It is amazing the difference 10 years can make! Dao came to our home frail and scared. He was sick from malnutrition and had never spent a night away from his family. His father died while Dao was young and his mother was unable to care for her family. He was lost and a perfect target for predators. Local warlords continued to threaten him with forced conscription. Coming from a poor village with no opportunities for work or education, his future was bleak. Like you or I, Dao was terrified of becoming a child soldier. He told us, “I don’t like war. I feel that it is very bad for young children.”
Today, If you were to meet Dao on the street, you would discover a strong, passionate young man, full of hopes and dreams. Through education, deep love, and the provision of a safe place, Dao was able to “change his stars.” He grew into a young man with big dreams for his future and a love for playing the guitar. He is preparing to be a farmer and wants to provide local children with opportunities that were unavailable to him.
Working with children in conflict zones is no easy task. The wounds are deep, and food and shelter are only the beginning to a holistic approach toward health and healing. There are many vital elements that must combine to help a child flourish and grow into the best version of themselves. We have watched this change happen in Dao. Although he came from a life full of broken pieces, he was able to see many of those pieces restored through the love and care he received.
Dao is a wonderful example of what we call a “whole child” – a child that is able to live with passion and confidence because their needs are met and they are being equipped for their future. Our goal is to wholly provide for every child through essential care, education and economic development projects. By addressing the broad needs of children in conflict areas, we are able to see lasting change in their lives and the communities they grow up to serve.
Thank you for your continued support of our children and our goal to bring restoration to the broken pieces in every child’s life!