Monday, June 14, 2010

Mully Children's Family...

I can't tell this any better than Evelyn... this is what she announced at church on Sunday...

For the last couple of years, we at Living Spirit United Church have been so busy getting the right ministers in place and getting ourselves on our feet and organized, that we have not had an out-of-the-country Compassionate Ministry fund raiser. I believe we’re on the right path now, ready to move forward, and I think that it’s time to begin making a difference outside our church walls again – this time, by contributing to a children’s charity that is saving literally thousands of children’s lives in Kenya.

This morning, I have 5 minutes to introduce you to the Mully Children’s Family (or MCF), a non-profit Christian organization that rescues children who are orphaned, abandoned, and living on the streets in Kenya. It was founded just over 20 years ago by one man, Charles Mulli and his wife Esther.

Charles Mulli himself woke up one morning at age 6 to discover that he was completely alone – during the night, his family had abandoned him. He survived for the next 6 years by begging. At the age of 12, he found a job that provided what to him was a miracle: food to eat every day, and shelter – but there was no hope for an improved life in the future. After several years, an acquaintance introduced him to a Christian group, and he found such hope for the future from the experience that he too became a Christian, and began what can only be described as a very personal relationship with God. He did well at his job, and was noticed by his employer, who recommended him for another job with more responsibilities. There he met his wife, and again he did well at his job. He decided to start his own business, bought an old Ford Cortina and started a taxi service between two cities in Kenya. His taxi service was reliable, he played inspiring Christian music on the trips, and soon EVERYONE wanted to use his taxi – and his business flourished. After a number of years, he made a fortune, and was living very comfortably with his wife and 6 children.

However, Charles never forgot just how it felt to be an abandoned child, and he was haunted by the knowledge that there were so many thousands of street children surviving in the same terrible circumstances. He felt called – no, that’s too weak a word – he felt COMPELLED by God to do something about it, and was so convinced that it was his mission in life to help these children that he sold EVERYTHING he and his family owned. He went personally out into the streets of the cities, seeking out children, feeding them, inviting them to be adopted, and taking them into his own home when they agreed. You can imagine what chaos it created in the lives of his wife and family when they had children living in their home who had been until that time surviving by any means they could: prostitution, drugs, alcohol abuse, you name it. They somehow survived it all, and the family grew larger and larger.

Charles and Esther Mulli adopted children into their family, fed them, clothed them, housed them, schooled them, gave them spiritual guidance, and trained them for jobs. They built dormitories and schools and hired teachers. They started a farm, irrigated crops with river water and built greenhouses to help supply food for the growing family.

They have had amazing success with their mission.

In the 20 years since the Mully Children’s Family was founded, over 7,000 former street children, drug addicts, and the abandoned have been rehabilitated and have graduated from MCF with high quality skills and education and are well integrated in society.

At the moment, the Mully Children’s Family is caring for 2,013 boys and girls between the ages of 1 week and 24 years.

I am hoping that you can find it in your hearts to support this life-saving organization. I am.

One month from now, in a bicycle relay race, my three team mates and I will be cycling 1,332 kilometres from Calgary to Winnipeg in 4 days to raise funds to cover the costs of food that cannot be grown on the MCF farm. Canadian dollars go a long way in Kenya - $100 will provide all non-farm food needed for one child for a year.

I don’t have time to tell you more right now, so I’m inviting anyone who wants to hear more about the race, my goals for this fundraiser, or the Mully Children’s Family, to please come talk to me at coffee time. Thank you!

-Evelyn Ko

1) Mully Children's Family
The Achievements page and News page (click on buttons at top) are particularly interesting, and there are lots of photos if you click on the "Flickr" button on the bottom right of the page.

2) there's a promotional video of the team Evelyn is riding with posted here ("Gogos" (the team name) is African for "Grandmothers")

3) During the race (July 17-22), you'll be able to track the location of Arvid, the ultra marathon cyclist (and, I think, the location of all the other teams, too) as they are going to track us by GPS, on the HotPursuit2010 website

for more info on how to donate, just contact me...
later man, jan

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Walk To Beautiful

this video is 52:38 long...
watching it has changed how I feel about my lot in my life...

later man, jan

looking for 100 clicks per day...

Can you please help us?

1 click per person and day (or IP to be more precise) on the link means 1 additional cent for the Fistula Foundation. The money is donated by companies who have put advertisement banners on the page.

The page is in German. You will know that you have been successful with your click when you read "Super, Du hast etwas Gutes getan!" - "Great, you have done something good!" :)

So far the site gets about 30 clicks per day on average. This is already a very good number and we are really grateful for everyone who clicks. On the other hand this means unfortunately that still 70 cents per day go unused and so I would love if we could enhance this number a bit!

The goal is to raise 400 € during the next 3 months. This is the equivalent in Euros for one complete operation including a dress for the woman and a bus ticket to go home.

My friends Ramona and Charmaine are travelling to Ethiopia in September to be there for the opening of the new hospital.

The Fistula Foundation
What is a fistula?
A fistula is a hole. An obstetric fistula of the kind that occurs in many developing countries is a hole between a woman's birth passage and one or more of her internal organs. This hole develops over many days of obstructed labor, when the pressure of the baby's head against the mother's pelvis cuts off blood supply to delicate tissues in the region. The dead tissue falls away and the woman is left with a hole between her vagina and her bladder (called a vesicovaginal fistula or VVF) and sometimes between her vagina and rectum (rectovaginal fistula, RVF). This hole results in permanent incontinence of urine and/or feces. A majority of women who develop fistulas are abandoned by their husbands and ostracized by their communities because of their inability to have children and their foul smell. Traumatic fistula is the result of sexual violence. The injury can occur through rape or women being butchered from the inside with bayonets, wood or even rifles. The aim is to destroy the women and the community within which the sufferer lives. Once committed the survivor, her husband, children and extended family become traumatized and humiliated.

How many women does this problem affect?
Because fistula affects women in the most remote regions of the world, an accurate count is very hard to achieve. The most common estimate is that 100,000 women worldwide develop fistulas every year, though some estimates put the number closer to 500,000. Because most fistula sufferers are young women—many still in their teens—they are likely to live with their condition for upwards of 25 years. By any estimate, there are at least two million women currently living with fistula throughout the developing world. The world capacity to treat fistula is estimated at 6,500 fistula repair surgeries per year.

Can fistula be "cured"?
Yes. An obstetric fistula can be closed with intravaginal surgery. If her surgery is performed by a skilled surgeon, a fistula patient has a good chance of returning to a normal life with full control of her bodily functions.

Here is a short audio slide show ( 5 min ) that I can't find out how to make active here but it's well worth your time if you have read this far.

thanks everyone
later man, jan