When I was a kid, there was a television program in Phoenix called “The Wallace and Ladmo Show.” Wallace and Ladmo did all kinds of silly skits in front of a live audience of school children. At the end of each show, each kid received a brown paper Ladmo Bag that was overflowing with goodies. They would zoom in on the lucky ones as they tore through their treasure trove of junk food and toys, and rolled the credits.
How I wanted one of those bags. Ask any native Phoenician age 20 or older about Ladmo bags and watch him or her foam at the mouth. It’s a city-wide phenomena.

Sweet girl

What child doesn’t love to receive gifts and feel special? When I return to Mozambique next month, I will work in an orphanage. There are two large orphanages in town — one for babies to age seven, and the second from age seven to 18. Most of the mothers died during childbirth, or afterward from HIV. The orphanage population fluctuates; there are typically more than 100 children in each facility.
The children at the older facility are in school. Like many in this country, they live in a type of poverty (and general hunger) that is unfathomable. Yet I haven’t lost hope that we can nourish these children into becoming the future leaders of a healthy, productive and happy country. They are wonderful kids and like children in any country — they want to be loved. They don’t want their children to be raised in an orphanage. It is easy for them to dream of a better life.

Can't wait to play!

Next month, I would like to hand each of the kids at the older orphanage a small bag of goodies. I envision a quart-sized Ziplock bag including a bar of soap, a toothbrush, dental floss, a pack of gum, Chapstick and perhaps some stickers. Most importantly, I see a small card with a photo of their new American friend. The card is written in English and Portuguese and says why this American wanted to extend her/his friendship and wish this child well. {If I had kids, I’d include a family photo.} The entire bag shouldn’t cost more than $10 to put together and mail.
If you are interested in sending one (or more) of these bags, please contact me. In return, I promise to take many photos of the children at the orphanage and send you a print when I return. This is a simple way you can easily make a difference in the life of a child in need; imagine their joy when they find out there are people they’ve never met who love them.

Love these babies

Will you help? Raesha has offered to help coordinate this. Please email either of us with questions!