Weekly Photo Challenge: Curves

 

 

Photo Credit: Yekemi Otaru

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Weekly Photo Challenge: HaPpY

My children make me happy.
I support less privileged children in Africa. I have selfish reasons for that… it makes me happy.
And finally, I enjoy a good laugh. I love to express myself and I usually can’t hide my amusement – my face says it all.

From Left to right: Images courtesy of http://www.livelawofattraction.com, http://www.world-traveler.eu and http://www.paintingilove.com (painting by Mandi La).

How to start a riot

I was a little relieved to see that even London, a business capital of the “first world” turned into a jungle for a short time. Don’t get me wrong. Every act of vandalism and violence was uncalled for and should be seriously punished. However, as I watched the news, I couldn’t help thinking how the London scenes resembled any troubled scene from any crowded city in a third world country. It appears there’s a slow but effective recipe that could start a riot.  With the right mix of anger, frustration and injustice, ANY country can become a jungle.

 

Innocent people have suffered and lost their livelihood in the senseless looting and arson attacks. I can’t help thinking that this is synonymous with the third world. The innocent and poor suffer while the guilty and rich watch from afar. It’s almost laughable how ignorant some of these rioters are. Did they really think they could get away with burning people’s property and causing mass chaos? They probably didn’t think about it – some rioters were as young as 11 years old! There are many possible reasons for what has been happening in London and its environs this past week. Some are discussed by Single Malt Monkey in his post called ‘Blame the parents’, where he points to recent triggers in society and government.

One interview with one of the looters exposes the depth of ignornace among the culprit. When one man was asked why he looted a nearby store, he said, ‘It’s free stuff, innit?’

No, no, sweetie. It’s STOLEN stuff…

“Te Amo” means I love you- Giving warmth to the children of Peru (Part 2)

“I interviewed Alison Mcquillin a week ago. The first part of the interview describes how Te Amo came to be. The second part below describes what her vision is for the International outreach. Although Alison is clearly modest in her aspirations, it is glaring that Te Amo is a tremendous blessing and that the effect of that blessing will remain for generations to come….”

—-INTERVIEW Cont’d—-

Kemi. What does it feel like to be able to provide this gift to those kids?

Alison. Providing the simple gift of a jumper stirs up so many feelings! It breaks my heart that children suffer in this way, but it also fires and slightly angers me that this is the case. Honestly, I wish that there was more that I could do, I just want to give each of them the biggest hug and tell them that it’ll all be ok.  But the thought of them wearing the little jumpers gives me peace that these vulnerable children will experience love.

Kemi. How long has Te Amo existed? Where do you see Te Amo going in the next few years?

Alison. Project Te Amo has only been going since February but I hope that it will continue as a form of outreach at City Church. We hope to expand to other parts of Peru, for example the mountain children in Cusco as well as other countries in South America. Next stop, the World!

Kemi. How can folks get involved? Do they need any special skills?

Alison. Anyone can get involved from novice knitters to those who could do it standing on their heads with their eyes closed! Any willing volunteers can get in touch with myself, Kathleen or James Gregory. Kathleen or myself will set you up with a very simple pattern as well as wool and needles if you need. We have just been donated a whole load of wool and need more keen knitters to pick up those needles! If you really can’t/won’t knit but would like to help out, we will be sending the jumpers out this summer and would be extremely grateful for donations towards postage!

Kemi. What is your one wish for those kids?

Alison. Above all else, I wish the children to be safe. Safe from having to sleep alone in dark alleys; safe from crime; safe from drug addictions; safe from fear.

Kemi. Do you believe your kindness will change their lives? How?

Alison. Almost all of the children living rough have been forced in some way or another to abandon their homes with parents, brothers and sisters and fend for themselves. Most of them have lost their childhoods by becoming glue sniffers, beggars, prostitutes…and now associate adults with pain and fear. I hope that Te Amo will remind them that there are people in the world that see them and want to show that they care. I may never know the impact that the jumpers will have on the lives of the children that will wear them, but I would like to think that they will believe the message that will be stitched to the collar of each one…te amo.

——

 

I'm halfway through the front of a jumper. Yaay!

 

I’m one of 15 knitters that will bless the life of a child with a beautiful jumper. I’m making space in my schedule to do this because I believe in children all over the world. I’m making progress as you can see above. Hopefully, I will get it all done by July when it gets sent off to Peru. So exciting!!

Thanks for reading about Te Amo- it is close to my heart- Muaaah! 🙂

Project Te Amo can also be found on Twitter –

@ProjTeAmo or on Facebook.

“Te Amo” means I love you- Giving warmth to the children of Peru (Part 1)

“Alison Mcquillin is a beautiful young lady at my Church in Aberdeen. I recently got to talk to her about the charity, Te Amo that she established and runs. The interview with her was emotional for her and even as I go through it, it brings me close to tears. She is an inspiration to everyone who cannot sit by and watch innocent children suffer…..”

—INTERVIEW—

Kemi. What is the goal of Te Amo?

Alison. Project Te Amo is an international outreach which specialises in knitting jumpers for street children in Lima, Peru. It is a practical way of reaching out to those children who never or very rarely hear the words “te amo (I love you)”.

 
Kemi. What gave you the idea?

Alison. I was inspired by what someone told me at a conference for Latin Link, the charity that Te Amo supports. A lady told me: “you might be the only Jesus that these people will ever meet”.

Something clicked inside of me then…about just how true that statement was and I felt as though I was to start something to help children living on the streets of Lima, Peru. 

  I would consider myself as a person who cares in a practical way, so I knew that I wanted to help out the street children by doing something that they can really benefit from.

   When I was little, my grandmother regularly knitted me and my siblings jumpers for Christmas or Birthdays. My brother, sister and I loved to receive these gifts because our granny had taken so much time and care into making each one of them to fit up exactly, we had different colours reflecting our personalities, and it was her special way of saying “I love you”. This inspired me to start-up an outreach to children who very rarely, or never hear those words, “te amo”…I love you. I like to think that Te Amo is a way of showing the street children of Lima that there are people out there that love them dearly even though they cannot see us or will perhaps never meet us. Just like Jesus.

 

Left to Right: Kathleen & Alison with lovely knitted jumpers, ready to be posted to Peru.

Kemi. I know you are a student, how much time are you able to commit to it? Who works with you?

Alison. As a final year student, my timetable is quite hectic! As part of the worship and youth work teams I also find myself busy during the evenings with assessment deadlines creeping up behind me…! But I have been very blessed in that I have a large support network of people helping me. Especially Kathleen from church. She really is my Wonder Woman! As a novice knitter I really am unable to advise with patterns, or needles or wool, but Kath takes charge of that part.  We have about 15 volunteers knitting for us which is amazing! Project Te Amo is certainly not a “one woman show”, I am extremely grateful for the dedication of all who are involved.

Kemi. Have you ever visited Peru? What was it like?

 Alison. I visited Peru on short-term mission with Latin Link back in 2008. This was post-earthquake and we worked near the town of Pisco, just a few hours south of the capital, Lima. I was part of a team of 10 who helped construct a mother and child centre; ran church services and children’s work. As a town planning student, I loved the building project especially learning how to build a construction which would withstand another earthquake. It was a very humbling experience because even though the people we worked with had lost family, friends and their church in the quake, they were always so thankful and joyful.

To be continued….

 Project Te Amo can also be found on Twitter –
@ProjTeAmo or on Facebook
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