Change For Change
This is an awareness and action initiative designed to give particularly young school children in the United States an opportunity to get involved in bringing hope and future to other children in impoverished countries and communities of Africa. This program is currently focused on the nation of Liberia, West Africa.
This vision was birthed through the inspiration of Mrs. Becky Boudreaux and Mrs. Maeghan Snodgrass of Lafayette Louisiana. Most often, after hearing the compelling stories of others living on the margins of life, the immediate thought that comes to one’s mind is, “How can I help to make a difference?” As a result of that, our organization have benefited from the generosity of individuals, churches, families, businesses, schools and homes. Not only has the extension of clothing, office supplies, toys, and money, been donated by adults, but also school aged children have been deeply involved.
Today, we are very privileged to live in a country that is immensely blessed beyond human understanding where is so much peace, hope and prosperity for all that sometimes, we forget to realize how much God loves us. But in the midst of all of these material blessings, comes with a huge responsibility to use what God has given to us to reach out to the needy and make an impact in the lives of the poor.
The children of today, are tomorrow’s leaders of the world, therefore, it is very important to teach our children the real meaning of love, care, sacrifice and a heart for others. What greater joy than to expose our children to giving to other children in need who are just like them in every way but are deprived the basic necessities of life that we sometimes take for granted in the US.
When your child is exposed to the idea that, there are other children in the world who do not have schools, books, video games, television, junk food, or even lunch at school, they immediately want to do something to help. Kids have immense faith and loving hearts.
Impact of the Change for Change Program
In the last three years, young school children from a couple of schools in Louisiana have really gotten involved to help bring hope to children at the Heart of Grace Elementary, Junior and Senior High School in Johnsonville, Liberia by raising money to provide uniforms for 92 school children in that country. They also donated some of their used books, clothing and toys to help.
In return, our children in the US have experienced the ultimate blessing of tithing. Although, they do not have a job or any means of income, these students raised money via parents, parent co-workers, family members, garage sales, and even from their own piggy-banks.
This notion of giving to those in need, has not only touched the lives of the receiving children in Liberia Africa, but also the lives of our own children, family, and friends here in the US who took a stand for change in Liberia and give others an opportunity.
Below are pictures of students from Acadiana Area in Louisiana who have supported and partnered with us in the Change For Change Program in the past years:
Change for Change Project in Liberia
God willing this year, in collaboration with other organizations, schools and individuals, the new phase of projects for Change Agent Network in Liberia for 2012 will include the construction of a cafeteria for the children at the school in Johnsonville, two more classrooms, a medical clinic. We are now trying to raise $1,000 for the materials. The local people themselves in Liberia will do the rest of the works. We are praying that the generous people of the United States will supply medical equipment and supplies for the new clinic. When completed, these projects will benefit 1,500 children and 53 staffs and administrators of the Heart of Grace High School including the entire local community that has a population of about 17,000 people.
In most cases, this cafeteria will provide free lunch to the children which will be the only meal these students will eat in a day. Our hope is that children in America will continue to use their immense faith and loving hearts to sacrificially give change from their piggy banks to help us make this project a success.
BUILDING LIBERIA BRICK BY BRICK
Together we will build the cafeteria and the health clinic 2012
This is another method we have employed in our fundraising efforts to accomplish our goals with these projects. Your child / children can help Change Agent Network build the cafeteria and health clinic, brick by brick. A child can buy bricks for 50¢ each. For participating, the name of your school will be placed on a plaque in the cafeteria. Each day the Heart of Grace students will remember you in their prayers.
The cafeteria takes 3,000 bricks and the clinic takes 3,000 bricks. On the Change Agent Network website, we will keep track of the total number of bricks purchased until we reach our goal of 6,000.
MY TRIP TO LIBERIA
Written by: Becky Boudreaux - Principal of Westminster Christian Academy, Lafayette, Louisiana
I have worked at the Lafayette Campus of Westminster Christian Academy for 22 years. This is my thirteenth year as principal. Our mission has always been to train up our students in God's Word so they can walk out the Truth and serve in our school, neighborhood, city, country and to lands that are far away. We want to develop leaders who see a need and then go into action to meet that need. Our students can make a difference!
This is what happened when we met Eric. When my students heard Eric's story about the Liberian children and their needs in a chapel, they wanted to be part of the answer. The third and fourth grade teachers started a mission project to help build a cafeteria for the students. The students responded and brought in money to buy bricks for the cafeteria. All the teachers at the Lafayette Campus donated all types of classroom items at the end of the year and the school donated books that were no longer in use but still usable for classrooms or a library.
Soon Heart of Grace became our sister school. Classes exchanged letters and pictures. Then to my surprise came an incredible gift from my school family to me.
As a surprise birthday present my school family gave me the funds to go on a mission to Liberia to see our sister school. God continued to provide for this trip. Weeks before we left we found out that the cafeteria had no tables and benches for the students to sit on. Before all the students had left the our chapel service that week, the parents in the service donated half of the money needed to have tables and benches built at the school. Eric ordered the tables and benches to be built right away because he knew we would not stop there.He was right! the money was collected in various ways and the tables and benches were completed before I arrived in Liberia.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
We realize that not many children have jobs, but almost every child in America has a piggy-bank, therefore if children work together to tithe their little change, they can change the world.
- Keep a jar in your classroom (Business folks, you could keep a jar in your office or place of business!). Students and teachers can share their spare change. Over time, this seemingly small contribution will pile up to make a significant difference in the building construction of the cafeteria in Liberia. Once the jar is full, have your students help count the amount!
- Send a check for the amount to:
Change Agent Network, Inc.
208 Oakwood Drive
Lafayette, Louisiana 70503 USA
- You can make a credit card or bank draft payment via the website: www.canintl.org
- Send us the name and picture of your class, school and students along with the full change jar via email at: email@example.com
- We will add this information to our website and post a plaque on the wall of the cafeteria after it is built