The Community Takes Over

Hope through ability
November 5, 2018
Capacity Building Changes Lives
January 2, 2019

The Community Takes Over

After four years of activities to help families who have children with disabilities, a special education teacher from the area said, “You have done so much to help our community. Now it’s our turn to take responsibility.”

He then organized parents, who we had been serving, to register a community center. It is a place where children with disabilities meet and grow through activities for social, cognitive and physical development. After the center’s registration was completed, the family members contributed money to renting a simple building with 3 rooms that they could afford. Also, they received donations of used furniture. The place, however, was quite run down and a lot of work needed to be done to make it usable.

Local ownership

As the months passed, the enthusiasm began to wane. The leaders of the center approached Operation Mercy for money. We had no funds for this, but managed to get a grant of 10,000 USD from the US Embassy.

While the money came from outside the community, we encouraged local ownership. The members of the community center volunteered their time to completely manage the renovations according the project plan, and the excitement steady returned as word spread and families could see the progress. It was a proud team of local members who invited the whole community to the opening of the center in the late spring 2018.

“He is showing us his love through you.”

Samir is a boy that Operation Mercy’s team has been assisting. He is 12 years old with cerebral palsy. He receives therapy and we coach his mother in providing physical and cognitive activities for her son.

During the months of renovating the center, she continually volunteered with whatever help was needed to finish the work. And she is now eager to bring her son to the center for activities each week since he is at home all day and not in school. She said to us, “For many years this has been a dream of mine. And now it is happening! It is because God loves us that he sent you to us. He is showing us his love through you.”

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Operation Mercy is a member in good standing with Svensk Insamlingskontroll, (the Swedish Foundation for fundraising control), who ensures quality control of donation management for Swedish based charities.