Cornerstone Friends made three Sudanese hires this week! We’re so excited about the people we are working with to begin our programs. I thought I would tell you about them.
Mandela came to live at Cornerstone Children’s Home a few years back when he was 12, he was living on the streets at the time, finding work when he could. He left the program a few months ago when it became clear there was not much more the home could do to for him. Seth and I were very sad to hear Mandela was not living here anymore, as we both have a strong fondness for him despite (or maybe because of?) his moodiness and sometimes difficult personality.
He’s been showing up here every evening for the last week, wanting to take his anti-depressant medicine and wondering if there is any way for us to help him get into a trade school. Unfortunately he is illiterate and so trade school is not possible right now. We came to a new agreement that Mandela can work in our agriculture program and join the tutoring groups Seth is beginning next week.
I genuinely enjoyed working with Mandela today , digging and preparing the soil. I hope he shows up tomorrow.
About 8 months ago we got a very sad and heavy call from our friends here in Sudan letting us know one of the best and brightest girls at the home was pregnant. The director of the home found out because one of her sisters became afraid Joska was going to the witch doctor to try and terminate the pregnancy.
It amazes how nine months and child birth can change a girl’s heart and now Isaiah is here and couldn’t be more loved or adored. Unfortunately, the reality of her situation remains the same. She and the father can no longer go to school, he is not working and they are living in poverty.
Seth met with Joska to test her literacy level and she will start tutoring our small kids next week. We have plenty of willing free babysitters for Isaiah and for $1.50 a day we hope to create opportunity for him, Joska, and the kids she will teach to read.
Aturus lives here at the home, he came to me the other day and said he was very interested in planting food and raising chickens. We made a plan for the chicken coop and by that afternoon he had purchased materials and dug the holes for the posts.
Aturus is about 18 a freshman in high school (or senior one as they say here) and reading at maybe a third grade level. He is just the kind of kid for whom we want to create opportunities.
Yesterday Aturus and I put together the beginning of our chicken business plan. We expect it to recoop our start up costs (about $150) and turn a profit in 5 months. Aturus will receive a percentage of the profits and the rest will go towards funding the home. We’ll keep you updated on the progress!
The internet is not letting me post pics at the moment but if you get on our Facebook page "Cornerstone Friends" I'll put some there.