Thursday, September 08, 2011

An ECHO Project Success Story

If you would have told me a couple years ago that I would be be involved in starting up a non-profit, I probably would have run the other way. It simply wasn't something I saw myself tackling. Funny how God has a way of taking us in directions we would never imagine going on our own.

Over the weekend, I sat watching Emily show me what her daughter Rosie had been learning, and I realized that this is why we started The ECHO Project. We want to make a difference in the lives of individuals. Rosie is one whose life has been changed through those who are helping us make a difference.

Rosie stopped talking at about 18 months. After several years of trying to get a diagnosis, we finally found out that Rosie most likely had contracted encephalitis about that same time. This left her unable to speak. Her needs were communicated through screaming or tugging on her mother.

The biggest problem was that there really aren't any resources available for situations like this where we live in Mozambique and the situation continued to become more and more frustrating. Then about two years ago, someone told me about a DVD program that teaches sign language to children and offered to buy it for Rosie. It seemed like the answer we were searching for. At first, Rosie's parents thought the idea was crazy and that it wouldn't work. You have to realize that we don't know of anyone here who speaks sign language and likely they have never heard about it.

But I convinced them to give it a try--and the results have been amazing. Not only can Rosie now communicate with her parents via simple sign language, but she wants to learn more. This year, realizing how well her mother Emily was doing teaching her and how much she was learning, I told her that The ECHO Project would sponsor Rosie (now seven) to help her with her schooling. Again, I've been blown away with how well both Emily and Rosie have done.
We bought simple workbooks, primarily pre-school and Kindergarten. Emily combines the sign language with the workbooks, so Rosie can sign the words that she is learning. She is now writing words, spelling, learning math, and can even speak some words. It's an exciting story that's only just begun for this sweet young girl.

HOUSING FOR THE HOMELESS UPDATE: We are so excited to share that as of today, all the houses have been sponsored. Thank you!!!

Be a blessing today!


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