As travelers we understand the transformative effect that visiting other countries and other cultures has on us. But at ElderTreks, we believe this works both ways, and that it is our responsibility to look for opportunities where we can give back to the places that give us all so much.
Two years ago we told you about a remarkable young Canadian woman, Carli Travers, and her efforts to help orphans in Uganda. Her story is one of generosity and love, and how at a truly grassroots level, she is making a huge difference in the lives of forgotten, discarded or abused children. At an age when many young people are not even thinking of starting a family, she and her Ugandan husband Robert had already adopted 6 of these unloved street children to raise as their own. Six soon became seventeen, and the challenges they faced grew as well. Carli’s story stole our hearts the same way the children had stolen hers, and in 2012 ElderTreks helped Carli and Robert construct the main building that would house this large and expanding family.
So much has happened since then that it seems long overdue for an update.
For starters, the finished house, “Abetavu Children’s Home”, is now home to 23 (Carli, Robert, 17 of their adopted children and 4 of their own) and the two young parents have recently become grandparents when their 13 year-old adopted daughter gave birth to a little boy, Jeremiah. Beyond caring for these children, Carli and Robert are involved in numerous outreach programs in the community where they live, offering financial support to girls attending school, teaching teenagers life skills and leadership, and working with local organizations to provide counseling, mediation and support for those who need representation the most.
Despite all this incredible progress, life isn’t always easy at Abetavu. Fundraising is an ongoing concern, and there is often resistance to the work that is done here, as incomprehensible as that seems. Which is why we are so happy to be an ongoing supporter of Abetavu. Just last month, Chelsey Crossland, the Operations Manager at ElderTreks, paid a visit to them, laden with clothing and supplies for the Abetavu children and got to meet some of the newer additions to the home. It made quite an impression on her, as she describes in her blog.
Beyond what we do from afar, these personal visits help us truly understand how small efforts can lead to huge changes in the lives of so many people around the world. We consider Abetavu a part of the ElderTreks extended family, and as one of our clients, we hope you will consider it as part of yours as well.
“We are so thankful that ElderTreks believed in us and gave our family such amazing support so that we could build our forever family home. Even in urgent crisis Eldertreks has jumped in without hesitation. Abetavu is forever grateful for our partnership with ElderTreks.” Carli Travers
If you’d like to know more about Abetavu, and the work that Carli and Robert are doing in Uganda, visit www.abetavu.com