A Potluck for future mom’s to be, mommies and children took place on March 1st 2014. A group of 12 women gathered around the table enjoying healthy snacks and indulgent treats contributed by the group. The women shared their real life stories and listened while others shared theirs, communicating with one another on a heart level. Our bunch of enthusiastic kids had a blast creating memorable experiences and making new friends. We look forward to welcoming new moms and children at our next event.
Through my blog I want to be a voice to those individuals and organizations that are not ordinarily heard in mainstream media, but who are committed to being a voice to those who are the most marginalized in our society, those who have no power to change their circumstances. Ron and Joanna Domingo (who we have had the incredible privilege to befriend) is one such couple involved in an incredible work in a region called Tondo in the Philippines.
Ron and Joanna went to the Philippines with the intention of living there for a few months before they headed back home to Scotland. However life took a different turn! Today they along with their 2 babies and a team of volunteers serve a community in Tondo, well known for being one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Tondo is notorious for being the poorest and most underdeveloped district in the country. Many of the city’s slums are found in this area. However Ron and Joanna choose not to echo these words over the area, rather to speak hope and to see a future for the people in this area. They established the Kalayaan Community Ministries, which works among the people in the dumpsite to restore their dignity and to give them a future.
They serve in conditions where it is a regular sight to spot children salvage half eaten food from overflowing garbage bins. The stench from rotting, unsegregated and fermenting rubbish is what surrounds the air. The dumpsite is infested with toxic waste and contaminated water. For them it is not about making it to the list of the biggest charities or to attract media attention to their work, rather it is about being faithful to serve the people and community that their heart goes out to. They consider it an honor to have a chance to alleviate suffering and to touch and change lives for the better. It is their life’s mission to see justice established where injustice cripples through poverty. Their Dumpsite project works faithfully to improving living standards and providing access to basic needs such as food, shelter and basic health care.
KCM has designed and implemented different programs with the objective of ameliorating social problems such as poverty, homelessness and hunger. They have developed a sustainable feeding program called ‘Food For School/Packed Lunch Program’. This is a feeding program designed specifically for children and young people struggling to stay in school because their families cannot afford to buy them lunch. It involves providing 100 packed lunches on a daily basis.
KCM has also designed an effective program that works towards improving health, hygiene and well being of the people. This venture is called ‘Daily Wound care program’. Every day around the dumpsite area there are children who get wounds on their feet from walking on glass and other sharp objects hidden in the garbage. Their hands are at times wounded from working on glass or playing in it. They get wounds on their heads from cuts or insect bites that get infected from the dirt and intense heat. This program cares for the wounded and brings healing to their body and soul.
Today a significant number of individuals in Tondo area has benefited from all of the above-mentioned programs and many other programs they run. KCM has given the little hearts in this region an opportunity to grow up healthy, educated and prepared to succeed and contribute to society. They are constantly bombarded with a flock of hurting, hungry, homeless children. The harsh reality is that they cannot always meet the needs due to financial constraints.
Every child deserves a chance to survive and thrive. I believe each of us have in us the ability to create a positive influence that can change a person’s life. You can make a difference by spreading the word, volunteer participation, donating or by simply saying a word of prayer. Choose to make a difference in a child’s life. As you change their world, you change your’s in the process.
KCM is a non-profit organization that functions solely through donations. The CEO does not take a salary and they work with minimal administrative cost. KCM is committed to being good stewards of the funds entrusted to them and they have set up an online transparency page where everyone who donates is added and can view incoming funds and what the purpose of these funds are for. If you are interested in learning more about what Klayaan community ministries are doing or you feel lead to donate, you could contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org. You could catch their updates through their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/KalayaanMinistries?ref=br_rs
Calling all moms to be and moms in Dubai with children (Babies to teenagers) who are interested in stepping out with your kids for some fun time. Here is an opportunity to socialize and make lifelong friendships for yourself and your children. We are a group of moms who get together with our children once a month for a coffee morning, play-date or just a casual hangout where we have some great conversations. This month we invite you to join us in a PotLuck Get-togethere, details of which are given below. Kindly register if interested. The best part..it is FREE!!
Looking forward to meeting all you Mommies and Kiddos!
Happy New Year! I wish all my readers a New Year filled with good health, new opportunities, much happiness and prosperity. I just got back from an amazing vacation with my family. As I planned for this trip paying much attention to the smallest details, there was one thing that I kept reminding myself of and eventually tossed it to the back burner. This is about my decision to write a few posts in advance, which never happened due to my busy schedule. However after all the responses I got in my mail enquiring when to expect the next post and some asking if I abandoned the blog, I wish I were more organized with writing in advance. So here is a formal apology for not keeping up.
When I started writing I was not sure if I would have 10 readers to my credit. In an era where intelligent reading material is readily available, I asked myself if I was convinced beyond a shadow of doubt if this is something that I should be investing my precious time into. With much careful consideration I moved forward with conviction. I have been blogging for 4 months and in this short period I am so overwhelmed and encouraged to notice the incremental readers on my stat page. Days after the blogs inception, as the numbers hit the 1000 mark and constantly grew I was surprised more than I was excited, to learn that a community was waiting to exist. This blog was not initiated with a motive for monitory gain or for self-promotion. This was birthed out of a dream to inspire and influence women in all walks of life. I am no expert in counseling and i am no life coach; I share my learnings from my every day experiences and experiences of people close to my heart with the hope to bless. My take on life is not just to exist but rather to be purposeful, to thrive and to influence.
It has been truly rewarding to see the ‘Cocoon to Butterfly Mother and Child Community’ grow along side the blog. One of the most memorable moments from last year has been when a reader showed up to one of the C2B coffee mornings and introduced herself to me and said she loves to read what i write, follows the blog and wishes to be part of the group. Ever since that day we have grown as friends and she continues to be one of my biggest supporters. Another highlight of the past year was when i was invited by a prominent school in UAE to address students on making the right choices in deciding their careers. As I travel and receive positive feedback, meet new readers and read responses from people of how this blog has impacted their life, I am so humbled and left thinking that someone as special as this actually reads my blog. I do not own any of this to take any glory. This was a dream deposited by my Creator above, He is the owner and He is the driving force. This has been my first attempt at writing and i am constantly making mistakes and learning as i go along. As i begin my journey in this New Year I would like to thank each one of my readers for entrusting me with that bit of your time, in your life. I appreciate the encouragement you give me through every like and comment you put up on the blog, the calls you make, the mails you send and the kind words you shower as compliments. This platform has taught me valuable lessons, given me a new purpose and is blooming to become something much larger that I could have ever imagined. I will not disclose much but leave you with a promise that there is much to look forward to here, in this New Year. Cheers to a brighter 2014 and a fruitful year of new beginnings to one and all!
Christmas markets are a great way to experience the flavor of Christmas . We love them for their delectable gourmet food, festive music, creative art, hand made crafts and the enchanting experience they offer. If you wish to experience something unique in the city of Dubai this Christmas, then pay a visit to the HTC Family corner at the Christmas market in Arabian Ranches Golf club on December 14, 2013. You are guaranteed to be impressed by the stall’s offerings.
A coffee morning for moms and moms to be took place on the 30th of November 2013 at ‘Caboodle’ in Dubai Mall. It was an enjoyable couple of hours with women savouring a cuppa and some heart-warming conversations. The purpose of C2B events is to foster socialization and a support system for both mothers and children. We look forward to meeting and welcoming mothers to be, mothers and their children for our next event.
I come from a home where ‘ I ‘ was celebrated, ‘I’ was made to feel important and ‘I’ was special. I had a wonderful childhood not because of the things I had but because of the way I was made to feel.
God created each child to be a wonderful unique individual. My oldest is spirited and he loves all the attention he could possibly have. He loves to play with automobiles and planes. My second is calm (now moving on from there) and independent. He loves to play with pots and pans. My third is a mix of both. What motivates one child does not motivate the other. Each of my peas is so different although they are from the same pod. They are uniquely different in their personalities, interests, strengths and capabilities.
As for me I wish every little boy were calm and easy to parent. I wish every little boy would play with automobiles and planes. However I have learned that there is absolutely no value in comparing our children to the other. As parents my husband and I are constantly reminding each other to be conscious not to exercise favoritism. As parents we have realized that each of our 3 children possess different strengths and require unique support to meet their individual needs. It is up to us as parents to be involved with our children, to observe their gifts and to help nourish them. I am reminded of the famous verse “Children are like arrows in the hands of a warrior”. We have to be mindful to raise our children not as objects that we control rather to raise them as powerful tools that we can release for a greater purpose.
Every child is a perfect reflection of God’s magnificent diversity. Lets celebrate each of them for who they are and who they were created to be. Every child is special, every child is unique, and every child is extra-ordinary!
Upcoming event for November : Mommies coffee morning and children’s play date . Check out the events section for more details.
My aim with this feature is to expose you to a world of children robbed from their simple joys of adolescence lived out in carelessness, instead replaced by the horror of war, death and the in-exchangeable pain of loss.
I am a mother of three and the thought of armed men gaining control over the destinies of innocent children, confining them to holes unfit for animals, infested with disease and the horrors of weapons used only by demented minds more so than the ones who created them, causes chills to the very core of my being. This feature is not about Politics, its not about war, its not about the colossal mistakes of the 21st century thought we live in… rather its about those simple, innocent, highly impressionable minds of 7 and 8 year olds that were really just put here so someone would love them and nourish them, so that one day they would be devoted to their families and their communities, dreaming of a better tomorrow.
The conflict in Syria has been going on for more than 2 years with a mass influx of Syrian refugees pouring into Lebanon daily. It is estimated that 52.8% of the Syrian refugee population are children under the age of 18. This is largely a children’s refugee crisis. These are children at-risk in part because they have already lost 2 years of formal education with nothing to do with their time. There is no opportunity to go to school for legal reasons. They are rejected and marginalized, at-risk children. The future for these children may look bleak, but in the mist of this chaos is a movement that shines light in the darkness, committed to make a difference… I am honored to highlight the work of our dear friend Camille Melki and his organization ‘Heart for Lebanon’.
‘Heart for Lebanon’ was founded in 2006 with a vision to transform devastated communities in the Middle East, by providing physical and emotional care. Syrian and Iraqi refugees children have especially benefited from this organization, as they help them overcome the stress related to their situation and provide opportunities for education, welfare and medical treatment. Through H4L I have come across many gripping stories of families fleeing violence that would also reveal how Syria’s civil war has impacted children.
I share with you the story of a divided family: the story of Ayham, Iman, and Hamza.
Ayham was just six years old when his life was forever changed. Growing up in the city of Homs in Syria, Ayham enjoyed a wonderful and secure life with his mother, father, older sister Iman and younger brother Hamza. But Ayham’s family and neighbors weren’t the only ones occupying their neighborhood in Homs; someone had moved in, someone unwelcomed. These unwelcomed gangs find pleasure in what they can steal and whom they can hurt, armed with a reputation of kidnap, torture, and rape. On January 15th, 2013 a huge massacre took place in their neighborhood, killing many in the process. Ayham was forced to cope with the loss of his father, his innocence, and the only home he ever knew as his family fled the neighborhood. Ayham’s uncle accompanied them by foot to a camp located in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. With a lack of physical space in the camp, Ayham’s mother was unable to seek permanent refuge in the Bekka Valley camp and was forced to once again uproot her family. Presented with no other option, Ayham’s mother took him and traveled to Tripoli, a city located in North Lebanon, and settled in a camp there, leaving his sister Iman and brother Hamza to stay in the Bekka Valley camp with their uncle. To this day, Ayham and his mother are separated from his two siblings and receive little contact from them. Monthly food and hygiene portions are provided to Ayham’s uncle and his family as well as Hamza and Iman by ‘Heart for Lebanon’. The children also attend the monthly educational program run by H4L in the Bekka Valley camp where they play games, sing songs, and undergo value-based education. It is the hope of Ayham and his mother that they will one day rejoin the rest of their family in the Bekka Valley camp, a dream that is yet to unfold into reality. For now they have a reason to live as ‘Heart for Lebanon’ shines a great beacon light of provision and hope into their life..they are loved, they are sustained.
Within each initiative ‘Heart for Lebanon’ seeks to eliminate the dependency of those it serves and to restore their dignity in the eyes of the surrounding community and between them and their creator. I applaud them for their unshakable commitment towards the welfare and security of refugee children.
We can do more than make promises. We can do a little and still ensure children like Hanan have access to an education, are able to stay in school, and gain the skills they need to flourish for generations to come. There are so many possibilities, but we must start acting on them. If you are lead to make a difference in one child’s life and uplifting a community of thousands,if you would like to contribute visit: http://www.heartforlebanon.org/
I hope to teach my children that the more they’re given, the more of a responsibility they have to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give shelter to the homeless and comfort the afflicted. Join me in a journey to teach the future generation to be more socially engaged individuals.….Onward to a better tomorrow, better communities, a better World!
I would encourage all my readers to watch this 15 minute video created by our friends, as it sheds light into the beautiful world of adoption. In a self-gratifying world this production is counter-cultural. I promise you this creative effort will tug your heart and take ahold of you. http://ilikegiving.com/story/i-like-adoption. Please remember to come back to this page to read the rest of the article.
I am thrilled to write a feature story about adoption for my blog. My take on adoption, as I’ve heard many state is that ‘it is birthed in the heart of God’. I hold a positive perspective about adoption and I have been affected by adoption from the time I remember. Yes, I have a seed of adoption in my heart. My husband and I have considered adopting and we still talk about it.
I am excited as I get to write the story of our friends Daryl and Cathy Heald. They display such joy in adopting that their story is more than inspiring. A story of sacrifice and what may seem like inconvenience, but in reality a story that births blessing and joy. Daryl currently serves as Director of Generosity with The Maclellan Foundation as well as serving on the boards of Crown Financial Ministries, Excellence in Giving, ProVision Foundation and the Haggai Institute. His wife Cathy is by all means what I would call chief of supermoms. Daryl and Cathy, live in Georgia, with their seven children. They have 5 biological children (Frances, Hallie, Hamilton, Anders and Louisa) and 2 adopted children (Lee Lee and Lucy Wu from China). They are in the process of adopting another little treasure Bella from China, which makes it 8 blessings. Their adoption story is anything but typical .
Daryl and Cathy began the process of adopting their daughter Lee Lee from an orphanage in China in 2007. Not only did they possess an incredible heart to adopt, but also they set to adopt babies who were special and physically challenged. Lee Lee was born with cleft lips, cleft palette and clubfeet. She was one year when they first visited her in China. She was able to crawl and sit up but not for long periods of time. She had her lips repaired in China. Physical therapy for her clubfeet administered in China had not been very successful. She was brought to their home in Georgia in August 2007.
Lucy Wu is the second daughter adopted by Daryl and Cathy. She hails also from China and was born with a rare physical condition. She had a large mass grown since development in utero, in her back, which compressed her spine. She was born with nerve loss below the knee. Lucy Lu was brought to the loving home of Cathy and Daryl in August 2012.
Both the daughters have progressed in their health as the new parents and siblings cared for them, provided medical help and instilled in them unconditional love. They have been through innumerable surgeries and medical intervention and are in a better place in their health as I write. These little girls have experienced the full gamut of emotions: pain, suffering, love, joy, peace, excitement and much more and through it all they have seen the reflection of the loving hands of God as Daryl and Cathy nurture them. As parents their days may be chaotic, their homes full, their bills maybe outrageous and their lives involves constant sacrifice, yet they count it all joy to be in a position to raise, build and respond to a call of generous giving.
Though the little girls do not have blond hair or blue eyes, they own the hearts of Daryl and Cathy. They have been gifted with a chance to live and thrive. Daryl and Cathy believe growing their family through adoption is one of the biggest blessings in their life. They consider it privilege to be parents to 7 and soon to be 8 children. Daryl and Cathy believe in a journey of generosity and are committed to spread the message of generosity. They embrace the truth ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive’. Their story of adoption is a true story of giving their life, their resources, their money, their time, and their family to a greater cause.
Here is a family who stepped out of their comfort zone to adopt and parent precious little helpless babes who they raise as their own. These parents truly pursue to reflect selfless love in a selfish world. . I believe pregnancy and childbirth is a miracle. After learning the story of Cathy and Daryl I am convinced that the journey of adoption is as miraculous.
God’s best for a child is a loving family. If you have considered adoption, you are making a difference; you are making an eternal investment. Daryl and his friend Michael Dennehy, who have adopted, have created the video on adoption that i have shared at the beginning of this post. I share it with the hope that it may help others who are considering or beginning the adoption journey. If you would love to be part of a child’s life and hope to make a difference in their lives through sponsorships, i have attached a link to a trusted international organization that is committed to building a better world for helpless children. https://www.worldvision.org/sponsor-child . You can do very little, and still do a lot. Truly it is more blessed to give than to receive.