Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Written by Eunice Lim, a volunteer who worked with Kaya Children down in Bolivia two years ago.
Omar’s first day at Kaya’s school was also my first day volunteering in Bolivia at Kaya, but I didn’t know that then. All I knew was that there was this little 8 year old boy who had the most adorable little face but also worked up a storm, never listening to his teachers and calling me “China” (Chinese girl) no matter how many times he got scolded for it.
(My name is Eunice, and I’m Korean!)
Please help us continue serving the children of Bolivia. Learn more about the Kaya Challenge:http://www.firstgiving.com/kayachildren.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Written by Stephanie Kuei, Communications Officer with Kaya Children.
“What were you doing when you were ten?”
I remember Daniel, a former street child and one of the older boys at Kaya Children whom I met while I was in Bolivia, asking me this question and feeling guilty because, at ten years old, I was ignorant of events happening in other parts of the world and was taking all my opportunities for granted.
Up until that moment, I thought I understood the challenges street children face and was able to sympathize with the children I met. However, listening to Daniel tell me the reasons why he left his family to live on the streets, the types of people he encountered, the worries he faced, and the conditions he had to endure really broke my heart. At ten years old, he slept in an abandoned building and worked late hours selling sausages on street corners.
Here was a guy who was the same age as me and who had experienced so many things that no child should ever have to experience. His question shook me up and revealed a passion for these children in me that I never fully realized.
Now, Daniel, who is twenty years old and one of four recent high school graduates at Kaya Children, is in college and is an example to the younger kids of what it means to hope for a bright future. With Kaya’s support, he has overcome countless hardships and has grown to be a man of strong character.
The question he asked me changed my perspective and made me rethink what it means to really care for this population. It made me realize what a blessing a childhood is. So I am going to ask you:“What were you doing when you were ten?”
Monday, October 4, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Meet Rafael, an eleven year old boy at Kaya Children, who wants to one day become a police officer. He loves going to school, learning about computers and technology, and spending time with his classmates. His favorite activities are basketball, volleyball, and racquetball.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
All throughout the month of October, we will be updating this blog daily with a new story about the life of one of the kids at Kaya Children. We want to connect our fundraisers and supporters to the motivation behind the Kaya Challenge -- helping the children in Bolivia.
Monday, July 19, 2010
A Bolivia Reflection by Hubert Park
One week flew by. Everyone on the team kept saying "it was more than what we had expected". It was more than just a humanitarian trip from which you come back elated, but that chapter (or page) of the book is finished and you move on. It was more than just treating the teeth of these children. It was more than just going overseas and experiencing being in another culture. We witnessed the reality of children given another chance to live the kind of life they deserve to live and the space in their heart that used to be filled with fear and despair of being out on the streets now being replaced with hope and love. Beyond the cultural and language barriers and time limitations, there was a mutual exchange of appreciation between the team members and the children at Kaya -- one thanking the other for the dental treatments while the other was genuinely and profoundly moved by the brightness of the spirit they displayed.
We also had special moments amongst the team members ourselves. The beauty of the team this year was the breadth of different generations represented, from budding, youthful high school students to a parent and overseer of the church. We had wonderful discussions and "pillow talks", ranging from very serious ones to ones we could not stop laughing. It was the perfect way to end the long, hard days of work.
On the personal level, I was humbled. Humbled by the maturity all of the children possessed and by the amazing work Chi and Kristin have been doing in all of these children's lives. One afternoon Tony and I had the chance to talk with the older kids in the waiting room outside of the dental clinic. Some of them had known Chi for five years, eight years, even eleven years!
We thank Kaya and everyone who's supported us to have this experience. We hope to return perhaps next year, we'll just have to work on our Spanish a little more next time =)
Dental Days by Tony Chyn
The work at the dental clinic has been nonstop to meet the needs among the Kaya children. Each day begins at 9 and ends at 7. We have about 8-10 children/adolescents that have one appointment in the morning and one in the afternoon. In the morning we rent a space in a local hospital. There we do examinations and cleanings and plan for work we will do later on. In the afternoon we rent out a dental clinic where the more invasive procedures take place. We are providing care as well as teaching preventative measures to protect their teeth. The majority of the children have fair to poor dental hygiene and many have problems that required more than we were able to give. Many suffer regular pain, gum disease and rotting teeth. Our hope and prayer is that we can enable Kaya to provide dental services that can act as preventative measures for protecting these children's teeth.
Highlights main course if appetizers aren't your thing
Amidst our busy schedule, there are still too many highlights to speak of here. The native people that we've encountered in our work have been a gift from God. Our translator Marti is great, and also Andrea and Ursula, two folks we work with in the clinics, have just been amazing to work with also. Not only do we work well together but we have shared tons of laughs (most of them at my expense).
Our shared joy opened up some really great dialogue. Today we talked at length about Kaya and some of its history as well as the work they have been engaging in. An impression was made, and Marti has already been inquiring about ways she could help Kaya long term as a volunteer.
Simple dental work has also made an impression. Julio had some decay in his front teeth and quietly asked if it could be fixed. We all shared in his excitement 20 minutes later when there were as good as new thanks to tooth colored fillings. Today, Henry missed the morning exam and cleaning and came late to the afternoon clinic hoping to get an appointment. Our dentist working at the clinic was able to stay so we ushered him in. After the work was done, we showed him the final product. The gratitude on his face was unforgettable, rewarding and beyond describable words. Though we ended up being late to dinner, all of us were thankful for the experience.
Personal Note dessert if that's what you want
The feeling of privilege to be here and participate in this cannot be overstated. I am jealous of these people we call Bolivians. They are the second poorest nation in the world but many of them have a joy I do not have the right currency to buy. People here greet with a little cheek kiss (its so cool) and their warmth and welcoming spirits are truly touching. When I get back to the states that's what I want to take with me. I hope that I will have the resilience to experience the joys that God has provided, regardless of the circumstances.
"First shall be last and last shall be first." It's been an honor to rub elbows with the princes and kings of our next life. Those that this world have dismissed and society brushed aside, will be reminded by our Lord that they were never once forgotten for eternity.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Last summer Anne-Milda Pu, a high school student from Lexington, MA, and her family traveled to Bolivia and met the children of Kaya. While initial expectations and hopes for the trip were to make an impact on the lives of the children there, the impressions made on her life were far greater. Upon returning to the states she has committed to helping the kids from afar--through her time, her resources, and even her artistic skills. This summer, Anne-Milda will return to the children with a team from Highrock Church, more equipped and even more enthusiastic about the new projects on her plate.
Last summer I traveled to Bolivia along with my family and a group of people from my church. The experience I had was completely life changing. Everything I saw challenged what I thought I knew and caused a passion to grow inside of my heart for helping street children. Our days consisted of touring La Paz and El Alto in the mornings and spending time at the Kaya Center in the afternoons. We taught the kids various subjects such as arts and crafts, Legos, wiffelball, and about electricity and the solar system. But amidst all the teaching we were doing, the kids taught us even more. What we learned were not facts, but rather life-long lessons. They taught us how to sincerely love life and how to make the most out of everything given to us. They taught us that knowledge is much more than reciting facts. Even though the kids had not been in school nearly as long as I have been to school, in many ways, they were so much smarter than me. They knew how to be creative and resourceful and how to be sincerely caring.
After last summer’s trip to Bolivia to visit Kaya, Kaya, and everything that the organization works for, has been on my heart. I began thinking of what I could do that would tie in my talents but that would also benefit Kaya. With that, I began painting and selling flower pots, donating all the money to Kaya. Also at my school, I became involved with in a club called Helping Our World (H.O.W). I introduced the club to Kaya and we contacted Kristin Huang asking about ways that we could help. We found out that the kids love getting mail and began writing letters to all of kids in the day program.
This July, I am looking forward to spending another week in La Paz. As last year’s trip was amazing in every way, all of this year I have been looking forward to hopefully going back. This year I believe that I will take away something even more deep and meaningful than last year. Last year, the initial fears of going to a country so different from the one that I am used to scared me. I was afraid of the altitude difference and the language barrier. I had no idea about how cold it was going to be there or what La Paz would look like. When I go back this time, I will know about how the altitude affects me, I will know that they speak Spanish very fast and I will know that, although it is in South America, it is very cold. I will be able to put these aside and focus on what I am going there to do. I will be taking Spanish classes in the mornings and then go to the Kaya Center and work with the kids there, hopefully painting a mural with them. I am so excited for this summer’s trip and hope that God moves me just as He did last year.
Monday, May 31, 2010
Six months ago, I ran because I felt had to. Now, when I wake up in the morning, I can’t wait to get out there and hit the pavement. What changed me was training for my first marathon, running Boston for charity. Exactly how this transformation happened is a mystery to me, but I have some ideas.
Running for Kaya, I was often struck by how much my perspective affected my behavior. Many times I was struggling with fatigue, wanting to quit, and then I thought of children living on the streets of La Paz. All of a sudden I found a source energy that I didn’t know that I had. For this reason, I recommend running for a non-profit organization. A friend of mine became enthusiastic about a certain organization, and she asked them if they would apply to be a Boston Marathon charity so she can run for them. They are in the process now of applying!
Listening to worship music while I run has become a way that I spend time with God. I used to think of my “quiet times” with my Bible on my couch as my best time with God. Now, when I plan my week and the runs that are scheduled in it, I get excited about the time I will have with God on those runs. I look forward to getting to hear the worship songs on my iPod, like “Gloria” by Watermark, “See What a Morning” by Keith and Kristyn Getty, and “Agnus Dei” by Michael W. Smith. Running in beautiful places like Fresh Pond or along the Charles River draws me even closer to Him. I love both listening to worship music on its own and running on its own, but the best is getting to do the two simultaneously.
Until this experience, I thought of running as a solitary sport. That couldn’t have been further from the truth. Both my training and the marathon itself were communal experiences for me. In fact, two of the friends who started running with me have started dating seriously and are currently on a Memorial Day weekend vacation together! The morning of the marathon, my sister flew up from Dallas, TX, eight-months pregnant. I hadn’t even asked her to come, but she just wanted to be there. I’ll never forget seeing her jumping up and down on the sidelines as I turned a corner on Heartbreak Hill.
The city of Boston came alive to me as I was running. I have never experienced Boston as being so friendly, supportive, encouraging, helpful, gracious and inspiring as I did on April 19, 2010. I connected with so many strangers that day. Jean, a qualified runner from New Hampshire whom I met on the T on the way to board the buses to Hopkinton, told me her favorite blister bandage (Hannaford brand). To me, this information was gold! I couldn’t believe how many people turned out to cheer. A friend of mine who was waiting in the crowds to see me said she was so touched watching a father explain to his daughter how important it is to help the runners. He was handing orange wedges to her so she could hold them out to us. A friendly stranger offered me a pack of “Gu” (a sports food) when I looked tired. A grandmother offered me fresh baked cookies. I wore my name taped on my shirt, and people shouted encouragement to me the entire time.
One of the joys of this experience came from overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Last fall, my knees would hurt whenever I went up and down stairs. I worried that my cartilage was wearing down or I was getting arthritis and my running days were coming to an end. After six months of strength training, I have virtually no knee pain anymore, and I run at least three times a week. One key has been not to do squats and lunges, which my podiatrist said are not good for women. I regularly hear people say that they don’t run because their knees hurt. What they may not realize is that while some people may have serious knee problems, knee pain also may go away when the muscles around the knees become stronger. Also, at times physical discomfort inhibits people from running. I found that wearing CW-X brand of running clothes helped a lot. In short, these days, there is a solution for most problems.
Now that the Boston Marathon 2010 is over, I’m setting new goals to keep my muscles from hitting a plateau. This weekend, I’m running the Rock n’ Roll half-marathon in San Diego, and I’ve set a goal time for myself. For anyone out there who is feeling inspired, the home page of Runner’s World will help you find any distance of race in any city you want to run. It’s a great way to support many organizations doing amazing work.