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The Boys

How Treana met the orphans who changed her life.

This is the story of the boys of the orphanage where Treana spent Christmas two years ago. They’ve now grown into accomplished, kind and beautiful young men. Here is how she met them:

The original orphanage was a chicken coop, where 14 boys and their headmaster slept on the floor. We have since worked with them to improve their conditions because no child should have to live like that, especially these children who have already dealt with so much hardship.

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I meet with every single child in private to hear from him personally. They aren’t used to getting undivided attention and start out very shy and reserved. But once they start talking, everyone has so much to say.

I hear their stories from the past—all too sad and personal to even consider discussing here.

I hear their current struggles, like having to split five cups of rice a day between sixteen people, or not being able to concentrate in school because their past experiences creep into their minds.

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These children need more than food. They need counselling. They need ways of coping with what they have seen. They need someone to care about them. They need the promise of a new future. They need a friend. I want to be all of these things for every one of them.

AFRICA 6 March 2008 North Bay, ON   Photographer: Private Vicky Lefrancois, OJT Image Tech, 22 Wing/CFB North Bay Image Section.