The Greatest Love of All

By Emlyn Lee, Founder

Like Whitney Houston, ‘I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way, show them all the beauty they possess inside. ..’ I spent the day visiting three local schools in the townships and rural areas of Chintsa, Eastern Cape, South Africa, and agree that these children possess beauty both inside and out.

The moment I got out of Cultural Embrace’s local coordinator’s van, children would come running to the gate, and grabbed my hand immediately. They weren’t asking for money or candy, but just wanted to hang with me. Most of them were wearing dusty clothes or dirty school uniforms. Many of the youngsters’ hair were nappy. Several of them had dried snots encrusted above their lip line. But of the children that I encountered, I would look in to their big, brown eyes, and discovered them…sparkling!

My eyes widened too as I looked around the school grounds and townships, unfortunately more out of dismay of how meager and poor the area was, but the children’s smiles were infectious, that my cheeks would easily loosen. Cultural Embrace’s local coordinator, Mike, informed me that they had quite a good reputation in the area, sponsoring and helping so many children, families, schools, communities, eco projects, reading and computer projects, facilitating community markets and co-operatives, and much more. The van comes by several times a day to drop off and pick up volunteers, staff, supplies, etc…all providing these children and community members hope, faith, and pride.

“Give them a sense of pride, to make it easier…let the children’s laughter, remind us how it used to be…” Isn’t that so true? It’s not the material things, but the basics of love, attention, nurture, and care that children, no matter what nationality need. Thus extending my hand to allow these children to latch on was effortless. I invite you to join a Cultural Embrace Volunteer program or service trip that will allow you to have a meaningful experience on your next adventure abroad. All of our destinations include some sort of service to give back to the local community and get involved with children so that we can all pass along the greatest love of all.

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