Amy's African Adventure
Here at Hopewiser we are strong believers in giving. Whether that be providing addressing software to our clients to give them compliant and validated data, or even simply giving back to the environment through recycling and using low-energy light bulbs. However, our Support Assistant Manager, Amy Croft, has set the bar even higher by sponsoring a child named Jonathan whom she met whilst volunteering in an orphanage in Africa.
During July 2017 Amy spent two weeks at Aston’s Vision (named after the founder) teaching the “baby” class (children aged 2-6) such things as English, days of the week, and colours.
“Aston opened the orphanage after finding a baby inside a box when he was going to collect water from a spring, which was 30 minutes from his house. He took the baby to the neighbours and people of the village but no one would claim her or take her in.”
Aston told Amy of how he turned to the police for help, only for them to say they would have to give the baby to the “white people” (meaning that a Western orphanage would provide better care for her). However, deciding that the orphan should grow up around her own culture, Aston refused and kept the child, naming her Angel. The child still lives at the orphanage today.
Amy expressed how shocked she was to see the appalling conditions that the children at the orphanage lived in. Most days they could not afford to eat breakfast, and the only meal that they would receive for dinner was a small, watery bowl of porridge. Additionally, all of the children had colds and wore ripped clothes.
“I had decided to bring half a suitcase full of children’s clothes with me. I can't describe how happy they were when they saw them. Despite the poverty they were living in, I have never seen happier children, which was refreshing to see.
“Whilst there I managed to raise £340 for the orphanage. I spent this on much needed food, school supplies, and cleaning products. I want to continue to raise money for the orphanage as it now has a place in my heart. Also for around $700 a year I sponsor one of the children I met there, named Jonathan.”
A year later and Amy has recently received her first written letter from Jonathan, along with his usual school report and also a photograph to show how well he has progressed.
As the trip drew to a close, Amy’s journey back to the UK was very eventful. The military coup d’etat on 15th July 2017 meant that she was stranded at Istanbul Airport for 24 hours amongst thousands of people all trying to board flights. She was under strict instructions from the UK Foreign Office not to leave the premises, even though she had been advised by airport staff to attempt to find a hotel for the night.
After eventually getting through to the Turkish Airlines call centre she was transferred onto a UK bound flight the following day. And although she lost her luggage amidst the chaos at Istanbul, Amy was just relieved to have gotten home safely.
“Although a very stressful trip home, I had an amazing time in Africa. I have learnt to appreciate what we have here and I will forever remember that there is always someone worse off than me.”
Amy is a prime example of the fact that not all heroes wear capes. Even a simple donation or sponsorship can make a huge difference to poverty stricken child’s life. It is clear to see that Jonathan has benefited immensely from Amy’s voluntary work, and we sincerely hope that he and all of the other children continue to prosper with their education. We invite you to remember Amy’s words that “there is always someone worse off than me”. You truly do not realise how lucky you are until you see the unfortunate conditions that some of the people in third world countries are living in.