Sunday, August 23, 2009

Helping Children Around the World

Many of you already know that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each Bellman Bear book goes to an organization that helps children around the world. Thank you for your purchases and support of the Bellman Bear Series. It is exciting that the Bellman Bear Series serves two main purposes...fostering responsible global citizenship in your children and your students, while at the same time, supporting the education of children half-way across the globe! Kenya Kids Can! is the current organization that we sponsor. They feed over 18,000 children in 34 schools through their First Things First: The Food Program. They also establish computer centers at schools in remote areas of Kenya. Each center is housed in a recycled steel shipping crate and fueled by solar panels. Students are taught by Kenyan teachers, who are dedicated solely to computer instruction. We thought it would help for you to hear more about their work in Steve Peifer's own words. Here is an excerpt from his June newsletter:

...I was at one of the schools I work with in the valley, and I was trying to film the students about using computers, and it wasn't coming together. After three tries with three students where I could get nothing but a yes or no out of them, I asked the computer teacher why they are acting like that. She told me that there was no food in most of their homes, and school was ending soon, and that the lunch at school was the only food they got in a day.

Then she asked me, very gently, if I had ever been hungry.

I told her no, I had never been hungry.

She told me that if you had ever been hungry, and you knew you would be again, it was the worst feeling you could imagine. The fear would grab a hold of you and not let go.

The reason the children were not helping was because they were wrapped up in the fear of being hungry.

I thought about this all weekend. On Sunday, my daughter had asked if we could go into town and watch the Hannah Montana movie. (Ben threw up in his mouth when I asked him if he wanted to go.) As we sat in that awful movie, with her sitting eagerly at the edge of her seat, I thought about the unusal path that it took for us to have a daughter.

Having a daughter has helped me face all the awful things I've seen in Kenya. Love is the only thing that can help you face fear, and love is the only thing that makes you want to fight for those who don't have a voice or a chance.

I'm so grateful that love is greater than fear.

Your pal, Steve"

Click here to read the full newsletter.

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