, many have lost jobs, we are separated from the ones we love and some have lost their lives. If you would’ve told us at the beginning of 2020 if any of this was possible, we would’ve thought you were crazy.
Traveling to Sierra Leone this September was a trip where I was filled with anxiety, excitement and hope. I had so many mixed emotions of what was to come from this visit. Our board has been planning for months staff trainings, intakes and meetings, but there is never much certainty when working in Sierra Leone. Things move at a slower pace, people don't show when they need to show and sometimes things gets lost in translation, even when you believe your Krio is pretty on point. ;)
We kicked off our training with videos on trauma, trauma signs and trauma care. We took questions and answers from the staff and spoke of ways to implement some of these things. The staff seemed excited and luckily there were a lot things that they were already doing in the home. We practiced a little roll playing of events and talked about proper ways to react to surprise situations. Every day of training I left feeling positive and upbeat and excited for not only how are children were being raised, but how our caregivers were such rockstars.
While in country we were able to have 2 parties! The first party was for VBS where we invited members on the community, our staff, their children and other children in the neighborhood.
Mark 12:30-3130 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.”
The kids danced, jumped and sang as we worshiped. The kids really love music (as do I) and this is a great way to speak to them and learn about the love of God.
Our Pastor who came and preached to the children on Sunday actually preached on this, as well....with no inclination that this is what were learning in VBS. Love how God works! The kids really got excited when they knew what he was speaking on.
Our second party was to celebrate our children and staff and again we ate and danced into the night, this time with some African music and some Justin Bieber....yes, they love the Biebs! We had such a great time and were really able to thank the caregivers for their service and love that they provide to the children.
This trip was a lot of work, but so much love and laughs were shared. We couldn't be more thrilled in how things are running in Sierra Leone and how much our children are loved!
Thank you to all of you sponsor and partners who make this possible!
Six months into the opening of Pikin House, and time has flown by. So much growth in such a small amount of time, and we have been blessed with sponsors, partnerships and just great people that have joined forces to give the children of Sierra Leone a better life and future.
These past 6 months have given me hope. Hope that one day we won't need a center, but that we can keep children in their homes with birth families and/or unite them directly into a family unit. In the past 6 months we have reunified 3 children with their birth families and 2 children are united with their forever family.
What if we created opportunities for these families to be able sustain a quality of life where no child becomes an orphan because of poverty?
What if we created a path where they can grow their own business and income to support themselves?
What if family members were able to step up when a child loses a parent and it doesn't burden them financially?
So many "What If's", but what if this becomes a reality? In such a short amount of time we have created huge strides, Advocating for these children pays off. Fighting for their rights to family, and speaking up for the voiceless. Small baby steps, small community and a small budget has already made a massive impact. Imagine if we did more.
As always, thank you for your support of this program and the beautiful children that have benefitted from your selflessness.
Reunification is a big part of our program. There are sometimes circumstances when it is best for a child to return to their home with their biological family members, and there are sometimes when we might feel its in the best interest of the safety of the child to stay and thrive at Pikin House. In the end, we understand that nothing can replace the bond and environment of a family unit.
We are happy for baby Ebele and she is united with her biological grandmother. We are sad to for her to leave our center. She will be dearly missed by the children and caregivers. We will continue to pray that she will thrive and be happy with her family. Our social worker will be making visits to her family to ensure that she is receiving the best care possible.
Thank you for everyone that helped sponsor this beautiful girl!
Will you join us in praying for this precious girl and her future?
Not all of us are called to adopt, but we are called to care for the orphan and the widow. Let this orphan Sunday inspire you to make a change in a child's life. You can help one child become one less orphan statistic by providing them with prayer, education, shelter, food, medical and love. Will you stand with Project Salone and make a difference in the lives of the children in Sierra Leone?
Care Package Rules and Suggestions
Care packages are a great way to show your love and support for the child/children that you sponsor. Care packages are not mandatory and this is no way an obligatory thing. If you feel led to give gifts to your sponsored child, we have put together a few rules and suggestions to make the “care package experience” easier for everyone.
You can always make general donations from our list of “Donations Needed” if you feel that is a better fit for you.
Care packages for November will need to be delivered by Nov 3rd to One.
Please drop off or mail your care packages to:
1011 Crossings Blvd
Spring Hill, TN 37174
1. All items must fit inside 1 gallon sized zip lock bag. The bag must close. Please make sure the bag is securely closed so that nothing spills out.
2. No liquids or perishables.
3. Please do not put your Last name, email or any contact information on any of your gifts or in your package.
4. Please be mindful of weight (as we must weigh our bags to fly)
5. No Money!
Ideas of things to include:
Pictures and letters of encouragement are suggested before anything else. J
For Baby’s -24 months
Pictures or you
Educational picture books
Small stuffed animals (like beanie babies)
Lightweight blankies or lovies
Onsies or another outfit
Preschool and Elementary Children
Dress up Clothes
Hair Brush or Comb
Small Toys like Matchbox Cars
Pictures of You
Middle and High School
Pictures of You
Tshirts for Boys
Dress for Girls
Deflated Ball (Soccer or Basketball)
Encouraging Wall Hangings/Posters
Staff and Security Salaries $965
Food, Water and Diapers $460
Furniture and Household Needs $378
Internet & Electricity $144
Transportation, Medical and Sierra Leone Admin $185
Alsuine School and Fees $500
$500 Alusine School
Thank you to all of our donors and sponsors! Be blessed!
Staff Salaries in Sierra Leone
(Caregivers, Social Workers and Security)
Final Registration Fees
Food, Water Medical and Transportation
School, Books, Uniforms, Backpacks and Supplies
(First Term and fees and initial school supplies)
Red Cross Certification for Staff
Child Intake Fees (Birth Certificates and Records)
Total Sponsorship Dollars and Donations Received
Our donation list is ever changing based on the demand and need of the center. Here is an updated list on supplies needed for our November trip.
Baby Diapers (any Size)
Cloth DIapers and Covers
Powdered Baby Formula
Dress up play-clothes
Multi-cultural baby dolls
Peanut Butter (no glass jars, please)
Children's Couch Medicine
Children's Allergy Medcine
Children's Allergy Topical Medicine
Children's Anti-diahrea Medicine
Children's Vitamins (Chewable)
Small Stuffed Animals (Beanie Babies)
Educational Children's Books
Pens and Pencils
Girls Panties (any children's sizes)
Boys Underwear (any children's sizes)
Combs and Picks
Girls size 12, 10, 6 and 4 dresses, shorts and tshirts
Boys Size 12, 10, 8 Tshirts, Shorts and underwear
Baby Onsies (any Size)
You can drop off any of these items off at One. Boutique in Spring Hill, TN at all time or email us at email@example.com to arrange drop-off or pick-up.
Thank you so very much!!
: We are home. We are exhausted. We are hopeful.
Spending the past few weeks in Sierra Leone, Michael and I experienced some incredible highs. Traveling to any poverty stricken area is a an incredibly humbling experience, but when you travel to places in the world that government assistance doesn't exist and people literally die of poverty...it will break you.
So many of us can turn a blind eye to these things, because the closest we ever get to extreme poverty is the sad commercials with the starving child that last 30 seconds, and then our 'good feeling program' comes on afterward., and just like that the images of such sadness have been removed from our minds. The emotional experience has passed, but being present and witnessing first hand the hurt pain and destruction that poverty plays in a community will haunt your soul forever.
Michael and I were out in the community inatking children for Pikin House and reaching out to families for our Project Salone family sponsorship program, and every family that we came across had a different story, but a similar present. Families still suffering from the catastrophic disaster of the war that ended over a decade ago; families that have lost sole providers, parents or other family members to Ebola and the stigma that it has still left in these communities; The flooding of 2015 that destroyed homes and businesses that haven't rebuilt. These are just a few instances of what has plagued these families.
You see, if you don't have food...you don't eat. If you're sick and don't have money....you don't see a doctor & then you stay sick or worse. Although, Sierra Leoneans embrace the "it takes a village" concept, there is only so much a poverty stricken community can do for others and still survive themselves.
Each intake brought a new perspective on life in Sierra Leone and each intake brought more purpose to Project Salone. There were days where I stressed so much about what was going on...legalities, funding and day-to-day operations....then I would sit and realize that this is Gods plan and he will provide and see us through.
Every case broke a piece of our heart...as we had prayed for God to "Break our heart for what breaks his"...this is a prayer that he fulfilled.
We left Sierra Leone with even more of a drive to fulfill Project Salone and see to it that these children and families have a future...a future where they thrive...where they feel loved...and where they succeed.
Please keep Project Salone in your prayers and click on "Sponsor a Child" to learn more about sponsorships.