At this time of the year, I want to share with you a story about our work and invite you to help us move forward.
Last month I visited Swaziland in southern Africa. The country is slightly smaller than New Jersey with a population of about 1.3 million. Swaziland has the world’s highest known HIV/AIDS prevalence rate. More than one-quarter of the adult population has been infected by HIV/AIDS and 30% of all children are either orphans or have only one parent. Many children are head of households, taking care of younger siblings. Many suffer from hunger and malnourishment and are themselves HIV-positive.
I visited several of the 120 public schools where 40,000 children will benefit from new water systems, latrines, and vegetable gardens established over the next three years. This new Palms for Life Fund project is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and is our largest grant to date.
During my visit, I was deeply saddened by seeing schoolchildren with bare feet, torn uniforms, dried lips, stunted growth—all signs of malnutrition, hunger, and extreme poverty. The school lunch of rice and beans was to be their only meal for the entire day!
In my meeting with the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Education, I asked this question: How can we ensure that kids receive food and water every day while at school, knowing how much this impacts their education? I insisted on adding breakfast—a warm porridge, for instance, as children arrive hungry, walking long distances from broken homes where there truly is no food.
As I traveled home, I promised myself to do all that I can to bring breakfast to these kids.
Please accept this invitation.
This is how we create a Global Alliance to End Poverty.
This is how we are all connected to the poor.
Thank you so much for touching the lives of these wonderful children. Every cent counts!
We wish you all joyful holidays.
For more information visit www.palmsforlifefund.org or write to [email protected]