"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” Jeremiah 1:5
At Kaya Children International, we work with children who have lived on the streets and children who live in extreme poverty. Children who live on the streets and in extreme poverty live an unstructured life. They worry about where they will find their next meal, and where they will sleep that night. Life on the street is dark, and children lose hope that things can get better. They do not dream about the future. When children arrive at Kaya, they respond quickly to questions like, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” or “What is your favorite color?” with “I don’t know” or “I don’t care”.
Every weekday, the Kaya Center serves children of all ages. At the Kaya Center, the children eat a nutritious lunch, have a safe space to work on homework, and enjoy their childhood. Come to the Kaya Center on any given afternoon, and you will meet children who are in preschool all the way up to children who are finishing high school. Four year old Lori, who is just about to start kindergarten, is an example of the many challenges children face just to start school in Bolivia.
At times, writing posts for this blog can be challenging. I am exposed to so many heartbreaking stories, and it is easy to be overwhelmed by all the needs. As I write blogs, I want to share the reality of what life is like for children in Bolivia, but it can be difficult not to get discouraged. However, I have seen that although there are many stories full of pain, there are also many amazing moments of breakthrough. Today, as I sit down to write, I feel uplifted, and I hope you too are encouraged as I share with you the beautiful story of the generosity of one of the children at Kaya.
Congratulations to our kindergarten graduates. We are so proud of you!
At Kaya, we work with children who live in extreme poverty. Everyday we see the heartbreaking effects of this poverty in our community: malnourishment, tooth decay, depression and child labor. At Kaya, we work hard to reach as many children as we can and to lessen the effects of poverty on their lives. It is our goal to help them and their families escape poverty and for children to have a better future. This is a big task. How do you approach such a big problem? One good place to start is with education.
Like many kids, the Kaya kids are full of questions. Walk into the Kaya Center in December and you will hear an endless stream of questions: How many days until Christmas? Can we make Christmas decorations? Was Jesus born in a manger? God lives within us? The teachers and staff at Kaya patiently answer all the questions the children ask. The children smile as they think of the Christmas celebrations that are quickly approaching.