Why Carpenter’s Kids?

Sunday was an amazing day in Mwitikira, but that will have to wait. For now, I want to tell a  short story.

This is Manero, before he had surgery, arranged by the staff and paid for by the generous donors of Carpenter’s Kids.1-Maneno pre-surgery

This is Manero after surgery.Maneno.Dabalo.1 He had tubes in his nose for a time, as he does here, but now he is like any other kid.

We have files of pictures of kids- with malformed feet, with eyes that won’t open, with Hansen’s Disease(leprosy) – who thanks to CK, are not only alive but living healthy lives, going to school, learning and playing like other children. I hesitate to put too many before/after pictures, for obvious reasons.

There is a lot of talk these days about moving beyond the sponsorship of individual children to working with systems.  I understand these conversations, and long-term solutions will require this shift to a degree. But for Manero, and Neema, and Winifrida, and Kedimon, and Festo and so many others, it would be many years and far too late before the “system” would give them what they want and need- a chance to be, in the words of one of our kids, “A real person, just like everybody else.”

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