Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Caritas Part 3 : Love at Work

Evelyn’s face tells the story of the difference love can make. Where her eyes once were dim and her expression sad, she now smiles broadly and her eyes are full of hope.

In this four-part series on Caritas for Children, we are examining how Caritas works to dramatically change the lives of children. In The Need for Love, we looked at the extremely harsh conditions that many children in Uganda, Africa face on a daily basis. In Living out the Call to Love, we profiled the ways Caritas for Children partners with the Little Sisters of St. Francis to provide care for these children offering them hope and love where there was none. This week, we will look at the difference this care makes in the life of a child.

During the summer of 2006, Evelyn was discovered during a missionary trip to Uganda. Her father had died and her mother was struggling to care for five sick children between the ages of 4 and 10. Her home was suffocating in the heat and wet and muddy in the rain. Her body was thin and sick. Hoping to help, Caritas posted Evelyn’s picture on its website. Within a few weeks, a caring couple from Wisconsin chose her for sponsorship.

Due to this couple’s generosity, Evelyn is able to attend the Stella Maris boarding school. This school is run by the Little Sisters of St. Francis who provide a concrete example of God's love in action. These religious sisters are native to the Ugandan community and understand the particular challenges that these girls face. At Stella Maris, Evelyn is cared for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All of her needs are met: physical, educational, and spiritual. She receives food, water, clothing, medical care, transportation, books and much more. Without the help of her sponsors and Caritas, Evelyn might have quickly become just another sad statistic. Now she has the opportunity to learn about God and obtain an education. She has embraced that opportunity and is already an “A” student. She has a chance to break the cycle of poverty that has plagued her family.

Thanks to the generosity of strangers half way around the world, Evelyn’s future now looks bright. She is not alone. Many others like her have also experienced the difference a Caritas sponsor can make. As Christopher Hoar, founder of Caritas, states, “We have had the pleasure of seeing a small number of children with big smiling faces, healthy bodies, wearing clean clothes, and receiving education to help them to develop into self-reliant young adults that clearly proved to us that people of love can make a difference.”

Unfortunately, there are still so many more waiting for that same chance. There are children dying today from a lack of health care and basic necessities. They are also dying from a lack of love. Sponsoring a child through Caritas lets that child know he or she is loved and cared for. Through monetary support and messages of encouragement, a child who once had no hope now knows that there is love in the world. That love has the power to change a child’s life.


In next week’s article, we will profile the different ways that you can help Caritas. To find out more about Caritas, please visit www.caritas.us or call toll-free 1-888-227-4827.

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