Archive for the ‘Sponsorship’ Category

By Jolene Eicher

She walks to the edge of town looking for wood to chop.  If successful, she will have a load to carry to town to sell.  She will buy food for her 6-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter.  It has been a while since they have had anything substantial to eat.  She was thinking about her children when it happened.  He was a young boy learning to drive a motorcycle so he could become okada (motorcyclists who carry passengers for hire).  He lost control and she didn’t hear him coming  The impact threw her to the ground causing serious injury to her body.  

I am interviewing Momma Bose (pronounced “Boice a”) on June 20, 2022 – eight months after the accident.  She still can’t turn her head without severe pain.  She tells me that she boils water to make a hot rag for her neck.  Momma Bose can no longer chop the wood that kept her family fed.  If it wasn’t for C.A.R.E. Africa she doesn’t know what would have become of them.  C.A.R.E has helped pay the hospital bills.  They have prayed for her and provided food for her son and for her daughter, Olarinde Bose, who is in the C.A.R.E. program. 

I recall when her daughter, Bose, first came to school at C.A.R.E. Africa several years ago.  She was angry and she was a bully to the other kids.  There were many conversations about what to do with this child that clearly liked no one and no one liked her.  Momma Bose proudly tells a story of a different child today.  She tells me that just this morning she witnessed Bose kneeling on her bed of flattened cardboard speaking to God in English to help her mother with the pain and not be so sad. I asked Momma Bosse why she is sad.  She tells me that she and her children are facing eviction at the end of the month.  I look around this one-room concrete floor that contains all she owns, a thin foam mat, a few pots, and some clothes and I ask how far behind in rent she is.  “Two years” Momma Bosse quietly responds.  I look to the C.A.R.E team who calculate it to be about 16,800 Niara (local currency).  We are all silent.

I ask the C.A.R.E. team what can be done.  “We can pray,” they say.  The team gathers around Momma Bose to pray for her neck pain, for new work she can do, and for God’s provision regarding the rent.  On the drive back I am thinking about the huge debt Momma Bose owes and the pending eviction.  I get out my calculator to see what the conversion of 16,800 naira is to American dollars.  My eyes cloud with tears as I stare at a number that is unachievable for this sweet momma – it is $28.00.  My heart hurts to know that I eat out lunch with my husband for an amount that would prevent Momma Bose and her son and daughter from being evicted at the end of this month. The suffering could be eased for so little an amount.  I shake my head at the wealth I never realized I have.  

Your contributions to support C.A.R.E. Africa allow them to provide for those who are sick, injured, hungry, unable to find work, don’t have the fees to attend a school or are about to be evicted.  Please don’t ever think you don’t have much to give.  For the cost of a pizza delivery perhaps you could keep a family from becoming homeless or feed a family for months or purchase a real mattress.  Whatever you can give – it is not wasted- it is like wealth for those who have so little.  Please think of Momma Bose and pray for her neck to be healed so she can be pain-free. Thank you for reading.     

From Executive Director, Patrice Miles. We are excited to let you know we were able to get donations for Mommy Bose’s rent and mattresses and have put her on a monthly food plan. Bose, her daughter, currently has a sponsor but would you consider sponsoring Mommy Bose so we can continue to keep her on the feeding plan and also empower her so she can start a business and be able to sustain herself one day? For $39 a month you can sponsor Mommy Bose’s feeding plan or you can donate towards her one-time need for empowerment of $300.

Sponsor Mommy Bose $39 a month or one time $ 468 here https://donate.icareafrica.org/sponsorships/mommy-bose

Donate any amount to Empower Mommy Bose here https://donorsee.com/project/15662

I remember sitting in church as a kid in the early 90s, listening to a missionary discuss their life in Africa while flipping through a slide reel of pictures. I don’t remember anything they said, just the feeling of fear and dread that God wanted to punish me enough that one day I would have to go to Africa. That night and for years to follow, I begged God to never make me go to Africa. I’d do anything else.

Then in the spring of 2014, I felt the wind blow in a different direction. The Miles had sold all their stuff and moved to Nigeria six months prior. I felt my curiosity suddenly outweighing my fear. It now seemed as if maybe God had a gift waiting for me rather than a punishment. I wanted to visit friends. But I also felt a new and unfamiliar tug. An exciting invitation. A “just you wait and see…”

Since that first trip with Stephen in 2014, I’ve traveled back to Nigeria 3 more times, with another trip scheduled for later this year. I am now eager for each next chance to go to Africa.

When C.A.R.E. Africa first began, Patrice asked if I would attempt to sell some jewelry participants had made. Having no experience in sales, marketing, promotion, or distribution, I said, “Sure!” We bought a tent and tables. Stephen’s sister used sharpies to draw a poster board sign, and we began vending at farmer’s markets in Louisville, KY.

C.A.R.E. grew into a full-blown ministry in Nigeria with many facets, including a seamstress training program that creates numerous products including clothing, handbags, jewelry, and aprons. Our garage transformed into an “Amazon Fulfillment Center,” stocked with shelves of sorted boxes of products, market display items (many built by Patrice’s stepdad), and shipping supplies.

Miraculously those early days of stumbling through the unknowns have grown into a vibrant display, a band of faithful volunteers, return-shoppers at markets, a requested presence in missions conferences, an Etsy store, and $20k in sales for 2021.

I found my passion and purpose in that vendor booth. I could not sell just anything. But I have the incredible luck to showcase vibrant products which tell a beautiful story that I believe in with my whole heart. And I love the human element of a market: crowds of unique characters with personalities as varied as the fabric prints. It helps open my heart to the patchwork of people required to build a solid community.

As if my life managing product sales wasn’t charmed enough, in 2021 I was offered employment with C.A.R.E. as the Sponsorship Coordinator. I am having so much fun getting to know the kids and sponsors more. It is an honor to facilitate communication and relationship internationally! Sponsors are partnering with C.A.R.E. to educate, disciple, and nurture more than 70 kids in Nigeria. I update sponsors on life in Egbe including new pictures, report cards, home life, plans for college, and achievements. I also relay communication from sponsors back to Egbe staff and students.

Other facets of this role include advocating for sponsorship and monitoring financial transactions. After an end-of-year audit, we verified that 99% of child sponsorship donor dollars go directly to care and supplies for the children and their families!! Around every turn, I continue to find the efficacy and integrity of this organization are top tier.

What a thrill ride I’m on. I’d like to go back to tell little Diana she doesn’t need to be afraid; there’s so much to look forward to.

ADVOCATE * INVEST * EMPOWER * SERVE

Today is the day! Educate a child, Educate a Nation! Help us educate a child by donating to Phase 1 of our school building project in Egbe, Nigeria on this day of generosity.

Click below to donate any amount so we can build our school for our kids at C.A.R.E. Africa.

10.5 million children in Nigeria are not in school per Unicef statistics. This is the highest population of out of school children in the world. Help us build a school in Egbe, Nigeria so our 78 vulnerable children can go to school in a safe and secure environment.

We currently rent a space and have outgrown it. 152 children attend our school and 78 of these children are on scholarships. We want each child to receive a quality education and in order to do that, we feel the child to teacher ratio needs to be low. We pride ourselves in the fact that our teacher to child ratio is 15 pupils per class. This means we cannot take as many children as we would like and so we have a waiting list of children begging to get an education. With the new school we will have more classrooms and can take more children.

We have the land we just need the buildings. The total building project cost is $250,000 of which Phase 1 is $25,000. This will allow us to start clearing the land, building the wall and digging the footers. Donate any amount to help us educate more children in Egbe, Nigeria! Click DONATE

We are pleased to announce that Diana Beville has accepted a staff position at C.A.R.E. Africa.  She will be assuming the role of Child Sponsorship Coordinator.  

In 2014 Diana and her husband,Stephen, made their first visit to C.A.R.E. Africa in Egbe Nigeria. It was to be a turning point in Diana’s life. She left Egbe knowing it had captured her heart and she would be back. Immediately on returning from Nigeria, she wanted to know how she could help. 

Diana did a one table booth at a local farmer’s market selling jewelry the women in our ministry had handcrafted. Seven years later she has grown into a full, online Etsy store (http://www.CareAfricaStore.com in the US and Canada http://www.CareAfricaStore.ca ).  Diana has expanded from a one table booth into huge exhibitor events at GMHC (Global Missions Health Conference), CAFO (Christian Alliance for Orphans), M3/Mobilizing Medical Missions Conference, and Paristown Flea off Markets. Her dedication and love for this ministry is evident and she has already returned to Nigeria three more times since her initial visit. 

Diana is married and the mother of two beautiful girls,  Kaitlyn and Charlotte.  She graduated from University of Louisville.  Diana previously worked at Shultz Career Consulting as an employment specialist for people with disabilities.  In taking on the Child Sponsorship role, Diana’s goal is to deepen the relationships with our sponsors and their children in Egbe, while also finding new sponsors for more children. We are excited to see how Diana will take our sponsorship experience to a whole new level.

Diana’s first task is collecting letters and/or items for sponsored children to fill suitcases that are going to Nigeria in the month of October. If you sponsor a C.A.R.E. Africa child and would like to send a letter or an item, please email Diana at mailto:diana@icareafrica.org

If you do not currently sponsor a child please take a moment to visit our giving page at http://www.icareafrica.org to see the two beautiful children that are in need of sponsors. 

Also feel free to visit our Amazon Wish List for items needed to fill suitcases for October at https://www.amazon.com/registries/custom/36KCX0BCJG62W/guest-view

Four years ago I met with the benefactors of Foundations Academy in Jos, Nigeria in order to create a sister school in Egbe. I also toured Foundations Academy’s prestigious school called Park Ridge. Park Ridge started in 2012 and runs much like an American School. They use mainly Nigerian curriculum to prepare students for Nigerian exams, but they infuse curriculum from around the world to help the students have a broader worldview. I knew one day we would have exceptionally bright children at our school in Egbe and wondered if this could be an option for them. Park Ridge’s reputation opens doors at Universities all across Nigeria and provides a better chance for study abroad.

 

Over the past two years we have had three of our middle school students with exceptional scores on their testing and marks in class. Gloria, Idowu and Segun. Recently they went to Jos for their JS2 excursion (similar to trips American students take to Washington DC). It was decided they should take the entrance exams and interview for the Park Ridge school in Jos. Two of them tested well and would be allowed to attend. This was a huge opportunity for these two students. After some prayer we decided that Idowu and Segun were ready for this opportunity and Gloria would wait another year.

We reached out to their sponsors praying that they would help but knowing we would need to raise a lot of funds to transport them to Jos and to cover the higher school fees, boarding and meals. Segun’s and Idowu’s sponsor immediately said yes. It was such an answer to prayer, but I was a little worried about Idowu’s sponsor when she said yes so quickly. The increase in fees was significant. I talked to her and offered to try to find someone to partner with her in sponsoring Idowu. Her response brought tears to my eyes. She said she had been saving money to have landscaping done on her home. She said the money targeted for landscaping plus increasing her monthly sponsorship from $35 to $50 a month and talking to family and friends, she would raise the money. Idowu’s education was more important to her than landscaping her home!

She has never personally met Idowu or spent time with him or his family, but she would take her savings and go to her family and friends and raise the money so this little boy could have this amazing opportunity. 

Stories like this encourage me and keep me going as Executive Director at C.A.R.E. Africa. When I see someone sacrifice for one of God’s children it gives me goose bumps and warms my heart. I can see how our children at C.A.R.E. Africa are changing lives just as much as our sponsors are. If we could all sacrifice our landscaping, agendas, finances, comfort and time for God’s people all over the world, the world would be such a better place!

We are so grateful for all our sponsors and know that everyone sacrifices every month to make it possible for these 78 kids to have an education, learn about Christ’s love and more. God bless you as you choose to be His hands and feet to the world. 

elijah
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Meet Elijah and Inioluwa. They are brother and sister and double orphans. We met them several years ago when their father had just passed away. Their mother was destitute and barely managing to care for Elijah, Inioluwa and their older brother Segun. C.A.R.E. Africa took all three siblings in and now provides them with an education, discipleship and mentoring. We also began working with their mother to help with empowerment and discipleship.

Unfortunately, within a matter of months their mother passed away. We located the maternal grandparents and they took all three children in. It was very hard on the elderly grandparents as Elijah, the youngest, was full of energy and never slowed down. The grandmother constantly begged us to take all the children and adopt them out. We worked and prayed with the family and after a few months we felt like they were beginning to settle in. Then unexpectedly the grandmother passed away. This left the care of the children up to the aging grandfather. Shortly after the grandmother passed away the neighbors began to obsess about the deaths and started claiming the children were evil and needed to leave.

We moved Elijah into our transition home, Inioluwa moved into foster care and the oldest Segun stayed with the grandfather to try and help. These kids have experienced too much death and rejection in their short years here on this earth. As a result we began to see acts of bad behavior, stubbornness and lack of interest in school work. During this time we had hired Gloria, a counselor for our C.A.R.E. kids. We sent her to Jos for some training and when she came back she was able to work directly with Elijah, Inioluwa and Segun to assess the trauma. She observed them and came to the conclusion that not only had they suffered severe trauma but they all suffered from different learning disabilities. 

Learning disabilities in Nigeria are everywhere but very few Nigerians in the smaller villages recognize or know how to help children with them. These children are normally classified as stubborn or too playful. They fall behind in school and eventually drop out because they cannot cope in the classroom. 

Gloria, our school counselor needs more training and resources to help not only Elijah and Inioluwa, but other children in our ministry. We have found training specific to dyslexia in Jos, a city about 11 hours away. These professionals have agreed to evaluate Elijah and Inioluwa for a fee and to provide Gloria with the training she needs to effectively work with children who have learning difficulties.

Please consider helping us make this trip possible by donating towards Gloria’s travel expenses and training. We have also created a Amazon list of resources Gloria will require in order to work with children who have learning challenges. Click the links below to donate towards Gloria’s training and or purchase items at Amazon for her resources. 

Donations towards Gloria’s dyslexia training in Jos https://donorsee.com/project/10142

Amazon List for Gloria’s resources for working with children with disabilities. https://www.amazon.com/registries/custom/FM34NRI4CXMM/guest-view

When I moved to Nigeria I had my first experience with absolute poverty.  Adults and children with no electricity or sanitation and unable to meet the basic needs for food, shelter and drinking water.  No access to social services such as healthcare or education.  No assets.  

As of 2015, the three countries with the greatest number of people living in extreme poverty are:
– India (175 million)
– Nigeria (86 million)
– Democratic Republic of Congo (55 million) 

It was overwhelming.  How was I going to make a difference when the needs were so much bigger than me? How was I going to make an impact in the most populated and poverty stricken country in all of Africa?

Have you ever felt this way?  So many ministries and nonprofits in need of support.  It’s overwhelming.  The need is so great. You wonder how your donation can make any impact?

Or perhaps you are cautious. Will my donation even reach the needed recipient after all the fees and ministry costs?

Well, most of you know where I am going …all that I do begins and ends with C.A.R.E. Africa. 

We began C.A.R.E. Africa with just two small children.  

We always want to think big…Build a School, Dig a Bore Hole, Feed a Village, Stop Sex Trafficking. These are all worthy causes but some of us want smaller, obtainable causes. 

So, sponsor just one small child.  Provide that one child with an education and access to healthcare.  Put your focus on just one child and maybe that child will Build a School, Feed a Village, Dig a Bore Hole or Stop Sex Trafficking when they grow up – thanks to you. 

Or sponsor a lunch feeding program for children. This program provides the nutrition many of these children lack. Instead of focusing on their hunger they can focus on their schooling. They will make better grades giving them the confidence to achieve more and go further in their education. A small change that will make a big difference in their future. 

Or you could help with needed vehicle repairs. Small and obtainable but with a big impact. Without transportation – attendance to school and our Awana and discipleship programs would be disrupted.  Our vehicles are essential as many of our children live remotely and depend on us for transporting them daily.

Small Changes Make a Big Difference!

These are just a few examples of how you can help us make small changes with big impacts. The best part is that all our small changes come with update videos and photos so you can see your donations at work in the lives of the people you helped.

Start making small changes now so you can help us make a huge difference globally.

Follow us on Donorsee to stay updated on all our projects. https://donorsee.com/icareafrica.org?follow After every project is funded, you and all the other donors will receive a follow up video so you can see your donation at work and hear from the recipients you helped. You will be able to see, know and hear that your donation to that small project made a big difference.

Jeremiah 20:9
But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.

We are excited to have the opportunity to send some needed items to Nigeria for our kids and our school. Can you help? Check out our Amazon Gift List at https://www.amazon.com/registries/custom/36KCX0BCJG62W/guest-view and donate in any way you can.

We always do our best to buy in country and support the Nigerian economy. Sometimes there are items that we either cannot buy there or the quality isn’t the same so we prefer to purchase in the U.S. Thank you for helping us in anyway you can to get these needed items to Nigeria. If you are local to Louisville and want to donate items, email me at patrice@icareafrica.org and I will be happy to pick up.

We also would love to send letters from our sponsors. If you are a sponsor you should have received an email from me already about sending your child a letter and picture. If you didn’t receive it please message me at patrice@icareafrica.org.

We are also seeking donations for the $400 in luggage fees we will need to pay. Those donations can be made to our general fund at give.icareafrica.org.

Birthdays at C.A.R.E. Africa are the latest rave! Thanks to our new volunteer Birthday Advocate, Hilary Wang, our children have their very own special day.

In the U.S. childrens’ birthdays are celebrated in many different ways. From full blown theme parties, to petting zoos and bouncy houses – every child has their special day. Even families who live on a smaller scale in the US generally celebrate with a cake, gifts and the singing of happy birthday to their child.

In Nigeria, that is not the case. Most of our kids in C.A.R.E. Africa don’t even know their birth date. Not until we get birth certificates do they know when they were born. Some don’t have birth certificates, so we choose a birth date for them. Normally, only the wealthy in Nigeria can splurge on a cake and a gift for their child. Well not anymore!!

Check out some of the pictures of children at C.A.R.E. experiencing Christ’s love on their birthdays! Our sponsors are responding to this need and allowing us to make certain each birthday child gets to celebrate their special day of the year!! Thanks you sponsors!

My Birthday Wish

Posted: October 20, 2020 by Patrice Miles in Miles In Missions, Nigeria, Patrice Miles, People of Egbe, Prayer, Sponsorship, Titi

My 41st Birthday is tomorrow! Would you help make it one of the best birthdays ever, by donating to my Birthday Fundraiser for Titi! https://www.donorrise.com/careafrica/titi/birthday

Titi desires to give back to the world through social work and she only has 1.5 years left until she graduates. If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting her, she is an adventurer, not scared of anything, introvert, analytical thinker, wise for her age, beautiful on the inside and outside, heart for the Lord and the voiceless and oh so much to say once she gets to know you. She is RA at her school currently, mentor in English department and making straight A’s. God has big plans for this girl and I am excited to get to watch it all play out! Join me by helping make a difference in her life and so many others that she will help one day.

My Birthday wish is to pay Titi’s second semester tuition at Lancaster Bible College! This would be the best birthday present ever. Just click this link to help! https://www.donorrise.com/careafrica/titi/birthday.