Ian laughs every time he sees the picture of this little girl. We wondered tonight what she might have been thinking when this picture was taken. Do you think she was thinking, “Go away, I don’t want your help”? I can’t imagine that she was. I imagine that she was wondering what this white person was doing in her neighborhood/village, or what this white person was snapping at her OR whether this white person might be kind and help her?
Lucy, our 5 year old asked me today how to say Ameena’s name in Swahili.
I said, well, it already is Swahili. It’s Ameena in Swahili and translated into English it would be “Amen” or it means honest and trustworthy. She seemed so puzzled by my explanation. In her mind, Ameena was just English and American like everything else she knows.
Using this name in our organization title has a history. There is of course the whole bit about Ameena and the other babies all being born in the same place yet having different opportunities that I talked about here . But there is also the drive of our Kenyan teachers pushing to use the name Ameena. There is a deep connection between these staff and us. In Kenya, as in other African cultures, relationship is everything. The importance we Americans place on doing, accomplishing, being efficient, and checking things off the list……it’s equivalent in Kenya….is how you treat and interact with others. It is the highest honor and acknowledgement of relationship to name your child (or organization!) after another. And then, there is the meaning of the name. The fact that it means honest and trustworthy speaks to the values that we have in our relationships with the people we partner in country with, and with those of you who support us here at home. We will work hard to be honest and trustworthy in the work we are carrying out.
With that being said….several of you have stepped in & have partnered with Ameena Project to support the Kiang’ombe preschool financially. One family of teachers sent a donation to buy the educational supplies for the preschool program, another family used inheritance money to give a year’s worth of monthly support in honor of the grandparents who had passed away and yet another family gave a donation acknowledging that while they might never make it to Africa, it didn’t mean that they couldn’t be involved IN Africa. Others of you have indicated that you are interested in supporting this project which is incredibly encouraging! We are sending the first amount of funding for the teacher salaries and some of the basic supplies with the hopes that by the end of November we’ll have 50% of our annual budget pledged and received. It really is important to those of us behind Ameena Project to know that we will be able to sustain this project for the next year. If you’ve had the tugging at your heart that you would like to be involved in some way, please leave a comment or email one of us! Your thoughts, words of encouragement, and financial gifts remind us that we are not crazy for embarking on this endeavor.