Five-year-old Eva Barnard has inspired us to make a difference in the lives of babies across the ocean. Now residing in Indianapolis, Indiana, the home of Hello World Clothing Company, Eva is thousands of miles away from her original birthplace in Nairobi, Africa. Her adoptive mother Rene still remains deeply committed to the orphanage in which Eva was born and is one of the founders of a local chapter of the Amani Children’s Foundation.
“The Amani Children’s Foundation works to care for children in Kenya, particularly the most vulnerable of those children — the abandoned infants orphaned by AIDS in Africa. Parents are dying of AIDS and traditional extended family tribal structures can no longer care for them. The largest number of orphans the world has ever known now live in Africa. This challenge is of unprecedented proportion, 15 million orphans who are vulnerable to neglect, abuse, radical politics and to eventually getting AIDS themselves. Through their partner organization in Kenya, New Life Home Trust, Amani helps to care for homeless and HIV-positive babies in six homes across the country. The babies arrive at the home tiny, frail and often very sick, and by the time of their 2nd birthday, most of them have left with new adoptive Kenyan families. This group has been working since 1994 and has rescued more than 800 infants, and most of them have been adopted.” — excerpt from Amani website.
In July 2009, 120 SmartZip Sleepers were packed in suitcases and hand-delivered to the New Life Nairobi orphanage by Amani volunteers through its Indianapolis chapter. What may seem like a small gesture proved to be a great improvement in the lives of these small children. Below is an excerpt from the thank you note we received from Dr. Jane Thompson Stephens, Director of the Amani Children’s Foundation.
My daughter, Kate, just returned from a summer in Kenya and has loved telling us about pink and blue mornings in the Nairobi home! They are absolutely smitten by the beautiful sleeper you sent with Clive and Mary this summer. As Clive and Mary were packing to return in May, Rene showed them the great boxes full of sleepers you had given her, and they stuffed their suitcases to the stretching point in order to get them home. They are British and are not given to excess, so I had never seen them take such risks with their baggage allowance! Unfortunately, when they arrived in Kenya, Mary became ill and was hospitalized and then recovering for several weeks. The staff waited until she was back on duty for the grand showing, and on the first morning she was able to do rounds, they had a pink and blue sleeper on every baby they could fit into one! She was absolutely delighted by it!
While Kate was there this summer, they had several more pink and blue days, and she says it made for great celebration — even the babies seem to be delighted by it. But most of all, she said that every baby felt amazingly cuddly in them. What’s more they looked beautiful even after the staff had washed them with a wringer washer and dried them in the sun.
The good news is that I’m heading back to Kenya on October 15, and they assure me they will be having plenty of pink and blue days while I’m there. (I’m not sure why they love to put them all on the kids on the same day, but it seems to be quite a ritual, like Sunday clothes I guess.) I’ll love getting good pictures! Thank so much for your generosity.
I can’t wait to get to Nairobi and help to put them to bed in such splendor!
Jane Thompson Stephens, PhD
Director, Amani Children’s Foundation
We want to continue to give these infants and children a better start so Amani can take them in and love them back to life. You in? We thought so. That is why, for every SmartZip Sleeper we sell on our website, Hello World® Clothing Company will donate 5% of online sales to the Amani Children’s Foundation and New Life Home Trust.
We look forward to seeing more Pink and Blue Days throughout the world by partnering with more charities in the future and working together with our consumers to give back. Hello World Clothing Company hopes to change your thinking every time you use our products, not just about the way you change a diaper, but about the way you can help change the world.