By: Shanequa Dasher
I dreaded my arrival at JEHO today because arriving, would soon mean that I must depart. It was the last day that we would spend at JEHO Orphanage and I must say that my heart was trapped within those walls, within those children, within my new home.
We were able to do a few closing activities. We also recorded all of the efforts of our 3 days of learning. I even had an opportunity to teach a new drama game for the kids to play with one another once we were away. But my heart didn’t want to leave. The only thing that kept me positive, was the fact that I knew I would soon be back.
Toward the end of our visit, we were able to share a few of the items that we brought for the group. The most impactful of these items were a host of books donated by The Dubai American Academy Girls Scouts and the Art of Confidence. Their faces lit up with delight! Teenagers were picking up Dora The Explorer picture books and reading with expression and sincere interest. They were simply happy to have access to something they did not have before; literature in their home. The house mother turned to me and said, “You have started their very first library. The other children are going to be so excited when they return”. The intent in each child’s eyes while reading their new gift was priceless. The joy of their smiles was contagious.
We shared the other items with them and they were extremely grateful. Several of them simply did not have a pair of shoes to call their own and had been barefoot for the tenure of our visits. We were able to give them new shoes. We were able to provide personal care items and school supplies that they did not otherwise have. We were also able to leave them with 2 large suitcases to keep their items in, which was of great importance to them. The greatest gift was to see the smiles on their faces. To hear the prayers that the children prayed for The Necessary Arts team, for our family, our health, and our safe travels. I had never seen such a large group of children so spiritually aware. It was not them who received a host of gifts today, it was absolutely the adults of the Necessary Arts team.