Thank-you to the Pembina Hills Art Gallery staff and amazing volunteers! And most importantly to my African friends, this is truly for you!
All proceeds from the exhibit will go to HOPEthiopia. This is an organization all about giving hope and restoration to the orphaned children of Ethiopia.
I would love to invite each of you to my exhibit at the Pembina Hills Art Gallery from September 4-28th. The exhibit is entitled Beautiful Souls: Portraits of Africa. All of the proceeds from the exhibit will go to bringing hope and restoration to the orphaned children of Ethiopia through HOPEthiopa.
From Melissa Faye Green’s book, There is No Me Without You, she highlights the magnitude of the orphan crisis in Africa were close to 12 million children are orphaned as a result of HIV/Aids:
“Who was going to raise twelve million children?
That is what I suddenly wanted to know.
“Who was teaching twelve million children how to swim?
Who was signing twelve million permission slips for school field trips?
Who packed twelve million school lunches?
Who cheered at twelve million soccer games?
Who was going to buy twelve million pairs of sneakers that light up when you jump?
Backpacks? Toothbrushes? Twelve million pairs of socks? Who will tell twelve
million bedtime stories?
…….in Africa a generation of parents, teachers, principals, physicians, spiritual leaders, musicians, poets, bureaucrats, coaches, farmers, bankers, and business owners are being erased.” pp 22-23
The reality of the aids crisis can seem crippling to me. Hopeless. And then I remember Haregewoin Teferra a women that gave the gift of hope and love to hundreds of little people. Hope is present. In the midst of sadness and tragedy there is strength and love and a hope that reaches into the darkness. A hope that doesn’t give up.
the other day i received a brown envelope. inside was tucked a pink card filled with names that were not familiar to me. each person’s signature had been written with much care and effort. a group of individuals with special needs from the Carman friendship centre had found out a group of us women would soon be travelling to Malawi to work alongside widows and orphans. they had decided to write each of us a personal blessing. the only expectation was that we would bring our card along with us. i was overcome with emotion as i once again looked at the names written on the pink page. these “strangers” cared for me & cared for the bigger world around them. so, as i pack my bag to take with me to Africa, i will be taking along my pink blessing & holding the words given to me close to my heart.