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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Happy Hens feed malnourished kids in Colombia.


Hi, my name is Claudia and I grew up in Colombia, South America.  When I was in  11th grade a friend and I decided that instead of doing the usual project to alphabetize kids in the “barrio” behind our school, we wanted to prepare the kids to do their first communion.  So my friend Rosa Maria and I embarked on this mission to prepare us for graduation of High School.  So, at the beginning of the school year, we met with a group of 30 boys and girls and discussed with them what we were going to do, and all the details such as the fact that they would be doing their first communion in May and how many times we will meet.

After the second meeting, a boy called Dany came to me and asked if I had a spare dictionary that he needed for school.  So, since I had one at home, I asked Dany to come to my house to pick it up.  To tell you the truth, I don’t remember how Dany got to my house, but I remember him entering my house, and having him sit down for the usual snack with my brothers and me which was hot chocolate and “roscones” a delicious round bread filled with guava paste. 

As Dany sat with us, he started telling us about his life.  He lived in a “neighborhood of invasion” as they call them, which means that families who were displaced, moved in and put up a small shack made of pieces of aluminum for a roof, and carton board for walls.  Of course they did not have bathrooms, electricity or hot water.  They would cook outside of the shack using wood from the woods in the area, and they made a fire pit.

So, Dany would have to get up every morning at 4:00 am and go with his cousin Diego to the river to fetch water for cooking and for cleaning themselves.  Dany lived with his mother and his two-year old brother Marcos.  His father had died a couple of years ago in a tragic accident.  However, given these difficult living conditions, Dany would get ready for school every morning, and was a very good student.  He always did his homework at night, by candlelight.

I gave Dany the dictionary, and he was as happy as a lark in spring.  He would be able to start learning English now.  He had pretty ambitious dreams, and wanted to grow up to make money to support his mom, and give her a nice home.

Well, Dany made his first communion in May that year, and unfortunately, I did not see him again.  However, he had sown a seed in my heart and in Rosa Maria’s dreams.  I recall talking with her about doing something when we grow up to help the “street children” of Colombia.

Years passed, and I moved to Florida, USA to do my master’s degree in Counseling.
I always remembered Dany, and his sad eyes, which lightened up when I gave him that dictionary.  I remembered our pact with Rosa Maria, that one day we would do something for kids like Dany.  I graduated, got jobs, and moved from Florida for a job, and my dream had not been fulfilled yet.  However, it was still there. ….

Ten years had passed since I had arrived from Colombia, and I was now in Washington, DC the capital of the USA.  It was exciting to live in the city, which seemed like the “brain of the world” where all the powerful decisions are made and where diplomats from all over the world live.

Later on, I got married and moved to Texas for a couple of years.  Over there, I met an accountant who listen to my stories and dreams, and said, that it would be very easy to start a 501c3 and a nonprofit organization.  So, to make a long story short, with his help, we started Sowing Seeds for the Future, a nonprofit Public Charity to advocate for the health and education of children in Colombia.

Since 2012, my father and I started working for Chocó a Department of Colombia, which is currently going through a Humanitarian Crisis.  The news in 2012 said, “Children in Chocó, are committing suicide due to hunger.”

Initially, we worked with the Network of Midwives, sending them clean birth kits, and backpacks to carry in the jungle on their way to deliver babies, given that Chocó has the highest maternal mortality during birth of all Latin America (358:100.000). 

We also started a “Happy Hens” Project, in which we donate and train women to receive 15 laying hens per month, to add protein to their families’ diet and reduce the malnutrition and anemia present in children.

As we developed contacts in Chocó, I came across the Fundación Marajuera, created by  Johanna Novella, a young Colombian woman, to provide meals and recreation for the children of Chocó.  She developed a “Godchild Program”, and my adopted Godchild’s name is Dani…  a six year old boy.  Once again, this brought memories from 12th grade and the boy who planted a seed in my heart to help the children of Colombia.  Recently, we sent Dani a hen, so that he will have an egg every day, to feed his family.  We hope to plant a seed in his heart to continue the cycle of giving and to end poverty in this beautiful area of the world.



If you would like to sponsor a laying hen, and send a donation please contact me

At sowingseeds4future@gmail.com  The cost of each hen, plus the concentrate is $10 USD.  
God bless you!