Written on behalf of Peter McSherry
I want to tell you about Bracelet of Hope. Bracelet of Hope is a Canadian grassroots charity committed to ending the AIDS pandemic in Lesotho. Lesotho is a nation in Southern Africa with a population slightly over 2 million, where it is estimated that one in four adults are infected with HIV, and where 200,000 children live as orphans as a direct result of AIDS. Those are staggering numbers.
Helping Those Most in Need
On a recent trip to Lesotho, our Director of Business Development met with some of the orphans. She met with children like Ntaoleng who is two years old. A child who was literally left to die, malnourished to the point of hair loss, and too weak to take a step. A child whom a social worker described as withdrawn, afraid, and having little interest in interacting with others.
She also met with children like Mamokhele, who at the age of 12 lost both parents, within months of each other. Her eldest sister became the caregiver for her, her four younger siblings and her one year old nephew. Only months after being orphaned by losing both of their parents, Mamokhele’s eldest sister also passed away, leaving her, at twelve years old, the caregiver of a four younger siblings and her nephew. Mamokhele left school to continue her father’s business of selling straw hats to support her family. The little amount of income did not provide enough income for her family. Mamokhele was left with five young children to care for, having to leave school and fight for the lives of her family at the age of twelve. She was working hard, hungry and left alone with five children to care for.
Those are the beginnings of tragic stories, but these stories are still being written, and with our help, they have gone from tragic to hopeful:
After several months of living in Lerobane with eight siblings and two Foster parents, Ntaoleng has gained weight, is walking and laughing and playing with her new family. She now has a bright future, and will someday go to school to learn with other children, where she will create a future of her own. Without the support of the Foster Homes, Ntaoleng’s future would be unknown. Today, she is safe, happy and healthy.
Mamokhele now has two parents to care for her, her siblings and her nephew. She has returned from school and she proudly wears her school uniform. Mamokhele has the opportunity to be a child again.
Making a Difference Together- Battle of the Board
We set a goal for ourselves to support 48 children, just like Ntaoleng and Mamokhele, to have a bright future in our Foster Homes, and get their lives on track. We provide each child with a safe, loving home, with nutrition, education and medication, but we need your help to continue to make this happen.
So we, the board members, have decided to challenge ourselves — and each other — to meet this goal. We’re announcing our 2016 Battle of the Board Campaign. The Battle of the Board is intended as a head to head competition, with the goal of reaching the most people, bringing in the most donation money, and ultimately, making the biggest difference. Each of our board members will participate in an athletic activity together in one of three categories: a 5km walk, a 10km run and 100km bike ride, and I’m excited to announce that I’ll be participating in the 100km bike ride.
Would you be willing to make a donation of $50, $100 or whatever you can afford to help us meet our goal of $30,000 to support 48 orphaned children in Lesotho, Africa? We simply can’t do it without you. Your support will make a real, lasting impact in the lives of those who are still in need.
Please, click here to make your donation now.
Thank you for your continued support and friendship.