Happiness And The Nkechi Project

I pass someone in the street who is always in pain. Be Happy I say. She says I Am Always Happy. I say I am miserable - can she tell me how to be happy? She points between her eyes. Think it. Feel it. Tell it. I ask her to explain. If my mum dies, she says, I shall feel sad, but that is transient. Deeper than that sadness is joy. That is eternal.

I enter the office. Naomi is using her private time to make and sell Christmas cards and gift certificates for her charity project - The Good Shepherd Orphanage in Bamenda, Cameroun. Sister Jane, the orphanage's founder, saw many children orphaned through Aids who needed a safe home. After their parents have died, the children are homeless, desperately hungry, left to fend for themselves, in need of shelter and love. Sister Jane turns none away. These women selflessly care for the children, and also spend hours sewing beautifully ornate designs onto fabulous African printed fabrics. Some weeks they make and sell enough to get food for the children - and at other times there is no food at all.

At present they have a large number of babies in their care, and they cannot afford to buy the milk these babies need. Naomi says: I wanted to help, so what could I do? I set up the Nkechi project. Nkechi is a female name in Igbo, a West African language. It means Gift from God. Through the Nkechi project I hope to raise enough money to feed all 90 children in the Good Shepherd Orphanage for at least a year. £8 will feed one child for a full month! I have designed and made Christmas card packs, and also Gift Certificates, which purchase meals for the children (there are various amounts) and can be bought to give as presents for family or friends.

To get catalogues and order forms email admin@aidanandhilda.org.uk

Posted at 07:24am on 7th December 2009
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