"I AM THEMBELIHLE"
If you were to visit Swaziland and see Thembelihle at her school or at the carepoint, she might very well say in beautifully British-Swazi, clipped-English, "I am Thembelihle ____ . I am 10 years old"
That is how school children are taught to introduce themselves when they participate in programs or when meeting visiting groups. She might also tell you that her name means "faithful" or "loyal".
Thembelihle is one of the 11 children at Bheveni Carepoint still needing a special friend or group of friends in the U.S. to sponsor her and ensure that she has hope for a beautiful future despite the disease, poverty, unemployment, and death that is rampant in her community.
As a sponsor of this 4th grade girl, you'll not only be helping meet her physical needs, but as you write letters to her, you will be letting her know that she is loved and valued enough for someone to invest both their time and money. For a child growing up in dire poverty with very limited opportunities, this is a huge, huge thing...something they do not take for granted.
When we visited Swaziland, over and over again parents would thank us for what we were doing for their children and children at the carepoint would tell us about their sponsors and even show us photos of them or letters that they had written. I remember one girl gave me a giant hug so I could give it to her "special friend" Elizabeth back in the States.
Thembelihle lives with her mom and 2 siblings. She lives just a few minutes from the carepoint where she goes daily for food, clean water, and a safe place to hang out with her friends after school and weekly be taught about Jesus by the Adventures in Missions Discipleship Team. See? There she is below to the far left. This time she is smiling at the antics of my husband as he tells the kids a folktale about African animals and how their story illustrates Biblical truths.
By becoming Themelihle's sponsor, you'd be blessing her, but believe me, you'd be gaining such a big blessing in return. We sponsors love our children, but it is incredible to know that they love us back, too. It is such a gift to be allowed to participate in their lives in this way. Even if you are not ever able to visit them face-to-face, there will be a forever link there because of your willingness to make the difference in the life of a very beautiful, but very needy, child.
And who knows?
Maybe one day your photo will be the one a Beveni child is holding up.
To find out more information on sponsoring a child at Bheveni Carepoint, visit Danielle Brower's website at http://moms4change.net/ or email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.