So I have gotten a few questions per my last couple posts about KVI and also about hair care so I'll try to answer both in this post :)
First HAIR CARE:
Arrrrhhhhhggggggggg!!!! That's how I feel about careing from my son's hair. We have tried oodles of products, but I'll only post about the few that have worked best for us. I'm not saying it will work great for your child's hair but for Ezra's hair type (kinky, dry, knotted, SUPER curly) these have seemed to go the distance.
Mixed Chicks Products:
So now that you know what we use, here's how we use them.
We wet Ezra's hair when he gets his bath at night but almost never shampoo it. The Pantene conditioner above is great to lather the hair with the brush through with a PADDLE BRUSH (in my opinion a wide paddle brush works much better then a wide tooth comb). Then when it's towel dried we apply a leave on conditioner and the "Just For Me" detangler from WalMart (doesn't seem to really work but I do it anyway). In the morning when I'm getting him ready for school I wet his hair and apply either the Mixed chicks product or the Pantene styling gel. I think they both work very similarly and seem to achieve the same look. My only complaint about the Mixed Chicks product is that it sometimes leaves a white residue on the ends of the hair when it dries. If needed the Pantene gel is great at allowing you to brush through the hair in the morning if needed as well.
Another mom gave me the idea of using a spray bottle of water mixed with a small amount of conditioner in the morning before applying product to help with brushing as well.
Hope this helps and saves some of you some money!
Now to talk about KVI in Ethiopia (Kingdom Vision International). KVI is an orphanage like Kids Care (where Ezra is from) that America World Adoption Associates partners with in Ethiopia to get children placed with families in the U.S.
The traveling families are able to bring over donations to the transition home and orphanages if they so chose, and the prior post on KVI was from a mom who visited there this week.
When I was in ET in January last year I have to say that the orphanages I visited in Addis were much nicer then Kids Care (which I thought was pretty bad), but in Northern Ethiopia the state of the the orphanages was intensely heartbreaking. No food, no enrichment, no latrines. Enough of the basics to sustain life, but not to thrive. It sounds like KVI is similar in nature to those orphanges.
Take a look at the photo below:
This is the week old carcass of a goat that was slaughtered by the oldest boy at an orphanage in Axum to add protein to the kids' diet. As you can see, there's NOTHING left of this goat but they were still using it for food. Any marrow and tendons left were very important sustenance to the kiddos there.
These wall decorations below were the only ones to be found. Not stimulating colors, letters, words. Just blue walls and dirt floors. You can see that they even used the outlined portion from the sticker sheet to decorate. Likely brought to them by a missionary or traveler like myself who wanted to see what conditions were like for orphans in that region.
There are many ways to help.
2. Donating money to humanitarian aid organizations like Children's Hopechest, AHOPE, Operation Rescue, Into the Streets of Ethiopia, or Compassion International. Organizations where you can go to ET and see for yourself the difference you've made in the life of an orphan.
3. If you are traveling to Ethiopia bring extra rubbermaid containers of donations with you. The import tax there is 180% so anything you try to ship will cost more to pay tax on then to buy it in the U.S so it's best to just bring it with you on the plane. When I traveled in January I made contact with people from different aid organizations early so when I got there I was able to have a driver pick me up and hand deliver the donations to the kids at each care center.
4. Stimulate the local economy by purchasing items in ET for care centers. In most stores I've seen things like formula are CRAZY expensive and are poor quality so it would be best to buy that in the U.S, but furniture, food items, cooking utensils, can be bought in country and will help the local economy.
5. Spread the word. Many people have no idea what conditions are like for the children of Africa. We don't want to see pictures of a 2 year old who weighs 11 pounds, or of a 23 year old woman with HIV who weighs only 34 pounds! No one wants to see these things but we HAVE to. We have to realize that this is happening now and in unimaginable numbers.
6. Donate to someone's adoption. If you yourself don't feel called to bring a child into your home find someone who does and offer financial assistance. Adoption is crazy expensive and it's only getting worse. B/w the time we adopted Ezra and now the price of Ethiopia adoption has increased by $10,000!!!
7. More prayer.