I’d like to introduce you to someone…She’s very special to me. In so many ways she is the catalyst for who I am today. She single handedly changed the course of my life. The first time I held her in my arms I was frozen with fear – afraid I might just break her. She was so fragile, so limp, so weak. Today, however, she is at peace. Her name is Mbali. She is the inspiration, foundation, and motivation for every Joint Council monthly newsletter, entitled Mbali’s Messages ( click here to subscribe now ). Every month, at the bottom of each newsletter you can find these simple words about Mbali and her Message “Mbali was a four-month-old abandoned HIV+ orphan in South Africa who passed away in the arms of a Joint Council staff member.” That staff member was me. For many years, Mbali’s memory was held only in my heart. Through Mbali’s Message, Joint Council honors Mbali’s short life and the millions of orphaned children who die everyday without a family or a loving embrace. Our goal at Joint Council is to provide a vision of hope that children will never again pass from this world parentless and alone.
Since we started Mbali’s Message two years ago, Mbali has given a quiet but constant voice to the children of the world that I, Joint Council, and the global community have failed – those who pass alone without the love of a family. But today, and every day in the month of November, Mbali ‘s voice AND the voices of the thousands of children like her will be heard loud and clear. As part of National Adoption Month Joint Council will be leading an advocacy campaign, entitled “I am the Answer…” . Everyday this month we will honor the children who have passed alone, who suffer alone today, and who have not yet found an answer with the love of a family. We ask you to Be The Answer for them. It’s easy to Be The Answer for a child. Give 5 to 15 minutes of your day – every day in the month of November.
Today, I ask you to make the 30 day commitment to honor 30 children who are alone, without families, and without an answer. I ask you to spend every day this month spreading Mbali’s Message of hope – may children never again pass from this world parentless and alone.
So, where do we start?
Starting tomorrow, Monday, go to our blog at www.betheanswerforchildren.wordpress.com where you will hear more about Mbali through my eyes and from my heart. We will also share with you a message of hope –the message of a child who has what Mbali never had – a family. There you will find the first task of the “I am the Answer” 30 day challenge. Complete the task.
Then, on Tuesday, do the same thing. Check out our blog. Hear the story of another child we all failed, the story of a lucky child who received a family, and what you can do to give more children an answer.
Then, for the rest of the days in November do the same thing. Read the stories, complete the tasks, and spread the message that You are and can be the answer.