I’ve just flown from Kalaymyo back to Yangon, Myanmar, having spent a week in the northern part of the country where I met the 19 children at Charity Children’s Home Kalaymyo Branch for the first time. I was very happy to see that they were so filled with joy and were excited to meet and spend time us foreigners, especially since some of them had never seen foreigners before. This home is one of the great things that have happened this year. I want to look at and rejoice over more of those great things.
We started the year with 12 children’s homes in Cambodia, one in Myanmar, and one in India; caring for a total of 533 children and youth. Now, with the additions of Takao and Kalaymyo, there are 13 homes in Cambodia and two in Myanmar. There are now 571 children and youth receiving care within the three countries. Raising Kids has grown by approximately 38 children this year but that doesn’t show the whole picture. In actuality, there are 70 new children who have arrived within the homes so far this year because, of course, there were some who left because they are now adults who can successfully provide for themselves or because their remaining parent or parents or extended family can now provide for them, or for some other reason.
Land has been purchased and prepared for three homes in Cambodia: Takao, Preah Vihear, and Pailin. The permanent Takao home is under construction. The other two homes start construction this month. In Preah Vihear, this will provide a permanent location for the existing home. Pailin will be a whole new home for children to come to live. We are also starting construction in Kampong Cham to replace the dormitory that has been rapidly degrading. These are wonderful new opportunities for the children in Cambodia. In Myanmar, the parents of CCH director, Thang Chung Nung, have given their home in Kalaymyo as a safe place for children in need.
Homes in all countries have been blessed with various renovations and provision of needs as well. In Yangon, Myanmar, they were blessed with a newer wall around the home for the children’s safety, repair to the kitchen foundation, new dining tables, repainting the boys’ dormitory, more clothes, school supplies, and a truck. The Kalaymyo home was blessed with funds to make repairs after the flooding of early August and add additional toilets for the children.
The Arise and Shine event was also added this year. This gathering of people to enjoy a night of fellowship together and share a meal with children live from one of the children’s homes in Cambodia via live internet feed has been wonderful. It has enabled people to get a bit closer to the children and the children to see how there are many people who care about them.
The second group of interns from Cambodia was in the United States for two and a half months. Bunthorn and Sai Hen’s humble spirits brought great joy into our office.
We’ve added sponsors too! The year started with 241 sponsors based out of our office. As of now, there are 255 different sponsors. Just like the children, there have been sponsors who left for various reasons, so we actually added 29 new sponsors this year. Some of them are sponsoring multiple children. Please take a moment with me to praise God for the growth within Raising Kids this year. He has done wonderful things.
I am excited to see what next year will bring! I already know that we will soon start to partner with Mendies Haven children’s home in Kathmandu, Nepal, and as of this month may possibly also have another partnership with a children’s home in Laos. Between these two homes, there will be around 170 more children.
~ Tina Tomes