Thursday, September 2, 2010

Meet Julia, Village Visit, IB Conference, NCC Screening

We've been busy this summer spreading the word about Beat the Drum Village and have exciting progress to share plus a story from a supporter who visited the Village in July. But first, we'd like to introduce you to another one of the special kids living at Beat the Drum Village.

Meet Julia
Julia Nyambura is one of the fifteen orphans living with HIV at Beat the Drum Village. Julia is 15 and in the sixth grade at Lucy Amen Academy. Her story is similar to other children at the Village, but by no means less heartbreaking. Her parents died when she was young and she was left to live with her uncle. Her uncle was ultimately unable to care for her and she was left alone. After a childhood filled with suffering, she is thriving at Beat the Drum Village. She now aspires to be a judge and enjoys playing football.

Julia's story is just one of fifteen stories. Just one of fifteen lives you are impacting through your generous support of Beat the Drum Village.

Beat the Drum Village presented to students at IB World Conference
In early August, Beat the Drum Village was invited to present at the International Baccalaureate World Student Conference in Corvallis, Oregon. The mission of the conference was to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. Beat the Drum Village presented at two, hour-long sessions to groups of 40 students.

Having the opportunity to share our work with these bright students was an honor. Their warm welcome, thoughtful questions and enthusiastic desire to get involved was inspiring. Since the conference, several students have reached out to express interest in developing fundraising campaigns in their own communities. We look forward to sharing their efforts in the coming months.

BEAT THE DRUM screening at Ebenezer's Coffeehouse
Later in August, Ebenezer's Coffeehouse in Washington, DC held a special screening of BEAT THE DRUM as part of "Week of Justice," hosted by National Community Church (NCC). "Week of Justice" was filled with events that highlighted pressing issues around the globe to equip and mobilize individuals to take action.

Thank you to NCC for including BEAT THE DRUM in such an important week and providing us the opportunity to tell others about the needs of the Village.

Please join our efforts
At the BEAT THE DRUM screening, we showed a special video we created for the event. Check it out on YouTube: In the video, we cite the four ways you can help:

     1.  Spread the word
     2.  Support a child
     3.  Build a house
     4.  Visit the Village

Shari from Georgia reached out to us to share her "Visit the Village" experience:

I visited Beat the Drum Village in July 2010 on a mission trip with our church, Mt. Pisgah United Methodist in Roswell, Georgia. We visited several orphanages in Kenya but this one in particular really touched my heart. To begin with, the caretakers of this village, John and Mary, were amazing. They have taken on an enormous responsibility to care for these children along with five children of their own. You could feel the love emanating from them and it was reflected in the children's faces. They were so well cared for and healthy. You would have never known they were HIV positive. I know that was not the case when they arrived. In having a house and an "auntie" for each small group it seemed more like a family environment. The kids were so proud to show off their home. I feel blessed to have been able to experience this in person and will forever be changed by it.

Shari's church has since raised the funds to build a greenhouse at the Village in order to grow food, further providing for the needs of the kids.

We look forward to featuring other stories about individuals like Shari who are committed to making a difference in the lives of these special children.

Let's build a village together,
Stacy M. Troubh