Some of the aid that we bring in from Europe is earmarked for distribution at various orphanages, Institutes CP2, CP7 and CP8. These are each residential schools for learning-disabled children, half of them orphans and the other half from problem families. CP7 has about 160 boys and CP8 about 120 girls. Before going to these institutions, we take a day to organize and prepare the clothing, so that when we arrive, we set up shop and have the children come in small groups to choose what best fits their needs and sizes.
Another institution we deliver aid to is a newly-formed center for street children. There are 24 kids there at present, who until recently have been living on the streets and begging, and sniffing glue. Some ran away from their homes because their parents forced them to bring home a certain amount of money daily. (The kids could raise in one week of begging what an average worker earns here in a month.)
Can you imagine parents forcing their children to beg on the streets and telling them not to come home without a certain sum of money? Try to think of what effect such an upbringing would have on a child’s emotions, self-image and vision for the future. Could you blame such a child for deciding not to return home? Now most of them are turning around, and back in school.
Another special place that we visit, and try to help out however we can, is a center for children suffering from AIDS. This place does not get many visitors. For many people, facing the children there is just too painful. This is because most people don’t have enough faith in God’s promises of eternal life and heavenly happiness. The AIDS kids know that they won’t be around in this life very long, but they are not sad about it. We bring them a message of hope and redemption, presented with lots of good times singing, laughing and chatting with them.