Who knew that Santa was a relatively unknown Congolese man with a giant heart? After Amani heard from the kids ABFEK sends to school that they were too poor to celebrate Christmas or the New Year, he organized a day for the children in Mumosho.
This year was especially hard for families, as the lack of rain caused a food shortage, denying families the beans they usually survive on this time of year. As one of the parents on the committee helping to gather and organize the children relayed, “There has been lack of rain. Our beans are not ripe, how do you want us to celebrate Christmas and the New Year? This is the first time in our history, we used to celebrate Christmas by boiling beans and offer some in our churches as symbol of thanking God to have kept us strong up to the end of the year. Is it this time a punishment by God …? We are all hungry.”
Your financial support helped ease that hunger and add the joy of Christmas for 298 children. Amani and his helpers passed out packages filled with biscuits, sweets and, as a special gift, toys for 12 of the children who volunteered to be a part of the day by sharing their stories of Christmas and the New Year. The kids call Amani “Papa Amani,” so in addition to his own six kids, he is the father to 100s. “These kids are our own!” Amani claims with joy.
The start of a new year offers a time for great hopes and dreams — the symbolic end of one year allows us to learn from our mistakes, to celebrate the good, to mourn the losses, and to move forward. From all of us at Action Kivu, we want to thank you for your financial, emotional and practical support this year.
Amani writes, “May 2011 bring Joy and Peace to each of us, wherever we may be, that we may each be a source of happiness and peace in our troubled but extraordinary world.”